What Do Those Words Mean: Diseases and Conditions of Dogs

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Veterinary science has entered an exciting time. New breakthroughs in veterinary health care allow veterinarians to identify and treat diseases before they become serious, or help owners manage them so their pets can live longer and better. Below is a list of the top 100 conditions and diseases.

  • Abscess is a pocket of infected fluid or pus.

  • Anal sac disease is a disease of the anal gland (the scent gland by the rectum). Symptoms include "scooting" and discharge.

  • Anemia (hemolytic) is the destruction of red blood cells. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness and collapse.

  • Anemia (nonregenerative) is the failure of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness and weight loss.

  • Anterior uveitis is inflammation of the front part of the eye. Symptoms include pain (squinting) and a red eye.

  • Aortic stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of the aortic heart valve or the region just below the valve. Symptoms include heart murmur, fainting and difficulty breathing.

  • Arthritis (degenerative/osteoarthritis) is the deterioration of joint cartilage. Symptoms include lameness and pain.

  • Arthritis (immune mediated) is the inflammation of joint tissue caused by overstimulation of the body's immune system. Symptoms include lameness, pain and fever.

  • Atrial fibrillation/flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm originating in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria). Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing.

  • Aural hematoma is a blood clot or bleeding collecting between the layers of ear cartilage. Symptoms include thickening of the ear, shaking the head and scratching at the ear.

  • Bite wound is a wound caused by the bite from another animal.

  • Bladder tumor is a tumor/cancer of the bladder. Symptoms include blood in the urine and difficulty urinating.

  • Bleeding disorder is a disorder causing abnormal clotting of blood and leading to bleeding. Symptoms include bleeding and easy bruising.

  • Bronchitis (chronic) is the chronic inflammation of the bronchial tree (airways). Symptoms include coughing and gagging.

  • Cardiomyopathy (dilated) is a heart muscle disease characterized by weak contraction and dilation of the left ventricle (heart chamber). Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing.

  • Cataract(s) is an opaque change in the lens of the eye. Symptoms include white appearance in the eye and vision loss.

  • Cervical vertebral instability (Wobbler syndrome) is a partial paralysis due to instability of the upper (cervical) spine. Symptoms include neck pain and poor coordination.

  • Colitis is the inflammation of the large bowel. Symptoms include diarrhea with mucous/blood and straining.

  • Congenital heart disease (general) is the abnormal development of the heart, often genetic in cause. Symptoms include exercise intolerance, heart murmur and difficulty breathing.

  • Congestive heart failure is the failure of the heart to fill and pump blood normally. Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing.

  • Corneal ulceration is ulceration or erosion of the cornea (the outer, clear layer of the eye). Symptoms include red and painful eyes.

  • Coxofemoral (hip) luxation is the dislocation of the hip joint. Symptoms include lameness and pain.

  • Cutaneous neoplasms are skin tumors or skin cancer. Symptoms include swelling and inflammation of the skin.

  • Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. Symptoms include frequent, small urinations often in inappropriate locations.

  • Dental disease is disease of the teeth, supporting structures or gums. Symptoms include foul breath, gingivitis (red gums) and loss of appetite.

  • Dermatitis (acute moist) is also called a "hot spot" - a red, irritating, weeping skin lesion. Symptoms include inflamed skin that is painful to the touch.

  • Dermatitis (allergic) is inflammation of the skin caused by allergies. Symptoms include itching (pruritus) and red skin.

  • Dermatitis (mycotic) is inflammation of the skin caused by a fungal infection. Symptoms include hair loss (alopecia), dry or red skin and itching.

  • Diabetes mellitus is a disease related to inadequate insulin, causing high blood sugar. Symptoms include excessive urination, excessive thirst and lethargy.

  • Diaphragmatic hernia is an abnormal opening in the diaphragm (the respiratory muscle between the chest and abdomen). Symptoms include difficulty breathing and exercise intolerance.

  • Elbow dysplasia is the abnormal formation and degeneration of the elbow joint. Symptoms include forelimb lameness and elbow pain.

  • Epilepsy is a recurrent seizure disorder or "fits." Symptoms include convulsions/seizures and abnormal behavior.

  • Ethylene glycol toxicosis is antifreeze poisoning. Symptoms include staggering, lethargy and depression.

  • Fracture is a broken bone. Symptoms include lameness and pain.

  • Gastric dilatation/volvulus is an air filled and twisted stomach. Symptoms include unproductive vomiting, retching and restlessness.

  • Gastrointestinal neoplasia is a stomach or bowel tumor or cancer. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss.

  • Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Symptoms include red gums, mouth odor and decreased appetite.

  • Glaucoma is an abnormal increase in intra-ocular (eye) pressure that can lead to blindness. Symptoms include a red, painful or swollen eye.

  • Head trauma is an injury to the head that can cause abnormal intra-cranial pressure and neurologic problems. Symptoms include observed injury, lethargy or depression.

  • Heartworm disease is an infection of the arteries of the lungs by the heartworm parasite. The parasite can injure the lungs and the heart. Symptoms include coughing and exercise intolerance.

  • Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer of blood vessels, often affecting the spleen, liver, heart and lungs. Symptoms include weakness or collapse and difficulty breathing.

  • Hepatic diseases refer to various liver diseases. Symptoms include anorexia and lethargy.

  • Hepatic encephalopathy refers to liver disease associated with mental or behavioral changes. Symptoms include disorientation and seizures.

