Canine Bladder Stones

bladder stonesCanine Bladder Stones

By Admin

There are many causes of canine bladder stones in dogs.  They are usually formed from a complication of a bladder infection.  In people the stones are formed in the kidneys; however, in dogs the bladder is the usual location.  Some breeds are more prone to bladder stones than others.  They include the Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Pekingese, and Dalmatian.  Dalmatians are the only breed that excretes uric acid of the human type and are the only breed that can form uric acid stones.

Dog bladder stones usually occur in dogs four to six years of age, but older dogs can acquire them too. Urinary tract infections in dogs are more common in an alkaline urine.  Bacterial growth is favored if the urine is alkaline rather than acidic.  The urine ph is influenced by diet,

There are several types of bladder stones in dogs.  Some are small and gravelly which are voided painfully or one large stone which blocks the flow of urine.  Both causes the dog much stress.  Stones in the dog’s bladder eventually will cause a canine urinary tract infection.  They exist in various sizes and numbers in dogs.

Stones in a dogs bladder can be caused by a mineral imbalance, bladder infection, improper diet, abnormal metabolism or genetic for some breeds.  They are made of various minerals such as calcium and magnesium, they can cause symptoms that include pain, bloody urine, and difficulty urinating.

Bladder stone treatment involves dissolving small stones and keeping new ones from forming.  Special diets are indicated in some cases.  Surgery is needed to remove large stones.

Bladder stone removal is done by surgery, which is called cystotomy.  The surgery removes bladder stones through a small incision in the stomach and into the bladder.

After being removed the stones are analyzed to detect infection and to determine which antibiotic will be effective.  Your Vet may do a stone analysis to prevent them from returning.

Sometimes, a stone will leave the bladder and block the urethra.  This prevents the dog from urinating, which is a life threatening condition requiring emergency surgery.  This happens in males mostly, rarely in females.  If the stone can not be removed, a permanent new opening will be created in the urethra of the male dog.  This will allow the urine to bypass the blocked stone.

A special diet of low protein dog food is recommended and should be strictly followed.  Otherwise, a chemical imbalance may be created that will allow the stones to return.  The need for prevention is very important.  Bacteria that enters through the urethra can cause urinary infections and disturb the PH of urine again.  The bacterium need less than two weeks in the urinary tract to form bladders stones again.

Causes Of Cushings Disease In Dogs

Canine Cushings DiseaseCushings Disease In Dogs

By Admin

There are various causes of Cushings disease in dogs. Cushing’s disease is related to a hormonal imbalance of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located near your dog’s kidneys. Cushing disease affects an estimated 100,000 dogs a year in the United States. It is a serious life threatening illness. This disease is seen more frequently in dachshunds, poodles, boxers and boston terriers that are over eight years old. Dogs with cushings disease have other health related problems such as diabetes, pancreatitis and infections. These dogs will drink a lot of water, urinate excessively, have a symmetrical pattern of hair loss, become weak and get a pot belly.

The pituitary and adrenal glands work together to produce a balance of hormones in a healthy dog. If either of these glands malfunction, a dog will develop abnormally high levels of hormones which leads to cushings syndrome.

Three main causes of cushing’s disease in dogs are:

Pituitary dependent

Adrenal based

Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism

In the pituitary dependent a tumor growing on the pituitary stimulates the gland to create an excess of adrenocorticotrophic hormones. These tumors are usually benign. This causes the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol. This happens in eighty five percent of dogs with cushings disease. It can cause neurological problems and death in the dog.

Adrenal based accounts for fifteen percent of the cases. It is caused by a tumor located on the adrenal gland which disrupts communication between the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland that causes an over production of cortisol. At least fifty percent of these tumors are malignant. If the tumor is removed, there is a good chance the disease will come back.

Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism occurs when a dog receives long term therapy with steroids for treatment of allergies. It reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system.

Canine cushings disease can manifest itself through many symptoms. Dogs can display just one or many of these symptoms.

Signs of cushing’s disease in dogs:

Increased water consumption

Urinate excessively

Weight loss

Weight gain

Hair loss (both sides of the body and legs)

Pot belly appearance

Lethargy

Increased appetite

A dog that has been on long term corticosteroid therapy can develop cushing’s syndrome. It can cause skin changes as many endocrine disorders do. The skin areas often turn brown. Most endocrine disorders are treatable. Your vet will want to do blood tests and a urinalysis before he can make a specific diagnosis.

Cushings syndrome can be managed by medications that suppress cortisol production. This therapy does not provide a cure, but relieves symptoms. In some cases, tumors can be surgically removed in adrenal based hyperadrenocorticism. Radiation and chemotherapy can be used in dogs that are not surgical candidates.

Canine Cherry Eye

Cherry eye in dogsCanine Cherry Eye

By Admin

Cherry eyes are a common health problems in puppies and young dogs. The exact cause of canine cherry eye is unknown. Dogs have a structure called the third eyelid that produces tear formation and distribution. It is located at the inner corner of the eye and is pink. When the gland of the third eyelid enlarges, it is called a cherry eye in dogs. It looks serious, but is not dangerous. Mild cases respond to antibiotic ointment. It occurs more commonly in beagles, cocker spaniels, boston terriers and bulldogs. It is an inherited condition. It can occur in one or both eyes.

