Facts Red blood cells (RBC) work to deliver oxygen to the dog’s tissues. This is done when the blood cells pick up oxygen in the lungs and release it to the body’s cells when the RBCs squeeze through the capillaries. This “pick up” is performed by the iron-containing hemoglobin (also spelled haemoglobin) biomolecule. The hemoglobin…

The ear is a vulnerable part of a dogs body. The outer ear flap is easily damaged, while the ear canal encourages the accumulation of wax, debris, and water, and provides an access point for a variety of infections. Common IndicatorsDogs with ear problems may show any of the following clinical signs:� Head and ear…

Many of the medical conditions affecting a female dog’s reproductive tract are extremely serious and can even be fatal, although risk of these disorders can be reduced by spaying. In contrast, few reproductive disorders affecting the male are life-threatening. Dangers During BirthThere are several risks to a female dog when giving birth. If she fails…

Euthanasia: a release from suffering Euthanasia means voluntarily ending the life of a dog suffering from a terminal or incurable condition. Some instances where Euthansia is likely the best option inlcude:- Irreversible disease that has progressed to a point where distress or discomfort cannot be controlled; Old age wear and tear that permanently affects the…

Facts Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), also called tick typhus, Tobia fever, fiebre manchada, and São Paulo fever, depending on the country, is a disease caused by the infective parasitic organism Rickettsia rickettsia. This organism is passed to dogs (and humans, as well as other mammals) when they are bitten by an infected Dermacentor tick.…

Feelings like anxiety evolved to protect dogs from danger. The cortex of the dog’s brain recognizes a threat or a stress and communicates with the rest of the brain through the limbic system, triggering a cascade of chemical changes that affect the entire body. But if these changes last too long, or get triggered too…

Facts In healthy dogs, the pulmonary artery carries blood to the lungs to be oxygenated, then goes back to the heart to get pumped out to the body via the aorta. In the fetal stage, all dogs have what is called the ductus arteriosus (DA) – a connection between the aortic arch and pulmonary artery.…

Eye disorders account for a large number of visits to the clinic because they are amongst the easiest problems to recognize and always appear potentially worrisome. Understanding the signsCheck with your vet if you notice any of the symptoms below: they may simply indicate an allergy, but can also be caused by more serious concerns,…

Facts Heartbeat arrhythmia, also known as cardiac dysrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, is a condition that describes abnormal electrical heart activity. The heartbeat may be too slow, too fast, too weak, too strong, regular, or irregular. Some dogs live with a mildly irregular heartbeat with no negative side effects, while others suffer from associated effects. Severe…

Facts Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant, very aggressive form of cancer that forms anywhere in the body where there is blood supply, but it most usually forms on the skin, in soft tissues, or on the spleen or heart. It develops in the lining of a dog’s blood vessels, and can cause a fatal blood loss…

Facts A dog’s immune system is its defense system, made up of antibodies, white blood cells, and other substances. This defense system works to reject foreign bodies and attack infections. It differentiates between “self” cells and “non-self” cells by markers – called antigens – located on the surface of every cell in the dog’s body.…

Facts In a healthy body, the white blood cells (leukocytes) are an essential part of the dog’s immune system. They are produced in the bone marrow and work to defend the dog’s body against foreign invaders and infectious diseases. There are several different types of white blood cells (eosinophils, lymphocytes, platelets, basophils, monocytes, and neturophils),…

Facts In a properly working heart, blood flows into the right atrium and is pumped into the right ventricle. After that, it goes to the lungs where it picks up oxygen and then flows back into the heart’s left atrium. Pressure causes the oxygenated blood to flow into the left ventricle and out of the…

Facts A healthy canine heart has chamber walls that are flexible – they contract easily in order to pump oxygenated blood out to the body. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a type of heart disease with characteristics of thickening and concentric enlargement of the walls of the left ventricle. This causes the ventricular walls to become…

Facts Heartworm is really not a disease, but an infection of Dirofilaria immitis, a parasitic round worm. While the name implies the worm resides in the heart, it actually starts out in the pulmonary arteries – the arteries that connect the lungs to the heart – and does massive damage to the lung tissue and…

Facts The function of a healthy heart is to supply oxygenated blood to the body. First, it pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen molecules, and pushes that oxygenated blood out to all of the organs and parts of the body. Once the oxygen is delivered, the blood returns to the heart to…

Facts A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound created by turbulent blood flow into, out of, or through the heart. Not actually a disease or illness in and of itself, a heart murmur is the result of another heart problem that causes the abnormal sounds. They may range from being minor to being indicative…

FactsA dog’s lymph system is a network of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels that are used to process and circulate disease organisms and foreign substances so that they may be presented to and destroyed by the immune system. Lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cells, are the main cells of the lymphatic system.…

Facts Polycythemia, also called erythrocytosis, is a disorder in which the dog’s blood volume or concentration of the red blood cells (RBCs) increases. When this happens, the thickness or viscosity of the blood is increased and causes a multitude of problems. There are three forms of polycythemia: absolute, relative, and transient. Each has its own…

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer in domestic dogs. It is an aggressive, malignant form of the disease that starts in the bones and spread to other parts of the body if not detected and treated. This type of cancer tends to metastasize quickly to the lungs and is usually fatal. Osteoblasts…