  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation and/or degeneration of the hip joint. Symptoms include lameness and pain.

  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's Disease) is a condition caused by excessive amounts of naturally occurring cortisone. Symptoms include excessive drinking and a pendulous abdomen.

  • Hypercalcemia is high levels of calcium within the blood. Symptoms include excessive urination and lethargy.

  • Hypertension is high blood pressure. Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing.

  • Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease) is a condition caused by inadequate amounts of cortisone and other adrenal gland hormones. Symptoms include lethargy and anorexia.

  • Hypothyroidism is abnormally low thyroid function. Symptoms include lethargy and weight gain.

  • Infectious tracheobronchitis is kennel cough (inflammation of the trachea and bronchus causing coughing). Symptoms include coughing and gagging.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (cervical)is an abnormality of the neck. Symptoms include neck pain and reluctance to exercise.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (thoracolumbar) is a disc abnormality of the mid back. Symptoms include back pain and hind limb weakness.

  • Laryngeal paresis /paralysis is inadequate movement of the voice box. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and noisy respiration.

  • Lick granuloma/acral dermatitis is inflammation of the skin caused by licking. Symptoms include itching, licking and red skin.

  • Liver disease (hepatic neoplasia) is cancer of the liver. Symptoms include anorexia and weight loss.

  • Lumbosacral disease is disease of the spine over the lower back. Symptoms include pian and hind limb lameness.

  • Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that can cause arthritis and other symptoms.

  • Lymphosarcoma is a malignant (cancerous) change of lymphocytes (a type of cell found in lymph glands or tissue). Symptoms include anorexia and lethargy.

  • Mast cell tumor is a cancer arising from cells commonly found in the skin, intestine and spleen. Symptoms include skin mass (can look like any mass) and red skin.

  • Medial patellar luxation is a disorder in which the knee cap rotates abnormally inward. Symptoms include intermittent hind limb lameness and bowlegged appearance.

  • Megaesophagus is an abnormally enlarged esophagus (the food tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). Symptoms include regurgitation and weight loss.

  • Neoplasia of the oral cavity (general) is cancer of the mouth. Symptoms include bad breath and hypersalivation.

  • Osteochondrosis/osteochondritis is the abnormal development or degeneration of joint cartilage. Symptoms include lameness and joint pain.

  • Osteosarcoma is malignant cancer of the bone. Symptoms include lameness and swollen bones.

  • Otitis externa is inflammation/infection of the outer ear canal. Symptoms include shaking head, discharge, odor and scratching.

  • Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, an organ associated with digestion. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain and anorexia.

  • Parvoviral/viral enteritis is the viral inflammation of the intestines that often causes vomiting and bloody diarrhea in dogs.

  • Patent ductus arteriosus is an abnormally retained blood vessel located between the major arteries of the body and the lungs. Symptoms include heart murmur, exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing.

  • Pericardial effusion is the abnormal accumulation of fluid around the heart. Symptoms include weakness and difficulty breathing.

  • Peripheral neuropathies (general) are abnormal functions of the nerves leaving the spinal cord, typically affecting function of the face and limbs. Symptoms include muscle weakness and pain.

  • Pleural effusion is an abnormal accumulation of fluid around the lungs in the chest cavity. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and exercise intolerance.

  • Pneumonia (bacterial) is an inflammation or infection of the lungs caused by bacteria. Symptoms include coughing, anorexia, fever and difficulty breathing.

  • Pulmonary fibrosis is the inflammation or degeneration leading to scaring (fibrosis) in the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath and exercise intolerance.

  • Renal failure (chronic) is kidney failure, or the chronic inability to transfer toxic products from the blood into the urine. Symptoms include anorexia, weight loss and vomiting.

  • Renal failure (acute) is the sudden onset of kidney failure. Symptoms include anorexia, weight loss and vomiting.

  • Rodenticide toxicosis is poisoning from ingesting rodent (rat, mice, gopher, etc.) poison. Symptoms will vary depending on the type of poison and may include lethargy, bleeding, seizures and excessive thirst.

  • Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament is the tearing of the "ACL" - an important ligament in the knee joint. Symptoms include rear leg lameness and pain in the knee.

  • Separation anxiety syndrome is a behavioral disorder that occurs when an owner leaves the pet alone. Symptoms include panic/anxiety attacks and self-induced mutilation.

  • Thrombocytopenia is an abnormally low numbers of platelets in the bloodstream. Symptoms include bleeding, nose bleeds and skin hemorrhages (bruising).

  • Tick-borne diseases (general) are infectious diseases transmitted by tick bites. Symptoms include lethargy, fever, tick infestation and lameness.

  • Upper respiratory obstruction (brachycephalic syndrome) is difficulty breathing due to congenital abnormalities of the respiratory system, common in short-faced dogs like bulldogs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and noisy respiration.

  • Urolithiasis is calculi or stones in the bladder or elsewhere in the urinary tract. Symptoms include frequent and/or abnormal urination, straining and blood in the urine.

  • Valvular heart disease (canine endocardiosis) is a heart abnormality caused by valve degeneration. Symptoms include heart murmur, exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing and coughing.

  • Vestibular disease is a disturbance of part of the brain or inner ear associated with balance. Symptoms include head tilt and poor coordination.

  • Von Willebrand's disease is an inherited defect of blood platelets that can lead to abnormal bleeding. Symptoms include excessive bleeding.

  • Whelping/dystocia (general) is difficulty giving birth. Symptoms include straining and failing to birth puppies or kittens.

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