Educational Articles

Medical Conditions

  • Calcium deposits in the skin have a variety of causes. Calcinosis circumscripta is deposition of calcium at bony prominences or, in the footpads and mouth. It is usually a disease of large dog breeds and occurs before two years of age. Calcinosis cutis is induced by local skin damage in susceptible animals and takes two forms: dystrophic or metastatic. The appearance of the skin lesions may lead your veterinarian to suspect calcium deposits as the problem, particularly when the age, breed, and clinical history are considered. Blood tests can help indicate some underlying conditions, but confirmation by skin biopsy may be necessary. While small deposits may be resorbed without treatment over time, surgery is the best choice for larger deposits.

  • One of the more common uroliths in the dog is composed of calcium oxalate crystals. Current research indicates that urine high in calcium, citrates, or oxalates and is acidic predisposes a pet to developing calcium oxalate urinary crystals and stones. The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are hematuria and dysuria. The only way to be sure that a bladder stone is made of calcium oxalate is to have the stone analyzed at a veterinary referral laboratory. Unfortunately, calcium oxalate stones have a somewhat high rate of recurrence, despite careful attention to diet and lifestyle.

  • Campylobacter infection or Campylobacterosis is a bacterial intestinal infection cased by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter upsaliensis. It is a major cause of human bacterial enteritis although it is considered a normal bacterium in the intestinal tract of many animals and birds.

  • Candida albicans is a common environmental fungus that can affect the digestive tracts of birds. It is a common cause of 'sour crop' or a crop infection (ingluvitis), especially in young birds. Candida can be a primary or secondary cause of crop infections. Often, other diseases compromise the bird's immune system and predispose a bird to secondary Candida infection (candidiasis).

  • Canine influenza virus (CIV) is primarily the result of two influenza strains: H3N8 from an equine origin and H3N2 from an avian origin. Both of these strains were previously known to infect species other than dogs, but are now able to infect and spread among dogs. The canine influenza virus is easy to transmit.

  • Cardiomyopathy is a term used to describe diseases of the heart muscle. In cats, three classes of cardiomyopathy have been described: hypertrophic, dilated, and intermediate or restrictive cardiomyopathy. In the early stages of disease, the cat may not show any signs of disease. This is referred to as compensated heart disease. Often cats will alter their activity levels to those that they can cope with, which makes it difficult to diagnose cardiomyopathy until it is quite advanced. Diagnosis of heart disease can be suspected based on clinical signs, chest X-rays, and electrocardiography (ECG). In cases where an underlying cause of the heart disease is found, then treatment of this condition may result in improvement or reversal of the heart disease. The long-term prognosis for a cat with cardiomyopathy is extremely variable, depending on the cause of this disease.

  • House soiling in cats, also called feline inappropriate elimination, is the most common behavioral complaint of cat owners. Problem behaviors can be urine and/or stool deposited outside of the litter box, or marking behaviors.

  • A cataract is an increase in the opacity of the lens of the eye. There are many potential causes of cataracts because any type of damage to the lens can lead to a cataract. The clinical signs of cataracts vary significantly, depending on the size of the cataract; many cataracts are asymptomatic at the time they are diagnosed during a veterinary exam. The ideal treatment for cataracts is surgery, but not all cats are candidates for surgical treatment. In these cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be used to prevent glaucoma and other secondary complications of cataracts.

  • Inside the eye is a lens that focuses light on the back of the eye, or retina. Vision occurs at the retina. The structure of the eye is similar to a camera, which has a lens to focus light on the film. A cloudy or opaque lens is called a cataract.

  • Cerebellar hypoplasia is a developmental condition in which the cerebellum of the brain fails to develop properly. The cerebellum is the portion of the brain that controls fine motor skills, balance and coordination. The condition is not painful or contagious.

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