Disease

Sjukdomar & åkommor, Source OMIA of Canine Disorders



CARDIOMYOPATHY Organ Systems Involved    Cardiovascular

Alternative Names Ventricular Hypertrophy  Heart Disease, Hypertrophic in the dog   Canine Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy


Brief Description

Affected animals show a dilation of all the chambers of the heart with some increase in the heart muscle mass (hypertrophy) and a reduction in the contracting abilities of the ventricles.


Presenting Signs

The degree of weakening of the heart wall has been found to relate directly to the severity of symptoms; weaker walls result in a reduced volume of blood being pumped around the body. Hence, symptoms would be likely to vary depending on the severity of the weakening. Some affected dogs show no clinical signs and have no history of physical problems. Other cases, however, may show clinical signs such as fatigue and possibly collapse, coughing, shortness of breath, heart murmur, heart failure or sudden death, most commonly during or immediately following exertion. Additional clinical signs depend on whether it is right sided or left sided heart failure but may include abdominal distension, anorexia and weight loss.


Dogs at Risk

Male dogs Larger dogs




FACTOR VIII DEFICIENCY    Organ Systems Involved   Cardiovascular


Alternative Names Haemophilia A


Classic Haemophilia HEMA Hemophilia Factor VIII Antihaemolytic Factor Deficiency AHF


Brief Description

A bleeding disorder in which there is a permanent tendency to haemorrhage, because of a deficiency in the clotting factor VIII necessary for blood clots to form. The severity of this disorder can range from mild to extreme.


Presenting Signs

Mild forms of Haemophilia A may not be detected until trauma or routine surgery (particularly castration) causes excessive haemorrhage and bleeding under the skin. Extreme bleeding from the umbilical cord and/or tail or feet (at tail-docking and dew-claw removal time) is common. Prolonged bleeding in severe cases can be fatal. Problems often arise after vaccination, as live vaccines effect the number and function of clotting cells for a period of 10-14 days after vaccination. There may be excessive bleeding during teething and puppies may suffer from bloody diarrhoea. Affected dogs typically have episodes of lameness caused by ongoing bleeding into joints due to the normal impact of everyday motion. Larger weight-bearing joints such as the elbow and stifles are more likely to be involved, and may develop a form of arthritis.


Dogs at Risk

Male dogs are most commonly affected. Females are usually classified as 'carriers' (passing the disorder onto their offspring without suffering clinically from the disorder themselves) but can also present with symptoms.


HAEMOLYTIC ANAEMIA  Organ Systems Involved  Cardiovascular


Alternative Names  Hemolytic Anemia


Brief Description

In haemolytic anaemia, the body destroys red blood cells at an accelerated rate. The damaged cells are subsequently removed from the blood, usually by the immune system in the spleen, liver and bone marrow.


Presenting Signs

Affected dogs show a range of physical signs. These include weakness, lethargy, pallor (pale gums and skin), jaundice, rapid heart beat, an reduced ability to exercise, fatigue, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea and often premature death. This is due to lower than normal levels of red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. Haemolytic anaemia may also be associated with mental problems such as depression. There are many forms of the disorder, however an abnormal immune system response, in which normal red blood cells are recognised as foreign and are attacked by the body's immune system, is the most common form of the disorder. This form is known as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AHA) or immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA).


Dogs at Risk

Dogs of four and five years of age are at a greatest risk of developing the disease. It is also four times more prevalent in female than in male dogs.



HAEMOPHILIA A  Organ Systems Involved  Cardiovascular


Alternative Names Factor VIII Deficiency Classic Haemophilia HEMA Hemophilia Factor VIII Antihaemolytic Factor Deficiency AHF


Brief Description

A bleeding disorder in which there is a permanent tendency to haemorrhage, because of a deficiency in the clotting factor VIII necessary for blood clots to form. The severity of this disorder can range from mild to extreme.


Presenting Signs

Mild forms of Haemophilia A may not be detected until trauma or routine surgery (particularly castration) causes excessive haemorrhage and bleeding under the skin. Extreme bleeding from the umbilical cord and/or tail or feet (at tail-docking and dew-claw removal time) is common. Prolonged bleeding in severe cases can be fatal. Problems often arise after vaccination, as live vaccines effect the number and function of clotting cells for a period of 10-14 days after vaccination. There may be excessive bleeding during teething and puppies may suffer from bloody diarrhoea. Affected dogs typically have episodes of lameness caused by ongoing bleeding into joints due to the normal impact of everyday motion. Larger weight-bearing joints such as the elbow and stifles are more likely to be involved, and may develop a form of arthritis.


Dogs at Risk

Male dogs are most commonly affected. Females are usually classified as 'carriers' (passing the disorder onto their offspring without suffering clinically from the disorder themselves) but can also present with symptoms.


HEMANGIOSARCOMA Organ Systems Involved Cardiovascular


Integument

Brief Description

A cancer of blood vessels most notably in the speen, liver or skin


PERSISTENT RIGHT AORTIC ARCH  Organ Systems Involved  Cardiovascular


Alternative Names Persistent Fourth Right Aortic Arch  PRAA


Brief Description

Persistent Right Aortic Arch occurs when there is a malformation of a large blood vessel (the aorta) and its branches, constricting the oesophagus (the tubular structure between the mouth and stomach) near the base of the heart.


