Educational Articles

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Seizures and syncope are commonly confused, due to similarities between the appearance of these episodes. In order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, it is essential to work with your veterinarian to accurately identify the cause of your dog’s episodic weakness, as there are significant treatment differences between seizures and syncope.

  • Epilepsy is a medical term derived from the Greek word epilepsia which means seizure or "falling sickness." It is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures in the absence of any known cause or abnormal brain lesion. In other words, the brain appears to be normal but functions abnormally.

  • Septic arthritis occurs when bacteria or another infectious agent is introduced into one or more joints, leading to painful inflammation.

  • Spondylosis deformans is a condition that affects the vertebral bones of the spine and is characterized by the presence of bony spurs or ‘osteophytes’ along the edges of the bones of the spine. A bony spur may develop in a single spot on the spine; more commonly, there will be multiple bone spurs in several different locations along the spine.

  • Staphylococcus is a name of a group of bacteria commonly found on the skin. Dermatitis is a term that means inflammation of the skin.

  • “Strokes” or cerebral vascular accidents (CVA) are rare in dogs. A stroke is defined as a sudden interruption in blood supply to any part of the brain.

  • My dog has struvite bladder stones. What does that mean? Dogs, like people, can develop a variety of bladder and kidney stones. Bladder stones (uroliths or cystic calculi), are rock-like formations of minerals that form in the urinary bladder, and are more common than kidney stones in dogs. One of the more common urolith in the dog is composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate. The more common name for this type of bladder stone is “struvite bladder stone”.

  • Syncope (or fainting) is defined as a temporary loss of consciousness that occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Most dogs who experience syncope spontaneously recover once appropriate levels of oxygen reach the brain.

  • “Systemic hypertension” describes high blood pressure throughout the entire body, and this means a sustained elevation in systolic pressure of 140mmHg or greater, in diastolic pressure of 90mmHg or greater, or both.

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an immune-mediated disease in which a dog’s immune system begins to attack her own tissues.