Image Credit: MR Facebook fan Julie Stanley’s pup Cacey
Lumps and Bumps: Warts in a Puppy’s Mouth
What are those bumps?
A “wart” is an abnormal growth of tissue and can occur just about anywhere on the body. Canine oral papillomas are warts that are caused by a papillomavirus. While there are numerous strains of papillomaviruses, canine oral papilloma virus (COPV) is the most common strain and is benign (not harmful). When COPV infects tissue and replicates, it causes abnormal tissue growths on mucous membranes that range in appearance from small white/pink bumps to unique lumps with fronds. Oral papillomas typically occur in bunches or clusters rather than singular growths and are most common in the mouth and on the lips. Occasionally, COPV warts occur in unusual locations. Read More >
Image Credit: Via IG @ali_theyellowlab
Hard Pad Disease: Canine Distemper
Vaccination to prevent canine distemper virus has been so effective that it has largely eliminated the disease from urban communities; thus, many people are unaware of virus’s impact. Distemper virus is highly contagious and actively circulates in wildlife populations and in stray or unvaccinated dogs. The disease can affect multiple organ systems and clinical signs of disease vary. There is no cure for the often fatal disease even when supportive care is provided.
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Image credit: John Arrington
Stem Cell Therapy for Orthopedic Injuries
First, let’s clarify: General obesity will NOT heal your pet’s orthopedic injury. In fact, overweight pets suffer unnecessarily from increased wear-and-tear on joints. However, fat tissue is a great source for stem cell harvest and it only requires a small amount. Stem cells may be utilized to heal many common ailments in your pet, including orthopedic injuries and osteoarthritis. Using the body’s own tissue as a way to heal itself is a type of regenerative medicine.
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Image credit: Erin E.
Something Fishy: Anal Sac Impaction
While not the most attractive topic to discuss, anal sac problems are fairly common in our canine companions. Let’s gain a better understanding of what anal sacs are, learn how they may be problematic and what symptoms look like, and explore helpful tips for prevention.
Anal sacs are a set of specialized glands located near the anus. With a function thought to be related to scent-marking, the glands produce oily secretions; each dog makes its own unique combination of scents in these glands which contributes to a not-so-pleasant fish-stench aroma. Like human fingerprints distinguish people from one another, smell allows dogs to recognize other dogs, lending to the common greeting of sniffing each others’ rear ends. Canines do not have a patent on this “fun” design; other species (ex. Skunks) have a similar sac. Dogs, like skunks,can express their anal sacs when stressed or in fear, but it is not routinely utilized as a defensive tactic. Healthy dogs will express their anal sacs when feces presses against them during defecation.
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Image Credit: Laura Held “My buddy Copper”
Dogs can experience a decline in mental health, or cognitive function, as they age. Physical and chemical changes in the brain that occur in some aging pets mirror the changes found in human Alzheimer’s patients.
Behavioral changes are often the first reported symptoms of declining mental health, though dog owners often underreport behavior changes in elderly pets not realizing help is available. Generally, cognitive dysfunction is diagnosed in dogs over ten years of age but recent research has found early brain changes and coinciding symptoms in younger dogs. Read More >
Image Credit: Facebook Fan Tina B.
An aural hematoma is a soft swelling of the ear flap due to an abnormal accumulation of blood between the skin of the ear and the underlying ear cartilage. This fluid is made up of blood or bloody fluid; sometimes it can also contain infection. In theory, blood leaks from the ear vessels when the vessels become weakened. This can be due to either chronic disease or ear trauma. Aural hematomas can occur in a variety of animal species including dogs and cats. Read More >
Image Credit: “Bella & Bear” Boyt Harness Company
Should I Be Concerned About Panosteitis?
“Growing pains” refers to a painful orthopedic condition in young dogs called panosteitis: a condition of the bone that often presents as lameness (limping) due to bone swelling. Panosteitis occurs in the leg bones of dogs and appears to affect only rapidly growing large or giant-breed dogs. Small dogs and cats are rarely affected. The male German Shepherd is considered the poster-dog for this condition, though many active sporting and working dog breeds including retrievers, pointers, hounds, setters, shepherds, and other large and giant breeds can be affected by it. Read More >
Image Credit: Facebook Fan Kelly from Nova Scotia and “Reno.”
Giardia is a tricky protozoan parasite that does not always cause symptoms when present and it infects multiple vertebrate species. These single-celled microorganisms live in the intestinal tracts of their hosts; infective units are called cysts and they shed in feces. Cysts are durable and survive several months in cool, moist environments. Major symptoms of Giardia infection in dogs include diarrhea, poor body condition, and ill-thrift appearance. Read More >
Image Credit: Steven L.
Not So Sweet: Lethal Sugar Substitute, Caution
Of the many common sugar substitutes, Xylitol appears to be the only one dangerous and potentially lethal to dogs; it is a more potent toxin to dogs than chocolate, yet many owners are unaware of the serious risk xylitol ingestion poses to their dog. Though not toxic to humans, a dog experiences severe illness often occurring within the first half hour following ingestion. Read More >
Image Credit: Facebook Fan Kelly Towne
Adverse Food Reactions
Adverse food reaction (AFR), food intolerance, and food allergy are terms often misused interchangeably to describe a pet’s abnormal physical responses resulting from the ingestion of a food source. This also includes food flavoring, preservatives, or other food-like products. In most cases, allergy is technically a misnomer, though it helps people understand the severity of their pet’s problem with food. A true allergy is based on an abnormal or overactive immunologic response, while an AFR is an abnormal response often based on other host factors not directly linked to the immune system; food appears to be the main trigger for the symptoms and treatment is geared toward avoidance of trigger foods. Read More >