Presenting Signs

The disorder is generally detected once puppies have begun to eat solid foods. The constriction of the oesophagus causes regurgitation of food, most often shortly after eating. The dog may regurgitate on a frequent basis. This occurs as the solid food is unable to move past the constriction and into the stomach and is consequently regurgitated. An affected pup will often not develop properly and may be very thin yet may have a large appetite, trying to re-eat any regurgitated food. Occasionally the animal will develop a continuous heart murmur. A bulge may be seen on the animal near the neck. The dog may develop pneumonia and have difficulty breathing as some of regurgitated food can be breathed in down the windpipe into the lungs. If this happens the dog will cough and wheeze. A crackling sound may be heard on breathing and the dog may also have a fever. The severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the malformation. Occasionally a dog may have the disorder yet show no obvious signs.


SYNCOPE Organ Systems Involved  Cardiovascular


Brief Description

Periodic collapsing or fainting


 

VON WILLEBRAND'S DISEASE Organ Systems Involved  Cardiovascular


Alternative Names  Angiohemophilia Pseudohemophilia Vascular hemophilia.


Brief Description

The process of blood clotting requires a number of important factors, and dogs suffering from von Willebrand's disease have a deficiency of von Willebrand's factor necessary for the normal clotting of blood.


Presenting Signs

The majority of dogs with von Willebrand's disease do not bleed spontaneously, rather, bleeding is usually started by physical abrasion, and may be noticed during surgical procedures, vaccination or drug therapy. Bleeding tends to be mostly from the mucous membranes (the moist linings of the body such as the gums, skin between the toes and the skin of the vulva and penis) and the severity is highly variable. Larger dogs may experience increased bleeding due to the pressure of weight on tiny blood vessels. Due to the fact that bleeding doesn't usually occur until surgery or an injury occurs, many cases are not recognised early in life and it is not uncommon to diagnose von Willebrand's in mature and even aged patients.


ADDISON'S DISEASE Organ Systems Involved  Endocrine


Alternative Names  Hypoadrenocorticism  Primary adrenocortical insufficiency  Adrenal cortical atrophy


Brief Description

Adrenal cortical atrophy is destruction of the outer layer of the adrenal glands, small glands situated on the kidneys. This results in deficient production of hormones called mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids.


Presenting Signs

The most common symptoms of this disorder are lethargy, vomiting, anorexia and weakness. Other signs such as diarrhoea, weight loss, increased thirst and increased urination may also be evident. The destruction of the adrenal glands is a gradual process. Initially partial destruction of the adrenal cortex produces symptoms that are only obvious during stressful situations such as boarding, travel or surgery. As the adrenal glands are progressively destroyed, the symptoms are evident even in non-stressful situations, and the majority of dogs have chronic problems that may have been present for up to one year.



Dogs at Risk

Young to middle aged female dogs and castrated male dogs.



COPPER STORAGE DISEASE Organ Systems Involved Endocrine  Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Copper Toxicosis (Dogs) Hepatic Copper Toxicosis (Dogs) Hepatolenticular Degeneration (Human), Wilson disease (Human) Copper Storage Hepatitis (Dogs) Copper Hepatoxicosis (Dogs) Copper-associated Hepatopathy (Dogs) Copper Storage Disease (Dogs)


Brief Description

Due to abnormal metabolism, copper accumulates in the body and causes poisoning (toxicity) mainly in the liver and the brain, resulting in liver disease and nervous system problems.


Presenting Signs

The canine disease, copper toxicosis differs genetically from the human form, Wilson disease. However, both produce similar symptoms and are treated in similar ways. Copper toxicosis falls into three categories, the first being the asymptomatic form, in which young dogs do not show any signs, as copper has not accumulated enough to cause toxicity. The second or acute form is when dogs of up to six years of age have a high copper accumulation within the liver, and show signs associated with liver disease such as depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice and vomiting. In the advanced stage of the disease, fluid may accumulate around the abdomen. The third or chronic form affects middle-aged to older dogs, and signs are similar to the acute group but less severe. Other common clinical signs include ongoing weight loss and deterioration of general condition. Stressful events, either physical or psychological, such as whelping, being shown, shipping, or a change in environment, may precipitate these episodes.


 


COPPER TOXICOSIS  Organ Systems Involved Endocrine  Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Copper Storage Disease (Dogs) Hepatolenticular Degeneration (Human) Wilson disease (Human Copper Storage Hepatitis (Dogs) Copper Hepatoxicosis (Dogs) Copper-associated Hepatopathy (Dogs) Hepatic Copper Toxicosis (Dogs)


Brief Description

Due to abnormal metabolism, copper accumulates in the body and causes poisoning (toxicity) mainly in the liver and the brain, resulting in liver disease and nervous system problems.


