DOG HEALTH AND MEDICINE

Getting At the Root Cause of Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs

Historically, laryngeal paralysis has been thought of as an idiopathic disease, meaning no cause had ever been identified. It appeared to spring up on its own, with a changed bark noted about half the time and two out of three dogs with the condition experiencing difficulty inhaling, gagging, throat-clearing, coughing, or choking sensations, most often associated with eating and drinking. …

Dear Doctor – Sluggish thyroid, or faulty lab result?

Letter to Tufts Veterinarians - Sluggish thyroid, or faulty lab result?

An End to the Dog’s Itching

Whitney, a beautiful Great Dane, was absolutely fine until she turned about a year and a half. Thats when she started developing bumps on her skin. When the problem worsened, she would get secondary skin infections - sort of lesions on her skin, says Kim McCollough, Whitneys owner. There was some itching and hair loss, Ms. McCollough adds, but she looked worse than she was in terms of discomfort. …

Can Kissing Your Dog Give You Gum Disease?

Newspapers from New York to England to India have now reported that kissing your dog can transmit gum disease. News anchors have broadcasted the same information. And Googling kissing dog gum disease yields no fewer than a dozen pages of site after site warning against sharing a peck with your pet. …

Making Hospitalized Dogs Less Anxious

We can always use drugs to sedate a hospitalized patient whose anxiety is so extreme that it inhibits the dogs healing or makes it difficult to provide adequate nursing care, says Tufts veterinarian Claire Sharp, BVMS, who specializes in emergency and critical care medicine. But we prefer not to if we have a choice, she adds. The drugs do quite a good job and are relatively safe, but they render it harder to assess…

Recognizing Arthritis Pain in a Dog

In too many cases, a dog is in pain from arthritis for quite a while before her owner recognizes that something is wrong. Thats because people tend to expect arthritic dogs to have an asymmetrical gait, such as a limp. But not all joint problems express themselves that way. Take, for example, the case of a dog whose elbow joints in both front legs hurt equally. Shes not going to favor one over the…

Are Purebred Dogs More Disease Prone?

A lot of people feel conflicted. On one hand, they love a particular breed, or breeds. Maybe its the silky feel of an Irish Setters hair, or the sweet temperament of a Havanese, or the goofy readiness to play of a Lab or Golden Retriever. On the other hand, theyve come to understand that because the gene pool within a specific breed is fixed, or finite, purebred dogs keep passing down deleterious genes that compromise.

Common Diseases in Dog Breeds

Following is a sampling of diseases that tend to occur relatively frequently in dogs of specific breeds. By asking the right questions of a breeder, and perhaps searching for some documentation on your own through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), you have a greater chance of being able to procure a dog of the breed you want without the attendant health problem. …

Giving Injections At Home To Your Dog

If you told me last year that I would be giving my dog shots of fluid every day, I would have said you were crazy, comments Cathy Park of Worcester, Massachusetts. Im very needle phobic. But injecting her 10-year-old white Lab, Bunson, is exactly what Ms. Park does each evening.

Dealing with Needles in the House

Its an undertaking for people to get used to having syringes and needles at home, says Armelle de Laforcade, a veterinarian at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Tufts Cummings School. You have to make sure to keep the needles away from small children, for instance. Thats a pretty reflexive safety measure for most parents. What households often have a harder time wrapping their heads around is safe needle disposal. People who inject medicine…