Educational Articles

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Inflammation of the inner ear is called otitis interna, and it is most often caused by an infection. The infectious agent is most commonly bacterial, although yeast and fungus can also be implicated in an inner ear infection.

  • Many people and pets are sensitive to the proteins contained in the saliva or venom of many biting insects. They may be born with certain sensitivities or, more often, they may develop sensitivities if they are exposed numerous times to a particular insect bite.

  • A joint luxation is a dislocation or complete separation between the bone ends that normally articulate to form a joint. Subluxation is the term referring to a partial separation of the joint. The most commonly subluxated joints in dogs include the hip and elbow, although any joint can be affected.

  • Juvenile cellulitis, also known by the name “puppy strangles,” is an uncommon skin condition of young dogs. Juvenile cellulitis most commonly affects young puppies, between one and six months of age.

  • Juvenile hyperparathyroidism is a rare, inherited condition of German Shepherds. This condition causes the parathyroid glands, four small glands that are located in the neck near the thyroid gland, to produce abnormally large amounts of parathyroid hormone.

  • Kennel cough is a broad term covering any infectious or contagious condition of dogs where coughing is one of the major clinical signs. It is also referred to as infectious tracheobronchitis. Several viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough, often at the same time. Because the infection spreads when dogs are housed together, it is often seen soon after dogs have been in kennels, hence the name "kennel cough."

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition that is also commonly referred to as "dry eye." The medical term means inflammation of the cornea and surrounding tissues from drying. It is a common eye condition resulting from inadequate production of the aqueous portion of the tear film by the lacrimal gland and/or gland of the third eyelid gland.

  • Lameness refers to an inability to properly use one or more limbs. It is most often associated with pain or injury. The most common causes of acute or sudden lameness in dogs are injury to a joint, bone fracture or dislocation. Osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia may also cause lameness in dogs.

  • The larynx or "voice box" is composed of a series of separate plates of cartilage that form a "box" in the throat. The stability of this box is maintained by the laryngeal muscles. When the nerves of these muscles become weak (paretic) or paralyzed, the muscles relax and the cartilages tend to collapse inwards.

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is also known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head. This is a condition in which the head of the femur (the ‘ball’ in the ball-and-socket joint that forms the hip) spontaneously begins to degenerate. Over time, this degeneration will cause collapse of the hip and lead to arthritis.