Dog Articles, Diseases

Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Hormone-based urinary incontinence is a common problem in middle-aged and elderly spayed female dogs.  The syndrome occurs less frequently in male dogs.

In affected individuals, an imbalance of hormones in the body causes urine to leak from the bladder.  Affected dogs usually are not aware that urine is escaping from their bodies.

Most cases of urinary incontinence are manageable with a medication called PPA.

Tapeworms in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Tapeworms are parasites of dogs and cats.   They live in the intestines and, although they rarely cause clinical symptoms or disease in pets, they rob their hosts of nutrients.  Tapeworms are aesthetically unpleasant.

The most common type of tapeworm is spread by fleas. Pets contract this species of tapeworm when they swallow fleas in the process of grooming.  Other tapeworms are spread through improperly prepared food.

Roundworms (Intestinal Worms) in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Roundworms (often simply called worms) are extremely common in pets.   In dogs and cats, worms may cause no symptoms whatsoever, or they may cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.  Many safe and effective treatments and preventatives are available to keep pets free of worms.

Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis) in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis (ITB), is a contagious disease of dogs.   A large number of organisms are believed to play a role in the syndrome. Kennel cough most often is caused by simultaneous infection with a mild respiratory virus (there are many such viruses) in combination with a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica. The infection usually is limited to the windpipe (trachea) and major air passages in the lungs.

Damaged, Torn, or Broken Toenails in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Damaged toenails are very common, especially in active dogs.  Most nail injuries occur as a result of a nail catching or snagging on plant matter, carpet, or other material while the dog is running.

Damaged toenails are extremely painful at the moment of injury.  In many cases, pain will persist until the damaged portion of the nail is removed by a veterinarian.   However, the vast majority of dogs with injured nails make complete recoveries.

Hot Spots in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Hot spots are areas of skin that rapidly become irritated and infected, resulting in hair loss, moistness, and inflammation of the area.   They are called "hot" because they develop very quickly--in many cases overnight.  Often, self trauma such as excessive licking or scratching is involved in the development of hot spots.  However, hot spots can occur in the absence of licking or scratching.

Fever of Unknown Origin in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats and dogs

Overview

Fever of unknown origin is a common syndrome in cats and dogs.  Affected animals experience an elevated body temperature, usually accompanied by lethargy, weakness, and lack of appetite.

As the name implies, the cause of fever of unknown origin is not determined in most cases.  However, most pets with the syndrome are treated for bacterial infections.  This treatment usually is successful.