Presenting Signs

The canine disease, copper toxicosis differs genetically from the human form, Wilson disease. However, both produce similar symptoms and are treated in similar ways. Copper toxicosis falls into three categories, the first being the asymptomatic form, in which young dogs do not show any signs, as copper has not accumulated enough to cause toxicity. The second or acute form is when dogs of up to six years of age have a high copper accumulation within the liver, and show signs associated with liver disease such as depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice and vomiting. In the advanced stage of the disease, fluid may accumulate around the abdomen. The third or chronic form affects middle-aged to older dogs, and signs are similar to the acute group but less severe. Other common clinical signs include ongoing weight loss and deterioration of general condition. Stressful events, either physical or psychological, such as whelping, being shown, shipping, or a change in environment, may precipitate these episodes.


 


HYPOTHYROIDISM Organ Systems Involved Endocrine


Alternative Names Goiter Idiopathic atrophy of the thyroid gland Neoplastic destruction of thyroid tissue Thyroiditis


Brief Description

Endocrine


Presenting Signs

Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of thyroid gland activity. Impaired production andsecretion of the thyroid hormones, especially thyroxine, results in a lower than normal metabolic rate with several associated clinical signs.



Dogs at Risk

The clinical signs associated with hypothyroidism are all related to an overall slowing of metabolism in the cells. Lethargy, fatigue, sparse or coarse coat, hair loss, thickening of the skin, low body temperature, intolerance to cold, increased body weight, slow heart rate, mental dullness, nervous system problems, a lack of or slowing of the oestrus cycle, and infertility are all common symptoms of this disorder. With the rare form of hypothyroidism present from birth, in addition to the above clinical signs there may be changes to the skeleton. These dogs may have delayed bone maturation and the growth plates at the ends of the long bones may fail to close (this normally happens as a dog matures). This abnormality will be visible in X-rays. Hypothyroidism is most common in dogs four to ten years old. Risks of developing hypothyroidism are higher in spayed females than in intact female dogs."



LYMPHOCYTIC THYROIDITIS Organ Systems Involved Endocrine


Alternative Names Thyroiditis Autoimmune Thyroiditis Idiopathic Thyroid Atrophy


Brief Description

The immune system aberrantly attacks the normal thyroid gland. This prevents storage of thyroid hormone, resulting in low thyroid hormone levels and changes to the metabolism, nervous system and skin.


Presenting Signs

Thyroiditis is the major cause of hypothyroidism (low activity of the thyroid gland) and many dogs may harbour the disease for years before showing clinical signs. While hypothyroidism is not life threatening, quality of life is substandard. Signs include problems with the nervous system and muscles, such as paralysis, muscle-wasting, foot-dragging and seizures. The skin of affected dogs may be dry and scaly, with hair-loss, skin infections, dark pigmentation and ongoing skin odour. The reproductive system is affected, with male dogs displaying infertility and a lack of libido, while bitches have an absence of heat cycles or may give birth to stillborn pups. There may be gastrointestinal problems with vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation. Other signs include eye problems (e.g. eyelid infections), liver inflammation, bleeding, loss of the sense of smell, mental dullness, cardiac problems (e.g. slow heart rate) and intolerance to cold.



Dogs at Risk

Castrated males and spayed females have increased risk. It is common in middle aged dogs.



THYROIDITIS Organ Systems Involved Endocrine


Alternative Names Lymphocytic Thyroiditis Autoimmune Thyroiditis Idiopathic Thyroid Atrophy


Brief Description

The immune system aberrantly attacks the normal thyroid gland. This prevents storage of thyroid hormone, resulting in low thyroid hormone levels and changes to the metabolism, nervous system and skin.


Presenting Signs

Thyroiditis is the major cause of hypothyroidism (low activity of the thyroid gland) and many dogs may harbour the disease for years before showing clinical signs. While hypothyroidism is not life threatening, quality of life is substandard. Signs include problems with the nervous system and muscles, such as paralysis, muscle-wasting, foot-dragging and seizures. The skin of affected dogs may be dry and scaly, with hair-loss, skin infections, dark pigmentation and ongoing skin odour. The reproductive system is affected, with male dogs displaying infertility and a lack of libido, while bitches have an absence of heat cycles or may give birth to stillborn pups. There may be gastrointestinal problems with vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation. Other signs include eye problems (e.g. eyelid infections), liver inflammation, bleeding, loss of the sense of smell, mental dullness, cardiac problems (e.g. slow heart rate) and intolerance to cold.


Dogs at Risk

Castrated males and spayed females have increased risk. It is common in middle aged dogs.



ABNORMAL DENTITION Organ Systems Involved Gastrointestinal


Brief Description

Abnormal development position or number of teeth



HEPATITIS, CHRONIC ACTIVE Organ Systems Involved Gastrointestinal


Alternative Names Chronic Active Hepatitis (CAH) Chronic Canine Inflammatory Hepatic Disease (CCIHD)



Brief Description

A long term progressive liver disorder caused by the immune system mistakenly recognising the normal liver as foreign. The result is destruction of cells in the liver and inflammation of the liver.


Presenting Signs

The clinical signs of this disorder may vary between different breeds, but sufferers typically have jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes) and an enlarged liver. Weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss and nervous system signs such as depression may also be apparent. This disorder has a variety of causes including viral, drugs or idiopathic (of unknown causation). The result is an immune response that ultimately leads to the destruction of the cells of the liver, with the organ becoming inflamed. In its later stages and most serious form, Chronic Active Hepatitis leads to liver cirrhosis (an end stage of the disease where normal liver tissue is relaced by fibrous tissue that cannot carry out normal liver functions), liver failure and death.



