Vertigo or Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome

Vertigo is a syndrome in the elderly dog, which can be very frightening to the owners. The dog is suddenly afflicted with a balance problem, usually staggering, but occasionally unable to stand, and more rarely actually rolling over and over. There is a tilting of the head to one side and nystagmus, a rhythmic flicking movement of the eyes. Nausea and vomiting may also in present. It is not due to a stroke, as most people assume. It is thought […]

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Ticks

Ticks are the small wingless external parasites, living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that are often found in freshly mown grass, where they will rest themselves at the tip of a blade so as to attach themselves to a passing animal. It is a common misconception that the tick can jump from the plant onto the host. Physical contact is the only method of transportation for ticks. They […]

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Tapeworms

Tapeworms live in the digestive tracts of vertebrates as adults and often in the bodies of various animals as juveniles. In a tapeworm infection, adults absorb food predigested by the host, so the worms have no need for a digestive tract or a mouth. Large tapeworms are made almost entirely of reproductive structures with a small “head” for attachment. Symptoms vary widely, depending on the species causing the infection. The largest tapeworms can be 20 m or longer.  Tapeworm awareness […]

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Seizures

Seizures are common in dogs, but more unusual in cats. Seizures are just symptoms which can occur with many kinds of diseases. They can happen because of diseases outside the brain or inside the brain. Low blood sugar that can happen with an overdose of insulin or with a tumor of the pancreas can cause seizures. They can happen with diseases of the liver or kidneys. Ingestion of toxins such as snail bait can cause seizures. Lesions of the brain […]

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Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause disease in humans, dogs, cats, and other animals.  It can cause a variety of symptoms, commonly vomiting and/ or diarrhea, but also severe infections and septicemia.  It can also cause abscesses, meningitis, bone infections, and abortion. Salmonella is found worldwide and is commonly associated with contaminated food, reptiles, and birds.  Epidemics of salmonellosis in migrating songbirds in the spring can create disease in bird-hunting cats.  Most, if not all, reptiles carry Salmonella in […]

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Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

The rupture of the cruciate ligament is the most common knee injury in the dog. This injury has two common presentations. One is the young athletic dog playing roughly who acutely ruptures the ligament and is non-weight bearing on the affected hind leg. The second presentation is the older, overweight dog with weakened or partially torn ligaments that rupture with a slight misstep. In this patient the lameness may be acute or there may be more subtle chronic lameness related […]

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Roundworms

There are many types of roundworms, but some of the most common are intestinal parasites of dogs, cats, and raccoons.  Puppies are frequently born with roundworms, and kittens can be infected via the mother’s milk or feces. Adult roundworms are ivory colored, four to six inches long, and round (not flat ) in shape.  These parasites can cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and even coughing in these young patients. In the usual case, the owner will not see the adult […]

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