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Stomach Flu with Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) in Dogs

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is identified by blood in the vomit and/or stool, often due to a food borne illness. Because it is a serious disorder than can be potentially fatal, immediate veterinary care is required.

Symptoms

Continuous vomiting and/or diarrhea are the most common symptoms. Other symptoms include:

Causes

Infectious gastroenteritis is caused by pathogens (infectious agents). Some of the pathogens most commonly associated with infectious gastroenteritis include:

E. coli, Salmonella and Corynebacterium are the most significant intestinal pathogens because they can be passed from animal to human or vice versa. Salmonella infections are also important due to association with reproductive disorders.

Sudden dietary changes and/or dietary toxins may cause irritation and/or affect the immune system. Eosinophilic gastroenteritis, a chronic form of the illness, has been associated with allergens in dog foods. Gastroenteritis may be also observed due to irritation caused by stress, toxins, physical obstruction, ulcers, and abdominal disorders.

Gastroenteritis is not specific to any breed or gender, however, small breed dogs are more prone to infectious gastroenteritis.

Diagnosis

It may be difficult to identify the cause of gastroenteritis. Therefore, invasive diagnostic procedures may be required if routine diagnostic procedures are not successful.

A brief outline of diagnostic procedures:

Medical history:

  • Physical obstruction, tumors, ulcers, intestinal blockage, etc.
  • Information about the severity, progression and magnitude of the vomiting and diarrhea
  • The vaccination record may help in ruling out a parvoviral infection

Physical observations:

  • A skin test to determine the presence and extent of dehydration
  • An abdominal palpation to check abdominal pain and/or abdominal obstruction
  • An examination of mucus membranes to determine hemorrhagic losses
  • Cardiovascular function provides information on dehydration and/or blood loss
  • Visual observation of the vomit and/or stool to determine if there is blood present

Routine blood/biochemical tests:

  • Packed cell volume (hematocrit) data to confirm hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Biochemical tests (i.e., liver, kidney, blood protein, and blood sugar)

Fecal study:

  • Cultural assays to identify any potential microbiological or parasitic organisms

Radiographs/endoscopy:

  • To locate any potentinal physical obstruction, tumor, ulcer, intestinal blockage, etc.

palpation

Examination through feeling

systemic

Something that is related to the whole body and not just one particular part or organ

mucus

A type of slime that is made up of certain salts, cells, or leukocytes

gastroenteritis

A medical condition in which the small intestine and stomach become inflamed

density

a) Mass per volume b) The number of animals in a given area

dehydration

A medical condition in which the body has lost fluid or water in excessive amounts

gastrointestinal

The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine

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Sneezing, Reverse Sneezing and Gagging in Dogs

Sneezing refers to the normal behavior of expelling air to remove matter through the nasal cavity. Reverse sneezing, on the other hand, refers to the reflex of bringing air into the body to remove irritants in the upper area that lies behind the nostrils. Dogs may gag to remove irritants from the larynx; this is commonly misinterpreted as vomiting.

Symptoms and Types

Sneezing is often accompanied by a sudden movement of the head downwards, with a closed mouth, and may cause the dog’s nose to hit the ground. Reverse sneezing is often characterized by a backwards head motion, a closed mouth and lips sucking in. Gagging usually causes the dog to swallow after extending its neck and opening its mouth. Read more about dog sneezing episodes, and how they could impact your dog’s health, using the PetMD Symptom Checker

Causes

Any breed of dog can be affected by these medical behaviors. The most common causes for younger dogs include infections, the existence of a cleft palate, or bronchial infections. Another primary cause is the involuntary movement of the hairlike cilia that line the respiratory tract and act to remove foreign matter from the air before it reaches the lungs. This involuntary movement of the hair is medically termed ciliary dyskinesis. The most common causes for older dogs include nasal tumors and dental diseases. Other causes can be mucus irritation, nasal passage obstruction, inflammation, excess nasal discharge or secretion, pneumonia, chronic vomiting, and gastrointestinal disease. Under vaccinated or unvaccinated dogs are at a higher risk of developing infections, which may lead to consistent sneezing. Chronic dental disease can lead to both chronic sneezing and reverse sneezing. Mites found in the nasal openings can also be a cause for any of these physical reflexes.