Dogs at Risk

Most common in females aged five to seven years.



IMMUNOGLOBULIN M DEFICIENCY Organ Systems Involved Immune


Alternative Names IgM deficiency


Brief Description

A susceptibility to infection related to poor production of antibodies useful in the early stages of an immune response



LEUKOCYTE ADHESION DEFICIENCY Organ Systems Involved Immune


Alternative Names Canine Granulocytopathy Syndrome Leucocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD) Leukocyte adherence deficiency Beta-2-integrin deficiency CD18 deficiency CD11b deficiency Hagemoser-Takahashi syndrome


Brief Description

White blood cells are deficient in a particular protein, which prevents them from moving through the body tissues where they would normally combat bacterial infections.


 

Presenting Signs

Generally the severity of the disease depends on the degree of the protein deficiency, but usually affected dogs die early in life due to recurrent and severe bacterial infections. The symptoms seen in dogs with leukocyte adhesion deficiency are quite variable, as many different types of infections can occur. One of the most noticeable infections is gingivitis, in which the gums will be inflamed and may have ulcers and abscesses. Some dogs may have osteomyelitis. This is an inflammation of the bone marrow and it is often characterised by pain on opening the lower jaw. Sometimes there is swelling and infection between the toes (pododermatitis), which can also cause pain and lead to lameness. Pneumonia and other respiratory type infections are also possible. These are often characterised by wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Skin lesions and wounds tend to heal much more slowly than normal and have minimal pus formation. Due to these recurrent infections, puppies with leukocyte adhesion deficiency will usually show signs of lethargy, depression, inappetence, fever and weight loss, and they will fail to thrive as well as their healthy littermates.



ACNE Organ Systems Involved Integument


Brief Description

Same condition asseen in humans, primarily affects the muzzle and lips



ACRAL LICK DERMATITIS Organ Systems Involved  Integument


Alternative Names Acral lick granuloma


Brief Description

A disease maifested by the animal's excessively licking a localized spot on the skin, especially on the legs and paws



DEMODICOSIS  Organ Systems Involved  Integument


Alternative Names Demodectic mange


Brief Description

A form of mange (skin disease with hairloss and pustule formation) caused by microscopic Demodex canis mites living within the epidermal cells of the skin and often associated with an immunodeficiency syndrome



ENTROPION Organ Systems Involved Integument


Brief Description

Inward curling of the eyelid, most commonly the lower lid.


Presenting Signs

This condition is usually evident before the dog is one year of age. The affected animal can suffer a significant amount of pain due to the eyelashes of the inward-curled lid rubbing on the cornea. Because the eyelids are there to protect the eyes, irritation can also occur due to dust and small objects getting into the eye and damaging its outer surface. Irritation can lead to the dog rubbing at the affected area. Involuntary movements of the eyelid muscles, some discharge and teary eyes can also signal the problem, although if the condition is long standing, the eyes may not produce enough tears. There may be associated corneal ulcers that can lead to eyesight problems, squinting and sensitivity to light. A vision-impaired dog may have trouble recognising everyday objects such as food and water bowls, and people, and may run into furniture and other objects. In addition the difficulty in seeing may make the animal somewhat timid or aggressive in nature.



FOLLICULITIS Organ Systems Involved Integument


Brief Description

An infection of the hair follicles



GRANULOMATOUS SEBACEOUS ADENITIS Organ Systems Involved Integument


Brief Description

A disease of sweat glands in the skin that is characterized by increased tissue growth and autoimmune destruction of affected glands. Hair loss commonly occurs and the condition is responds poorly to treatment



HEMANGIOSARCOMA  Organ Systems Involved  Cardiovascular  Integument


Brief Description

A cancer of blood vessels most notably in the speen, liver or skin



HYPOPIGMENTATION Organ Systems Involved  Integument


Brief Description

Vitiligo is a condition in which pigment is absent from the hair or skin, resulting in white patches of hair or areas of pink skin.



PODODERMATITIS Organ Systems Involved Integument


Alternative Names Interdigital eczema Pedal eczema


Brief Description

A skin infection of the pads and paws


 

SEBACEOUS ADENITIS Organ Systems Involved Integument


Brief Description

A disease of sweat glands in the skin. Hair loss commonly occurs and the condition is responds poorly to treatment



VITILIGO Organ Systems Involved Integument


Brief Description

Vitiligo is a condition in which black pigment is lost from the hair or skin, resulting in white patches of hair or areas of pink skin where it was previously black.


Presenting Signs

Vitiligo affects the production of melanin, the dark pigment in the skin and hair. The immune system mistakenly produces proteins called antibodies that work against melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. The result is a gradual loss of pigmentation. Depigmentation is commonly seen as abnormal areas of pink skin or white patches of hair, distributed symmetrically. These areas are non-inflammatory and do not include erosions or ulcers. In addition the dog has no symptoms of pain or itching. The abnormality may be temporary or permanent, and the areas affected may spontaneously regain pigment. Common sites affected are the facial skin, the eyelids and the areas around the eyes, the nose, the lips of the mouth, the muzzle, inside the mouth, the foot pads and nails.


