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Medical Conditions

  • There are many causes of limping and lameness in young dogs. Most of these are relatively minor and resolve without medical or surgical intervention. However, there are other causes that are more serious and, if not treated promptly, may result in permanent lameness or lead to debilitating arthritis.

  • Botulism is a rare condition that can cause paralysis in cats. It is caused by ingesting the botulinum toxin, which is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum that can grow on raw meat and dead animals. The toxin can cause muscle paralysis and lead to death. It is difficult to diagnose and there is no vaccine available, although an antitoxin is available if the condition is identified before signs develop.

  • Bowel incontinence refers to the loss of the ability to control bowel movements. There are two broad causes of fecal incontinence: reservoir incontinence and sphincter incontinence. In reservoir incontinence, intestinal disease interferes with the rectum’s ability to store normal volumes of feces. In sphincter incontinence, a structural or neurologic lesion prevents the anal sphincter from closing normally. Clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and treatment vary based upon the underlying cause.

  • Bowel incontinence refers to the loss of the ability to control bowel movements. There are two broad causes of fecal incontinence: reservoir incontinence and sphincter incontinence. In reservoir incontinence, intestinal disease interferes with the rectum’s ability to store normal volumes of feces. In sphincter incontinence, a structural or neurologic lesion prevents the anal sphincter from closing normally. Clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and treatment vary based upon the underlying cause.

  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome occurs in cats that have anatomic abnormalities causing a more flat-faced appearance. These changes in anatomy cause restrictions in the cat's upper airways (including stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, hypoplastic trachea), and can eventually lead to everted laryngeal saccules. Common symptoms of this condition are open mouth breathing and snoring, but can worsen, leading to exercise intolerance, coughing, gagging, or retching. Diagnosis of elongated soft palate, everted saccules, and hypoplastic trachea will require deep sedation or general anesthesia. Cats with this condition may require only corticosteroids, oxygen, and environmental management, but surgery to correct the palate, nares, and everted saccules may need to be performed. Prognosis is good to guarded depending on the severity of the disease.

  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome occurs in dogs that have anatomic abnormalities causing a more flat-faced appearance. These changes in anatomy cause restrictions in the dog's upper airways (including stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, nasopharyngeal turbinates, and hypoplastic trachea), and can eventually lead to everted laryngeal saccules and laryngeal collapse. Common signs of this condition are open mouth breathing and snoring, but can worsen, leading to exercise intolerance, coughing, gagging, or retching. Diagnosis of elongated soft palate, everted saccules and hypoplastic trachea requires deep sedation or general anesthesia. Dogs with this condition may require only corticosteroids, oxygen, and environmental management, but surgery to correct the palate, nares, and everted saccules may need to be performed. Prognosis is good to guarded depending on the severity of the disease but is greatly improved if the problem is noted and treated surgically in younger dogs.

  • Brain injuries are devastating and, unfortunately, often fatal. The typical signs of brain injury in a cat include altered consciousness that may signal bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing swelling within the brain itself. There are many potential causes of brain injury and treatment will always be determined by the underlying problem that led to the injury.

  • Brain injuries are devastating and, unfortunately, often fatal. The typical signs of brain injury in a dog include altered consciousness that may signal bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing swelling within the brain itself. There are many potential causes of brain injury and treatment will always be determined by the underlying problem that led to the injury.

  • Several studies suggest that the prognosis for a dog with a primary brain tumor may be improved significantly by surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.

  • Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection that can cause a number of reproductive problems, including infertility and abortion in breeding dogs. Male dogs infected with brucellosis develop epididymitis, an infection of the testicle. Female dogs infected with brucellosis develop an infection of the uterus. The infection is usually diagnosed by a blood test (rapid slide agglutination test). Treatment with antibiotics is not significantly effective and infected dogs should be removed from the breeding population. In the United States, brucellosis is a reportable disease.