Diagnosis

The first method of diagnosis is to distinguish between sneezing and reverse sneezing in the dog. Next, if the condition is serious, more in depth testing may be performed to see if there is a more serious underlying medical condition.

mucus

A type of slime that is made up of certain salts, cells, or leukocytes

larynx

The voice box; this is one part of the respiratory system

gastrointestinal

The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine

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Skin Disease (Dermatophilosis) in Dogs

Dermatophilosis in Dogs

Dermatophilosis is a skin disease that is irrespective of the age or gender of the animal, although the symptoms may vary. It is most often contracted from farm animals such as cows, sheep, or horses, and is prevelant in warm or humid climates. Dogs with wet skin or skin that is wounded from parasitic bites, such as from fleas or ticks, increases the chances of contracting the skin disease.

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

You will see gray-yellow crusted bumps, like hives, on the skin of the body or head. The dog will try to scratch them. The bumps may be circular in form. When the bumps are removed you will see that they have dozens of hairs in them, due to the hair follicle being impacted. The areas are likely to have pus beneath the hive.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will take samples of the pus and crusted skin to analyze them for dermatophilosis bacteria. These bacteria are easy to recognize on sight because of their described “railroad track” appearance (also described as paint brush lines). If there is pus under the crusts, it will also be examined. Once tests determine that the dermatophilosis bacteria are present, treatment will be prescribed.

Be sure to tell your veterinarian if your dog has been near farm animals or has been in an environment where there are farm animals. This information will help in determining whether the infection is dermatophilosis. A biopsy of the ulcers, and samples of the pus, will be taken where an ulcer is draining. Once tests determine that the dermatophilosis bacteria are present, treatment will be prescribed. If dermatophilosis is ruled out, further tests will be ordered to determine exactly what is causing this skin disorder.

pus

A product made of fluid, cell waste, and cells

hives

Swellings under the skin that can be caused by food allergies or anything else

biopsy

The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.

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Lice in Dogs

Canine Pediculosis

Lice are parasites that live on the skin of an affected dog. They are actually a small insect that feeds by chewing on the skin of the dog or by sucking the blood, depending on the type of louse. Left unchecked, they can grow to be an infestation on the dog’s body. Dog lice are not as common as dog fleas, and are most often seen in situations where sanitary practices are poor.

Symptoms and Types of Dog Lice

Symptoms seen in infested dogs include:

  • Excessive itchiness and scratching
  • A dry scruffy-looking coat
  • Hair loss, most often around the ears, neck, shoulders, groin, and rectal area
  • Anemia, particularly in puppies and small dogs and particularly with severe infestation

Causes of Dog Lice

There are two species of lice that infest dogs:

  • Trichodectes canis, known as a chewing louse; that is, it chews the skin of the dog it is infesting
  • Linognathus setosus, a sucking louse, one that sucks the blood of the dog instead of chewing the skin

Both types of lice can be passed directly from one dog to another through direct contact or through contact with contaminated objects, such as grooming utensils or bedding.

Lice are species-specific. They do not move from one species to another. That means that you cannot get lice from your dog nor can your dog get human specific lice from you.

Diagnosis of Dog Lice

Diagnosis is easily made by visually observing lice or their nits (eggs) in the hair. Adult lice are flat, six-legged insects with no wings. Nits can be seen attached to the individual hair shafts and appear as small white dots.

Treatment for Dog Lice

There are a wide variety of shampoos, as well as insecticidal sprays and powders that are effective in killing lice. In addition, products such as fipronil and selamectin can also be used. (They come in various brand names.) It may be necessary to treat your dog more than once to kill the developing nits as they hatch. Follow your veterinarian’s directions closely, as these products can be harsh on some dogs, especially puppies.