Dogs at Risk

Young adult dogs, most frequently seen in animals of less than three years of age.


 


CALCIFICATION OF INTERVERTEBRAL DISCS Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Alternative Names ntervertebral Disc Disease


Brief Description

Affected dogs have abnormal deposits of calcium in the soft tissue of the intervertebral discs of their back and neck (the cushioning discs between the vertebral bones of the spine); this makes them prone to disc herniation, where the disc ruptures into the spinal cord causing pain, weakness and paralysis.


Presenting Signs

Affected dogs will show varying symptoms depending on the amount of calcium deposited, and its location along the spine (most commonly in the mid-back region). They may show neck and back pain, reluctance in jumping and walking up stairs, weakness, and they may be unable to support weight on their back limbs. Calcifications are most noticeable around the age of 12 -18 months, from which point they may increase in number or decrease without degenerating further. The possible effect of this disease is the rupture of the disc into the spinal cord. This causes increasingly severe signs including back pain, wobbly gait, weakness, loss of sensation in the legs and muscular paralysis. Other consequences of the ruptured disc and spinal nerve damage include severe bleeding inside the spinal cord and lack of bladder control.



CERVICAL VERTEBRAL MALFORMATION Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Alternative Names Spondylolisthesis Wobbler syndrome Cervical spondylopathy Wobbles Ataxia


Brief Description

Affected dogs have abnormalities in the bones and ligaments of the spine that create pressure on the spinal cord and result in an abnormal gait or an inability to walk.


Presenting Signs

The presenting signs of ataxia vary with the site in the spinal cord that is compressed, and with the degree of compression of the spinal cord. Some dogs may be only mildly lame or may have an unusual gait, moving the legs in a short choppy fashion. Usually the hind legs are more affected than the fore legs. The condition can also be so severe that the dog is unable to use two legs or even all four legs, thus being unable to walk. The compression on the spinal cord can increase over time, so those dogs that are initially only mildly affected can gradually become paralysed. The neck is often flexed with the head held towards the ground and the dog may be unwilling to lift its head. If the head is lifted up and extended the dog may show signs of pain such as yelping and may become unstable on its feet. When lying on their side, affected dogs may hold their legs stretched forward due to nervous system abnormalities. There is often muscle wasting over the shoulders due to reduced use of the muscles."


 

CRANIOMANDIBULAR OSTEOPATHY IN DOG Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Alternative Names Westie's disease Lion jaw Mandibular periostitis Temporomandibular osteodystrophy.


Brief Description

A disease that causes the lower jaw bone to become enlarged, causing pain (particularly during eating) and reducing the animal's ability to open its mouth.


Presenting Signs

Craniomandibular osteopathy occurs mainly in young dogs. The disease usually begins when the animal is between four and ten months of age. It is a bone disease that results in enlargement primarily of the lower jaw, but sometimes affects other bones of the skull, and in rare cases, the long bones. The most common signs of craniomandibular osteopathy include swelling of the lower jaw, which is painful to the touch, drooling or excessive salivation and difficulty grasping things using the mouth. Affected dogs may also experience pain and limited movement when opening their mouth. As a result they tend to eat less and consequently lose weight, another sign of craniomandibular osteopathy. Where the disease causes enlargement in the long bones (e.g. in the legs), lameness and/or painful swelling of the limbs may become obvious. During periods where the bones are actively growing, affected animals may also show signs of fever.


 


HIP DYSPLASIA Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Alternative Names Congenital dislocation of the hip Acetabular Dystrophy


Brief Description

Abnormal formation of the hip joint resulting in joint slackness, often leading to arthritis. In severe cases the dog may suffer lameness in the affected limb(s).


Presenting Signs

Dogs with hip dysplasia may suffer this condition in one or both hips. Outward signs vary depending on the severity of the condition, which usually worsens over time. Initial signs are likely to be a slight change in gait and difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position, or in climbing stairs. A reluctance to move the affected joint may also be observed, for example, an otherwise obedient dog may show reluctance to sit on command. It is common for an affected dog to adopt a 'bunny hopping gait' by which it moves both rear legs simultaneously while running. Signs of a more serious condition include obvious pain when the leg is extended or when weight is placed on it, obvious lameness and stiffness especially after strenuous exercise, and in the most severe cases, permanent lameness in the affected limb. Dogs with naturally looser hip joints are more likely to develop problems with hip dysplasia than those with more tightly constructed joints. Overweight dogs are more susceptible due to greater strain on their joints. Also a young, growing dog with the genetic makeup for hip dysplasia is more likely to develop arthritis and have more eventual difficulty if it is extremely active.


 


OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSECANS Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Alternative Names Osteochondrosis dissecans


Brief Description

Osteochondrosis dissecans is a defect in the smooth cartilage lining the edges of bones and joints. This abnormality often results in a small flap of joint cartilage protruding into the joint, and this can cause inflammatory joint changes.


