• Overview   Pancreatitis results from sudden inflammation of the pancreas and is characterized by activation of pancreatic enzymes that can cause the pancreas to begin digesting itself. The cause of pancreatitis is poorly understood. Predisposing causes include obesity, high fat diet, liver disease, infection and recent abdominal surgery. For unknown reasons, miniature schnauzers tend to [...]

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    Overview   Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that typically arises in the bones of the limbs. Less commonly, it may occur in the bones of the spine, pelvis, and skull. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer, and it is estimated to occur in more than 8,000 dogs in the United States each year. Osteosarcoma occurs very rarely in cats. The cause of osteosarcoma is largely [...]

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    Overview   Medial patella luxation is a condition in which the patella (knee-cap) no longer glides within its natural groove in the femur, the upper bone of the knee joint. It becomes displaced to the inside of the joint and can be partial or complete, intermittent or permanent. Medial patellar luxation can occur as a result of trauma or develop during the first year of an animal’s [...]

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    Overview   Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) is an inflammatory condition involving the muscles of mastication or chewing in the dog. MMM is caused by an immune mediated process targeted against specific muscle fibers. MMM occurs in all breeds of dog, but appears to be more common in German shepherds, Doberman pinschers and retrievers. Young and middle-aged dogs are most commonly [...]

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    Overview   Mast cell tumors arise most commonly in the skin. They develop from a normal component of body tissues called the mast cell that play a role in the process of tissue repair by releasing inflammatory mediators. Malignant mast cell tumors can spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow. Mast cell tumors are among the most common tumors of dogs, accounting for [...]

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    Overview   Mammary gland tumors are a type of cancer that arises from breast tissues. About 50 percent of these tumors are malignant, which means they can spread, and 50 percent are benign and do not spread. The cause of mammary tumors is not well understood. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone play an elusive role in the development and progression of these tumors. They occur in [...]

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    Overview   Lymphosarcoma (lymphoma) is a malignant cancer that involves the lymphoid system. In a healthy animal, the lymphoid system is an important part of the body’s defense against infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria. Lymphoid tissue normally is found in many different parts of the body including lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and skin. Lymphosarcoma is [...]

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    Overview   Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by a microscopic organism, the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and is spread by ticks. The bacteria normally feed on small mammals, especially mice. Ticks then feed on the mammals and carry the bacteria to their victims. The deer tick is the most common tick involved in spreading the disease, although other ticks can pass it along, [...]

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    Overview   Lumbo-sacral disease is a term used to describe compression of the nerve roots and spinal cord as they pass through the lumbo-sacral portion of the lower spine, which is the lower back near the hips. There are a variety of causes of lumbo-sacral disease. It can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed after birth); thus, dogs may show clinical signs at any age. [...]

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    Lipoma

    8 Jun 2012

    Overview   Lipoma is a benign fatty tumor usually composed of mature fat cells. They are usually soft, well defined, and under the skin. Lipomas are variable in size and shape and may occur anywhere, although they are commonly found on the under surfaces of the chest and abdomen. All breeds may be affected, but they are most common in older animals, especially older female dogs. Lipomas [...]

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    Overview   Lick granuloma is a common condition observed in large, active dogs in which the dog licks an area excessively, usually on the front leg, until a raised, firm ulcerated lesion is formed. These lesions are prone to infections, which make them itchier and itchier, which then leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of itching and licking. Many underlying diseases are responsible for [...]

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    Overview   Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that can pass from animals to humans. It is a bacterial disease that damages the liver and kidneys of dogs, sometimes resulting in renal failure and death. It is caused by a spirochete (spiral shaped bacterium) called a leptospire. Leptospires live in fluids from infected animals, including urine, saliva, blood and milk. The disease is [...]

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    Overview   Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a Latin medical term used to describe a condition of decreased tear production. The term technically means “inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva from drying.” When the watery part of the tears is not produced in adequate amounts, the eye becomes chronically inflamed, and scarring and pigmentation of the cornea may lead to decrease [...]

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    Overview   Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious inflammation of the trachea (windpipe) and bronchial tree caused by a contagious virus (adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, canine distemper virus) or bacterium (Bordetella bronchiseptica). The infectious agents can be transmitted through the air or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Puppies and young dogs are [...]

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    Overview   A parasite is a plant or animal that lives upon or within another living organism. They can be either internal or external parasites – living primarily on the skin (fleas), in the respiratory tract (lungworms), in the gastrointestinal tract (roundworms) or in the blood vessels and heart (heartworms). Some gastrointestinal parasites are very small and the only way to diagnose[...]

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    Overview   Immune mediated anemia (IMHA) is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and kills the body’s own red blood cells. The attack begins when antibodies attach to and target the animal’s own red blood cells for destruction. The causes of IMHA remain largely unknown. While some cases of IMHA may be associated with a triggering event (cancer, infection, and perhaps[...]

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    Overview   Ibuprofen is a popular and effective over-the-counter medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people. For dogs and cats, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his pet who administers a dose he thinks is adequate without knowing the toxic dose. The initial toxic [...]

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    Overview   Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant cancer of the cells that form blood vessels. Because these tumors start in blood vessels, they are frequently filled with blood. Consequently, when a blood-filled tumor ruptures, it can cause problems with internal or external bleeding. Hemangiosarcoma is considered to be a very aggressive tumor and can spread rapidly to other organs. Despite [...]

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    Overview   Canine heartworm disease is caused by the worm Dirofilaria immitis that lives in the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs. The presence of these worms causes strain to the heart and an intense reaction in the blood vessels. This parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes. For this reason, heartworm disease is more common in warm, humid areas of the world. Outdoor [...]

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    Giardia

    8 Jun 2012

    Overview   Giardia is a protozoan parasite found all over the world. It infects humans, many domestic animals and birds.Giardia lives in the intestinal tract and infection may be asymptomatic or can result in gastrointestinal symptoms.  The most common signs are diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and excessive gas. Giardia infections (called Giardiasis) show no gender or breed [...]

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