In cases where your dog’s fur is badly matted, it may be necessary to shave the fur to be sure of getting to the deeper lice and their nits.

To prevent reinfection, dispose of or wash all of your dog’s bedding, as well as thoroughly cleaning all of the places your dog spends time. Some items that cannot be laundered or washed down may be sealed tightly in plastic bags for a few weeks. Disinfect all grooming utensils and anything else your dog comes into contact with regularly, such as crates, and of course, all of the furniture, rugs, carpeting and hard flooring. 

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Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

Fecal Incontinence

Medically referred to as fecal incontinence, losing the ability to control its bowel movements is distressing for both the dog and the owner. Typical causes to this condition include injury to the spine or tail, anal gland disease(s), and/or an intestinal disorder.

Symptoms and Types

  • Scooting on floor – may indicate a condition involving the anal sacs/glands
  • Defecating in atypical areas (i.e., inside the home)
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Tenderness or aversion to being touched near tail, loss of tone and voluntary movement of the tail

Causes

A range of causes may be responsible for this:

  • Disease has reduced the capacity or compliance of the rectum to function
  • The external anal sphincter may have been anatomically disrupted or the nerves damaged or destroyed
  • Nerve damage, spinal cord disease, or neural disorder that disables the sphincter’s ability to function
  • Infection or abscess of the anal sacs
  • Muscle damage – anal reflex is absent or weakened
  • Parasites – intestinal worms
  • Diet or medications
  • Perianal fistula

This condition seems to afflict older animals more than young ones. Keep in mind that a gastrointestinal disease of any kind may increase the urge to defecate and is not necessarily an indication of fecal incontinence. Gastrointestinal disease often causes weight loss, vomiting, spasms of the urogenital diaphragm and a desire to evacuate the bowel or bladder.

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including a background history of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. If you have a feeling or clue as to what might be causing your dog’s incontinence, share this with your veterinarian. It can guide your doctor in the direction for finding the underlying condition that is causing the symptoms so that your dog can be treated effectively.

As part of a normal physical examination, your veterinarian will go over your dog’s physiology thoroughly, paying attention the muscles of the anus and sphincter. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and a fecal analysis. If an infection or parasite is present, it will most likely turn up through one of these diagnostic methods.

Lack of supporting evidence for any health condition may lead your veterinarian to determine the cause for the incontinence as behavioral. If this is the case you will need to consult with your veterinarian on how to go forward with a behavioral retraining program.

physiology

The study of the functions of the body

rectum

The very end of the large intestine

urinalysis

An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

pelvis

The term for the hip and related area

sphincter

A ring-shaped muscle that is used to close and open an opening

diaphragm

The muscle in the abdomen that aids in breathing

anus

The end of the gastrointestinal tract; the opening at the end of the tract.

atypical

Deviating from the normal; not typical.

defecation

The exiting of excrement from the body; bowel movements.

abscess

A localized infection, usually a lesion filled with pus. Can be large or small in size.

gastrointestinal

The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine

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Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

Congestive Heart Failure (Right-sided) in Dogs

Right-sided congestive heart failure occurs when the heart fails to pump blood at the rate required to meet the basic needs of the body. While it is not curable, there are treatment options that can improve the quality of life for your dog.

Symptoms

All organ systems in the body can be affected by congestive heart failure. Common signs include weakness, lethargy, difficulty breathing, an enlarged liver, and abdominal distension. Upon physical examination, several signs of the disease may present, including jugular vein distention, heart murmur, and rapid, shallow breathing.