Presenting Signs

Osteochondrosis dissecans develops in dogs at around three to eighteen months of age. The disease begins when the growing bone and cartilage at the ends of long bones (in the legs) dies. The bone and cartilage regenerate, creating a flap of joint cartilage that protrudes into the joint, resulting in an uneven joint surface. The grinding that results from movement creates small amounts of debris known as 'joint mice', small pieces of bone that either attach to the joint or float freely around the joint. This usually occurs in the hip, knee, hock and elbow. There is often a gradual onset of lameness in either the front or back legs, which improves after rest and worsens after exercise, flexion or extension of the joint. If there is osteoarthritis in the joint, some swelling and a crunchy feeling may be felt when the area is handled. There may also be some muscle wasting. X-rays are used to obtain a definitive diagnosis. For , cage rest is helpful in the early stages of the disease. The prognosis is usually very good if the 'joint mice' are removed early."


Dogs at Risk

Young, large and Giant Breeds


PANOSTEITIS Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Brief Description

Inflammation of a bone


POLYOSTOTIC FIBROUS DYSPLASIA Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Brief Description

A disease in which bones are composed of inaproppriate amounts of fibrous tissues


SPONDYLOLISTHESIS Organ Systems Involved Musculoskeletal


Alternative Names Cervical vertebral malformation Wobbler syndrome Cervical spondylopathy Wobbles Ataxia


Brief Description

Affected dogs have abnormalities in the bones and ligaments of the spine that create pressure on the spinal cord and result in an abnormal gait or an inability to walk.


Presenting Signs

The of ataxia vary with the site in the spinal cord that is compressed, and with the degree of compression of the spinal cord. Some dogs may be only mildly lame or may have an unusual gait, moving the legs in a short choppy fashion. Usually the hind legs are more affected than the fore legs. The condition can also be so severe that the dog is unable to use two legs or even all four legs, thus being unable to walk. The compression on the spinal cord can increase over time, so those dogs that are initially only mildly affected can gradually become paralysed. The neck is often flexed with the head held towards the ground and the dog may be unwilling to lift its head. If the head is lifted up and extended the dog may show signs of pain such as yelping and may become unstable on its feet. When lying on their side, affected dogs may hold their legs stretched forward due to nervous system abnormalities. There is often muscle wasting over the shoulders due to reduced use of the muscles."


BEHAVIORAL ABNORMALITIES Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Ethopathies Behavioural abnormalities Abnormal behaviour Abnormal behavior


Brief Description

A range of unwelcome and abnormal behavioral responses, including aggression and nervous disorders.


CATARACT Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Brief Description

Cataracts are abnormal lesions on one or both eyes, which results in a reduction of vision, even to the extent of being blind.


Presenting Signs

The main sign of cataracts is opacity of the lens of the eye. Affected dogs progressively lose their eyesight and are less able to detect motion. Cataracts are classified according to their location on the lens, their size, shape and appearance. The most common is the 'nuclear cataract' located in the centre of the lens. 'Anterior cataract' or 'anterior cortical cataract' is located on the front of the eye. 'Posterior cataract'/ 'posterior cortical cataract' is on the inner side of the eye and 'equatorial cataract'/ 'equatorial cortical cataract' on the periphery (edge) of the eye. Over time cataracts cannot change in location but may grow in size from small ('punctate') to larger ('intermediate').


COLOBOMA Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Brief Description

Coloboma is a rare condition and can be recognised as a gap/hole or notch defect in the eye structure. This gap can occur in the eyelid, iris, lens, choroids (the fine web of blood vessels that feed the retina) or optic disc (the area at the rear of the eyeball from which the optic fibres exit to carry information to the brain). Depending on the severity and location of the coloboma, eye defects such as cataracts, lens displacement and reduction of light entering the eye may result.


Presenting Signs

Signs of this disease can be seen as early as at the opening of the eyelids at 14 days of age. The absence of a sector of the iris may sometimes give the appearance of a 'keyhole' in the pupil. The pupil may appear to extend into the iris often with a jagged edge, slightly increasing the risk of retinal tearing. The eye may also be dramatically reduced in size in severe cases. Dogs with a large coloboma may be forced to squint in bright light due to the iris being unable to contract to reduce the amount of light entering the eye. Symptoms in an affected dog can range from corneal ulcers and pigmentation, constant squinting or excess production of tears, to abnormal behaviour.


Dogs at Risk

Merle dogs with predominant amounts of white in the coat.


COPPER STORAGE DISEASE Organ Systems Involved Endocrine  Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Copper Toxicosis (Dogs) Hepatic Copper Toxicosis (Dogs) Hepatolenticular Degeneration (Human), Wilson disease (Human) Copper Storage Hepatitis (Dogs) Copper Hepatoxicosis (Dogs) Copper-associated Hepatopathy (Dogs) Copper Storage Disease (Dogs)


Brief Description

Due to abnormal metabolism, copper accumulates in the body and causes poisoning (toxicity) mainly in the liver and the brain, resulting in liver disease and nervous system problems.