Watch for dog eye infection symptoms such as swelling, redness and a thick discharge in the eye. If you see any of these symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. The job of the third eyelid is to protect the dog’s eye. It helps keep the eye clear of dirt and debris. Suspected causes of a cherry eye are a weakness to the connective tissue that attaches the gland

What Causes Dog Ear Infections

ear infectionDog Ear Infections

By Admin

Ear infections in dogs are a common health problem. Dirt, wax and insects are what causes dog ear infections. Checking your dog’s ears frequently will prevent infections.

Healthy ears are pink. Any signs of redness can be a sign of infection or inflammation. A small amount of earwax is normal and healthy. Wax is produced by glands in the outer part of the ear canal and it protects the ear canal and drum. An excessive amount or a change in color or consistency can be a cause for concern.

If your dog’s ears have an unusual smell or strong odor, it may have a health problem, such as an infection or allergies.

An ear infection in a dog can be uncomfortable and agonizing. If left untreated, canine ear infections can compromise hearing and cause permanent deafness,

Heavy and overhanging ear flaps are a cause of dog ear infections.

Yeast and bacteria live in a delicate balance in a healthy ear. Oil, moisture or excessive wax in the ear canal are what causes infections. A yeast infection in dogs takes full advantage of oily, waxy or moist conditions which disrupts the balance and creates inflammation and discomfort. Two main yeast infection symptoms are severe itching and a foul odor in the ear.

The most common ear disease is otitis externa which is an inflammation of the external canal. Otitis media which is a middle ear infection can develop from otitis externa. Allergies is the biggest cause of an ear infection. About seventy-five percent of dogs with a food allergy or atopy have ear disease.

Here are some inner ear infection symptoms:

Shaking, tilting, rubbing or scratching the head and ears more than usual

Excessive waxy or oily debris

Hair loss around the ears due to excessive scratching

Black debris that resembles coffee grains

Redness or inflammation

Discharge of any kind

Soreness to the touch

Foul smell

Bacterial infection, allergies or fungi can account for many of these signs, but coffee grains debris usually indicates ear mites in dogs. Mites are microscopic parasites that cause severe itching and require medical treatment. Your vet will treat the infestation with an insecticidal ointment for at least ten days. Frequent head shaking can result in blood clots in the ear flaps called a hematoma. Excessive scratching can lead to secondary infections.

Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly prevents wax and oil buildup. Excessive amounts of earwax can provide a fertile environment for bacteria and fungus. You should regularly pull out any hair in your dog’s ears. This improves airflow in the canal which prevents infections and infestations.

Causes of Canine Obesity

Dob ObesityCauses of Canine ObesityBy AdminCanine Obesity is a major health problem in dogs. Almost a third of dogs in the United States are carrying extra pounds. These extra pounds affects their health.

Overweight dogs can have many health issues such as pancreatic, lung, heart and joint problems because these parts are continually being overstressed by the excess fat and weight. Obese dogs are at a high risk for developing diabetes. Weight loss is one of the best ways to help a pet with arthritis. Surgery and healing can be extremely difficult in an over weight dog.

There are many causes of canine obesity. Two of the most common causes are not enough exercise and improper diet. Weight gain can be an indication of a thyroid problem. You may want your veterinarian to do a full examination and a blood test to check for thyroid disease. After your vet has ruled out any medical reasons for obesity, you must address the general reasons for weight gain.

The estimated caloric needs of a dog is based on his metabolism, weight, age and activity level. Caloric needs should be based on your dog’s ideal weight not actual weight. An average size dog needs around 30 calories per pound of body weight. Larger breeds need 20 calories and smaller breeds 40 calories per pound of body weight. A dog’s diet should consist of balanced proportions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for good dog nutrition.

Dogs love treats, but treats are high in calories and cause weight gain. Giving him homemade treats is more healthier and cheaper. Fruits such as pears, apples, and watermelon are good treats too. They are nutritious and easy to prepare.

Your dog needs increased nutrition and a decrease in calories. Puppies need more calories than adult dogs. Dogs need fewer calories as they age.

Unfortunately typical diet dog foods have substantial amounts of low quality fiber such as peanut hulls, soy and wheat middling. Your dog needs higher quality fiber sources such as flaxseed and fresh vegetables.

Dogs need meat protein and fats. You should choose a dog food that has a meat protein, such as lamb, chicken, beef or venison as one of the first two ingredients on the label. Tablescraps such as roasted vegetables are a nutritious diet.

Start an exercise program. Walk your dog at least three times a week. Start slowly and gradually increase the amount of exercise.

Commit your dog to a healthy lifestyle with more calorie burning walks and fun games. This will help to prevent unnecessary disease and increase your dog’s life span.