Educational Articles

Dogs

  • This handout explains atopic dermatitis (atopy) in dogs, a form of allergic skin disease brought on by an abnormal response to allergens in the environment. The clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment are outlined.

  • Atovaquone is given by mouth and is used off-label to treat protozoal infections. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or skin rash. Do not use in pets that are pregnant. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions or twitching of the heart muscle, specifically in the atria. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in dogs occurs secondary to heart disease. In some large breed dogs, atrial fibrillation occurs as a primary heart problem. Most dogs who develop atrial fibrillation have underlying heart disease, so the signs that are observed are related to that disease and may include exercise intolerance, cough, or difficulty breathing. Treatment varies depending on whether the dog has primary or secondary atrial fibrillation. Your dog will need to be monitored on a regular basis.

  • Atrioventricular (AV) valve dysplasia describes a developmental malformation of the mitral or tricuspid valve. Bull Terriers, Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs, Rottweilers and Dalmatians are recognized to be susceptible to develop mitral valve dysplasia. Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Weimaraners, Irish Setters, Dogue de Bordeaux, Great Pyrenees, and Old English Sheepdogs are recognized as susceptible to tricuspid valve dysplasia. Exercise intolerance, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, weight loss, and stunted growth may be seen. Difficulty breathing or collapse may occur if congestive heart failure develops. Treatment of AV valve dysplasia is focused on managing signs of congestive heart failure, generally using medications. Activity may need to be restricted based on your dog’s exercise tolerance and nutritional modification may be recommended.

  • At first glance, the Aussie Cattle Dog looks like a commoner from the streets of Sydney. On closer inspection, you can see in his face an uncommon intensity of purpose, a true sense of self, and a keen intelligence. This is no ordinary dog; all of the romance of the Australian outback seems embodied in this diamond-in-rough.

  • The Australian Shepherd must have a job to do in order to be content, whether it's an obedience routine, a chance to round up sheep, or helping with various household chores. This agile, quick-thinking dog can be a joy to owners who want a dog by their side in all things, but a challenge to those who expect the dog to entertain herself.

  • Happy, sunny, and feisty as all get-out, the Australian Terrier knows he has serious work to do: chase anything that moves, bark at anything that approaches, and keep you in stitches.

  • AIHA or IMHA is a life-threatening condition which may occur as a primary condition or secondary to another disease. Most dogs with AIHA have severe anemia, their gums will be very pale, they will be listless and tire more easily, be anorexic and will have increased heart and respiration rates. Diagnosis involves CBC, biochemical profiles, urinalysis, and X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen and chest. Treatment may involve blood transfusions and other medications over a prolonged course of time. The prognosis may be better if an underlying cause can be identified.

  • The body has an immune system that protects from foreign invaders that can cause disease and infection, however, if with an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks itself by mistake, causing illness.

  • Azathioprine is an immune suppressing medication given by mouth or as an injection and is mainly used off label to treat immune-mediated diseases in dogs. Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset and bone marrow suppression. This medication should not be used in pets that are allergic to azathioprine or are pregnant. It should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.