Presenting Signs

The canine disease, copper toxicosis differs genetically from the human form, Wilson disease. However, both produce similar symptoms and are treated in similar ways. Copper toxicosis falls into three categories, the first being the asymptomatic form, in which young dogs do not show any signs, as copper has not accumulated enough to cause toxicity. The second or acute form is when dogs of up to six years of age have a high copper accumulation within the liver, and show signs associated with liver disease such as depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice and vomiting. In the advanced stage of the disease, fluid may accumulate around the abdomen. The third or chronic form affects middle-aged to older dogs, and signs are similar to the acute group but less severe. Other common clinical signs include ongoing weight loss and deterioration of general condition. Stressful events, either physical or psychological, such as whelping, being shown, shipping, or a change in environment, may precipitate these episodes.


 


COPPER TOXICOSIS Organ Systems Involved Endocrine  Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Copper Storage Disease (Dogs) Hepatolenticular Degeneration (Human) Wilson disease (Human) Copper Storage Hepatitis (Dogs) Copper Hepatoxicosis (Dogs) Copper-associated Hepatopathy (Dogs) Hepatic Copper Toxicosis (Dogs)


Brief Description

Due to abnormal metabolism, copper accumulates in the body and causes poisoning (toxicity) mainly in the liver and the brain, resulting in liver disease and nervous system problems.


Presenting Signs

The canine disease, copper toxicosis differs genetically from the human form, Wilson disease. However, both produce similar symptoms and are treated in similar ways. Copper toxicosis falls into three categories, the first being the asymptomatic form, in which young dogs do not show any signs, as copper has not accumulated enough to cause toxicity. The second or acute form is when dogs of up to six years of age have a high copper accumulation within the liver, and show signs associated with liver disease such as depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice and vomiting. In the advanced stage of the disease, fluid may accumulate around the abdomen. The third or chronic form affects middle-aged to older dogs, and signs are similar to the acute group but less severe. Other common clinical signs include ongoing weight loss and deterioration of general condition. Stressful events, either physical or psychological, such as whelping, being shown, shipping, or a change in environment, may precipitate these episodes.


FLANK SUCKING Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Stereotypy Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)


Brief Description

A behavioral problem seen in Doberman pinschers that most commonly presents as a continually wet patch on the side of the belly (from sucking the skin)


MICROPHTHALMIA Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Microphthalmos


Brief Description

A condition where one or both eyes are too small.


Presenting Signs


Microphthalmia occurs to various degrees and affected eyes may show multiple abnormalities. For example, sometimes the eye is not only small but also various parts of the eye (such as the iris and cornea) may be under-developed because they have not grown since the puppy was an embryo. The disorder may result in blindness for affected dogs, but this will depend on the extent of the defects. The eyes often become prematurely cloudy later in life if the lens has related abnormalities such as cataracts.


Dogs at Risk

Microphthalmia and related abnormalities occur more often in merle-coloured dogs, especially those with predominantly white hairs in their coats rather than those with limited white hairs.


NARCOLEPSY Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Brief Description

Narcolepsy is a nervous system condition in which dogs are excessively sleepy during the daytime and have disrupted sleep patterns.


Presenting Signs

Narcolepsy affects the sleep patterns of dogs, and is characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness and napping (a key symptom, present in all cases). Affected animals usually begin to exhibit signs at around 4 -12 weeks of age. Dogs with narcolepsy often have disrupted sleep patterns and tend to have episodes where they will suddenly just fall asleep. In narcoleptic dogs excitement and emotion can trigger sleeping episodes, with eating being the main cause. Dogs will start eating, only to suddenly fall to the ground asleep. They can be woken if spoken to or shaken, but once they continue eating they are likely to simply fall asleep again. Play or presentation of food can also trigger attacks of generalised temporary muscle paralysis without sleep, in which the animal may wobble on its feet and look slightly dazed for several minutes. During such attacks the respiratory and eye muscles remain unaffected, though affected dogs may have impaired vision. Sleep paralysis, where upon waking or on dozing the animal is temporarily paralysed, and hypnologic hallucinations, where patients experience dream-like visions when dozing, though not in the dream stage of sleep, are also common symptoms in humans. Due to their subjective nature these symptoms cannot be used in diagnosing canine narcolepsy.


PERSISTENT PUPILLARY MEMBRANE Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Brief Description

A developmental abnormality in which the fetal membrane that forms the iris does not regress properly after birth


PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY (PRA) (X-LINKED) Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Congenital Night Blindness Pigment Epithelial Dystrophy Primary Retinal Degeneration Rod-cone Dysplasia Rod Dysplasia Rod-cone Degeneration


Brief Description

A condition where the nerve cells and blood vessels of the retina (the layer at the back of the eye that responds to light, collects messages and passes them on to the brain) degenerate.


Presenting Signs

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is the most common disease of the retina in dogs. It has been divided into two categories: Generalised PRA and Central PRA, based on the symptoms. The age at which the degeneration begins varies between breeds and individual dogs. In both instances, the receptor (nerve) cells lining the retina begin to degenerate and the blood vessels feeding the retina become smaller, so less nutrients reach the eye. An early sign of Generalised PRA is night blindness, which progresses until day vision is affected, and eventually ends in total blindness. The disease first attacks the rod cells (light sensitive cells), so night vision is affected. The dog is shy and has poor vision at dusk and at night, or in dimly lit places. It also moves with caution and has a tendency to bump into objects. Other symptoms include the loss of peripheral vision, resulting in 'tunnel vision' in which the dog can only see objects directly in front of it. Also, the pupils of the dog will be dilated, to allow more light into the eye, and the retina is extremely reflective when the dog faces lights at night. Central PRA is different as peripheral vision is unaffected for many years. However, the central field of vision of the dog is impaired. Night blindness is not so commonly seen. The dog can still see moving objects up to a point where the disease is very advanced, but it will collide with stationary objects. In later stages of the disease, cataracts may form in the eye.



