Diseases

Obesity in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Obesity is a syndrome in which the amount of excess body fat an individual carries is great enough to cause harm to health and well-being.  Obesity is a debilitating syndrome that is linked to a number of serious health consequences for dogs.

A number of factors play a role in the development of obesity in dogs.  However, the root cause of obesity is the consumption of more calories than the body needs.

Heart Disease in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to circulate blood throughout the body in a normal fashion.  In dogs, two types of heart disease may lead to heart failure. The most common type of heart disease in dogs is caused by a malfunctioning (or leaky) valve in the heart.    Another form of heart disease, called cardiomyopathy, is caused by a defect in the muscles of the heart.  Although these two syndromes develop in different fashions, both often lead to the same result: heart failure.

Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Diabetes mellitus (known simply as diabetes) is a serious disease of dogs.  The main characteristic of diabetes is an inability to control the level of sugar in the blood.  This leads to chronically high blood sugar levels, which in turn lead to the symptoms of the disease.

Management of diabetes in dogs is challenging but possible.   With proper treatment, many diabetic dogs lead essentially normal lives.  However, without treatment the disease inevitably leads to serious complications.

Ear Hematomas (Aural Hematomas) in Dogs and Cats

Animals Affected

Primarily dogs; occasionally cats

Overview

Aural hematomas occur when blood accumulates underneath the skin in the external portion of the ear.  A noticeably swollen area develops on the ear.  The area is often painful or irritating to the pet.

Aural hematomas develop when trauma occurs to the ear.  Direct trauma or chronic, violent head shaking can break blood vessels in the ear.  Broken blood vessels allow blood to accumulate under the skin, forming a hematoma.

Kidney Disease (Chronic Renal Failure) in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats, usually middle-aged or older.

Overview

Kidney disease, or kidney failure, is the most common major medical problem of older cats. Many cats survive with kidney disease for months or years after diagnosis. However, kidney disease generally is not curable. The disease is chronic and progressive, and over time causes fatality in most cases.

Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats

Animals affected

Cats and kittens

Overview

Upper respiratory infections, also known as URIs, are very common in cats. They are similar to colds in people, but they are caused by different types of germs.

URIs are especially common in kittens, and almost all cats will have experienced an upper respiratory infection by the time they reach adulthood. A very large proportion of kittens adopted from shelters suffer from URIs shortly after adoption.