Causes

Heartworms can be a cause for congestive heart failure. In some cases, congenital heart conditions are hereditary, particularly with the Boxer breed. In other cases, a weak heart muscle can cause congestive heart failure.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will need to differentiate between causes for the heart failure when examining your dog. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Other diagnostic tests include heartworm testing and fluid analysis to determine the cause. In addition, you will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have preceded this condition. The history you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are being affected secondarily. Additionally, if there is any information you can give about your dog’s familial line, it can help your doctor to pinpoint the origin of the heart condition.

urinalysis

An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

lethargy

The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak

distention

The process of making something larger by dilating or stretching it

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Flea Control and Flea Bite Allergies in Dogs

Flea bite hypersensitivity and flea allergic dermatitis is the most common skin disease in pets. And although the allergies usually develop when dogs are young (less than one and up to five years of age), flea allergies can begin at any age. It is the saliva from the flea that is actually believed to be the cause of the allergy or sensitivity.

The flea life cycle includes the adult flea, egg, larva, and pupa. Adult fleas do bite but cannot survive long if they are not on the dog. Once the adult flea lays its eggs on the host it will fall off, leaving the eggs to mutate through the rest of their life cycles. This generational process continues on the host pet until the flea population has been eradicated entirely.

The condition described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how flea bite hypersensitivity and flea allergic dermatitis affect cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

Flea bite hypersensitivity or flea allergic dermatitis usually causes severe itching of the skin. This condition is medically referred to as pruritis. As few as one or two flea bites a week can cause pruritis, so symptoms will often persist even after some form of flea control has been used. Symptoms are often episodic, but most dogs will have symptoms that worsen with age. Some dogs can also suffer behavioral problems as a result of flea bite hypersensitivity, with a condition called neurodermatoses.

Most owners first notice frequent and severe itching and scratching, hair loss, and scabs on the dog’s skin. Many times the hind end is affected more than the front of the body or the head, however, dogs that are being affected by an allergic reaction to the fleas can have lesions anywhere on the body. Moreover, fleas or flea dirt may or may not be visible.

Diagnosis

By using a flea comb to inspect your dog’s hair, fleas or flea dirt can be seen more readily. Skin tests for mites or bacterial skin diseases may be recommended if fleas cannot be found. Sometimes the best diagnostic method is to just treat for fleas.

Related Video:

mites

Any type of arachnid excluding ticks

larva

An insect that has hatched from an egg but has not yet reached the pupal stage

dermatitis

A condition in which the skin becomes inflamed

acute

Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.

hypersensitivity

A reaction to a certain pathogen that is out of the ordinary

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Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Dogs

Pyrethrin and Pyrethroid Toxicity in Dogs

Pyrethrin and pyrethroid are insecticides typically used for treating flea and tick infestations. Pyrethrins are derived from the Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium plant, and from pyrethrum-related plant species. Pyrethroids are similar, but are synthetic rather than naturally based, and are longer lasting; these include allethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, fenvalerate, fluvalinate, permethrin, phenothrin, tetramethrin, and etofenprox.

An adverse reaction to any of these toxins will affect the dog’s nervous system, reversibly prolonging sodium conductance in nerve axons, and resulting in repetitive nerve discharges. These reactions occur more frequently in small dogs, and young, old, sick, or debilitated animals.

If you would like to learn more about how this condition affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptom and Types

Symptoms are often based on the type of reaction the dog undergoes, such as:

  • Allergic reactions — hives, congestion, itching, extreme sensitivity, shock, respiratory distress, death (very rare)
  • Idiosyncratic reactions — resembles toxic reactions at much lower doses
  • Mild reaction — excessive (hyper) salivation, paw flicking, ear twitching, mild depression, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Moderate to serious reaction — protracted vomiting and diarrhea, depression, incoordination, muscle tremors (must be differentiated from paw flicking and ear twitching)

Causes

Dogs with abnormally low body temperatures, such as occurs after bathing, anesthesia or sedation, are predisposed to clinical signs of toxic poisoning.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition.

These may include: Has your pet been exposed to these substances? How much and when? Has your pet been around other animals that have been treated with them? When did the symptoms become apparent?