RETINAL DYSPLASIA Organ Systems Involved Nervous/sensory


Alternative Names Retinal detachment Hereditary retinal detachment Retinoschisis Dysplastic retina


Brief Description

Retinal dysplasia is due to the incorrect formation of the retina (the back surface of the eye, which collects visual information to be sent to the brain), resulting in reduced or complete loss of vision.


Presenting Signs

Owners observe reduced or complete loss of vision from as early as about six to eight weeks of age. Retinal dysplasia can be present in two forms: a mild form known as multifocal retinal dysplasia and the much more severe variation known as total retinal dysplasia. Dogs with multiple retinal dysplasia lead a normal life with no apparent clinical signs, as their vision is not severely disturbed. Dogs with total retinal dysplasia suffer blindness in either one or both eyes.



KARTAGENER SYNDROME Organ Systems Involved Respiratory


Alternative Names Ciliary dyskinesia Immotile cilia syndrome


Brief Description

A condition in which the cilia (tiny hair-like processes that help trap and carry foreign matter out of the airways) lining the respiratory tract do not function properly, causing affected dogs to be highly prone to respiratory infections.


Presenting Signs

From a young age, affected dogs will usually suffer from repeated respiratory infections such as pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs), rhinitis (inflammation of the nostrils), bronchiectasis (dilation of the small airways due to excessive coughing) and bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchioles), as well as infections of the ear and sinuses. The typical signs of these respiratory infections are usually variable, but may include coughing, nasal discharge (often high in mucus), wheezing, difficulty breathing, difficulty exercising, fever, difficulty hearing and weight loss. Affected males usually have immotile, or poorly motile sperm, and hence will often be infertile. Behavioural changes such as depression may also be noted. Kartagener syndrome seems to be associated with situs inversus, that is, the organs are located on the side of the body opposite to normal. Approximately 50% of dogs with Kartagener syndrome also have situs inversus.


 


KIDNEY APLASIA, UNILATERAL Organ Systems Involved Urogenital


Alternative Names Mononephrosis Renal agenesis


Brief Description


A developmental abnormality where one kidney fails to develop



RENAL CORTICAL HYPOPLASIA Organ Systems Involved Urogenital


Alternative Names Renal hypoplasia, bilateral


Brief Description

A condition in which the kidneys cause continual protein loss in urine that leads to wastage



RENAL DYSPLASIA Organ Systems Involved Urogenital


Alternative Names Deficiency of claudin-16 CLDN 16 deficiency Deficiency of Paracellin 1 PCLN1 deficiency


Brief Description

Renal dysplasia is a condition in which the kidneys of the dog are abnormal at birth, causing a decrease in the dog's ability to eliminate waste products from its body.


Presenting Signs

Many dogs that suffer from renal dysplasia have been observed to be the runts of the litter and have abnormal, stunted growth. As the affected dog grows its kidneys become over-worked. This means that the dog's kidneys start to become unable to process the body's wastes. This causes the symptoms of the disease to worsen, and the affected dog often shows signs of dehydration, excessive water consumption, depression, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea. Also, affected dogs often have foul smelling breath and ulcers in their mouth, the result of a build up of toxins in the blood. When tested clinically, a urine analysis and a blood analysis will often show signs of long-term kidney insufficiency. However, to conclusively diagnose renal dysplasia a biopsy (small tissue sample) of the kidney must be taken and analysed, or if the dog dies the disorder can be diagnosed by post mortem.



RENAL HYPOPLASIA, BILATERAL Organ Systems Involved Urogenital


Alternative Names Renal cortical hypoplasia


Brief Description

Renal hypoplasia occurs in the embryo when there is a developmental disruption to the ureter, which is the tube connecting the bladder to the kidney. This also halts the development of the connected kidney, so that the kidney is much smaller than normal.


Presenting Signs

Bilateral renal hypoplasia is the condition in which both kidneys are affected, with resultant chronic kidney failure as the normal functioning of the kidney is greatly impaired. The main role of the kidney is to filter the blood and regulate the amount of water absorbed, and the disruption to this function caused by the disorder is very serious. Affected dogs will experience intense thirst. The affected body will tend to expel water through vomiting, diarrhoea and excessive urination, leading to the dehydration of the animal, and creating a cycle where the dog is intensely thirsty again. Accompanying this the animal may have signs of ulceration in the mouth and foul-smelling breath associated with reduced appetite and weight loss. In the final stages of the disease the dog may pass small amounts of urine. In addition to all of these symptoms, affected dogs are usually extremely depressed.



Dogs at Risk

Young dogs, generally 3-24 months old.