Dog Articles

Dental Disease (Periodontal Disease) in Cats and Dogs

Animals affected

Adult cats and dogs

Overview

Dental disease is by far the most common major health problem of cats and dogs. Despite its name, dental disease does not merely affect the teeth and mouth. Dental disease impacts the entire body, with serious consequences for health, longevity, and well-being.

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Scratching or Licking the Skin (Itching) in Cats and Dogs

Scratching and licking the skin generally have similar causes. Excessively licking the skin is a way of scratching the skin. Skin irritation leading to itching is responsible for most instances of excessive licking and scratching.

A certain level of scratching or licking is considered normal in all animals. Also, both cats and dogs groom themselves with their tongues. Therefore, it is important to determine whether your pet is scratching or licking excessively, or whether he or she is engaging in normal behavior.

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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.

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Drooling or Foaming at the Mouth in Cats and Dogs

Foaming at the mouth and drooling have similar causes.  Most cases of foaming or frothing at the mouth simply involve drooling combined with panting (cats, dogs) or rapid breathing.  Drooling is also known as hypersalivation.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.  Less common causes are listed later.

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Marijuana Intoxication in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Primarily dogs; rarely cats

Overview

Marijuana intoxication may occur in pets that have access to marijuana plants, dried portions of the plants, or foodstuffs containing marijuana.

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Diarrhea in Cats and Dogs

Diarrhea is an extremely common problem in both cats and dogs. Mild, transient diarrhea rarely is a cause for concern. Severe or chronic diarrhea is often caused by major medical conditions, and can be damaging to a pet’s health in its own right.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Soft Tissue Trauma (Sprains, Strains, and Pulled Muscles) in Cats and Dogs

Animals affected

Cats and dogs.

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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.

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Ear Mites in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Ear mites are parasitic organisms that infest pets.  They may cause intense irritation and itching in the ears, accompanied by production of large amounts of ear wax.

Ear mites are a leading cause of ear problems in kittens and cats.  They can infest dogs and puppies as well, but are a less frequent cause of problems in this species.

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Metronidazole (Flagyl®)

Overview

Metronidazole has several uses in veterinary medicine.  It is effective against Giardia parasites.  It is employed in the treatment of many forms of diarrhea, including diarrhea caused by colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.   It aids in the treatment of certain liver disorders.  Metronidazole is an antibiotic that may be used in the treatment of certain types of bacterial infections.

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