These questions are the best way to identify a list of possible irritants, since it can be difficult to detect these forms of insecticides in the dog’s tissues or fluids.

synthetic

Something that is artificially created

nerve

A bundle of fibers that are used in the process of sending impulses through the body

hives

Swellings under the skin that can be caused by food allergies or anything else

debilitated

Losing of strength; becoming weaker.

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Diseases of the Skin on the Nose in Dogs

Nasal Dermatoses in Dogs

Many diseases affect the skin on the noses of dogs. This includes bacterial or fungal infections of the skin, or mites. These diseases may affect the bridge of the nose where there is hair, or the smooth part of the nose, where there is no hair. Often, it is the portion of the nose that has hair that is affected. In the case of systemic diseases like lupus or other autoimmune ailments, the whole muzzle is involved. Some systemic diseases cause the part of the nose where there is no hair to lose its pigment or develop ulcers.

A rare condition caused by the sun, called solar dermatitis, also affects the areas of the nose not covered by hair. That area may become inflamed and even ulcerated. Most of these conditions are more likely to occur in puppies under a year of age, but skin cancers are more likely to occur in older dogs.

 

Symptoms and Types 

There are many different symptoms that may be seen in dogs affected by nasal dermatoses, among them:

  • Ulcers/nodules on skin
  • Loss of hair (alopecia)
  • Eruptions that have pus
  • Loss of pigment
  • Excess of pigment
  • Redness of skin
  • Crusts
  • Scarring

Breed-specific skin diseases of the nose:

Causes

Some factors or diseases that may causes nasal dermatoses include:

  • Nasal lesions with pus
  • Mites
  • Fungus
  • Nasal solar dermatitis
  • Immune-system disorders
  • Connective-tissue disorders
  • Zinc-responsive scaling and crusting of skin
  • Sensitivity to certain substances, including certain drugs
  • Cancer
  • Trauma

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will take samples of skin to culture for bacteria and fungi. Biopsies and immune system tests will also be conducted.

systemic

Something that is related to the whole body and not just one particular part or organ

pus

A product made of fluid, cell waste, and cells

mites

Any type of arachnid excluding ticks

dermatitis

A condition in which the skin becomes inflamed

muzzle

The term for the nostrils and muscles in the upper and lower lips of an animal; may also be used to describe a type of tool used to keep an animal from biting

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Demodectic Mange in Dogs

Demodicosis in Dogs

Mange (demodicosis) is an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by various types of the Demodex mite. When the number of mites inhabiting the hair follicles and skin of the dog become exorbitant, it can lead to skin lesions, genetic disorders, problems with the immune system and hair loss (alopecia). The severity of symptoms depends upon the type of mite inhabiting the dog.

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the petMD health library. You can also learn more about the other common type of mange: sarcoptic mange in dogs.

Symptoms and Types

Demodectic mange may either be localized and affect specific areas of the body, or generalized, where it affects the entire body. If localized, symptoms are usually mild, with lesions occurring in patches, especially on the face, trunk, or legs. If generalized, symptoms will be more widespread and appear across the body. These symptoms include alopecia, a redness of the skin (erythema), and the appearance of scales and lesions.

Causes

While an exact cause of mange in dogs is unknown, many experts believe genetic factors, such as problems with the immune system, may predispose a dog to developing mange.

Three species of mites have been identified to cause mange in dogs. While the mode of transmission is unknown for two of these, it is known that one type, Demodex canis, inhabits the skin and hair follicles and may transfer from mother to newborn during nursing.

Diagnosis

Skin scrapings are used to find and diagnose demodicosis in dogs. Plucking hairs may also help identify the mite responsible for the condition.

If performed, a urine test will identify other possible diagnoses, namely those caused by a disorder with the dog’s metabolic system. Alternative diagnoses may include bacterial infection in the hair follicle.

offspring

The term for an animal’s young

mites

Any type of arachnid excluding ticks

mange

The term for a disease of the skin caused by certain mites

erythema

Redness of the skin