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Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Kennel cough is a broad term covering any infectious or contagious condition of dogs where coughing is one of the major clinical signs. It is also referred to as infectious tracheobronchitis. Several viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough, often at the same time. Because the infection spreads when dogs are housed together, it is often seen soon after dogs have been in kennels, hence the name 'kennel cough'.

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition that is also commonly referred to as dry eye. The medical term means inflammation of the cornea and surrounding tissues from drying. It is a common eye condition resulting from inadequate production of the aqueous portion of the tear film by the lacrimal gland and/or gland of the third eyelid gland. Any condition that impairs the ability to produce adequate amounts of tear film can result in dry eye.

  • The nasolacrimal system consists of a series of narrow tubes that allow tears to drain from the eye. Excess tears drain from the eye to the nose and mouth. Obstruction of the lacrimal ducts can occur for a variety of reasons. Many cases of nasolacrimal duct obstruction are caused by inflammation.

  • Lameness refers to an inability to properly use one or more limbs. It is most often associated with pain or injury. The most common causes of acute or sudden lameness in dogs are injury to a joint, bone fracture or dislocation. Osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia may also cause lameness in dogs.

  • The larynx or "voice box" is composed of a series of separate plates of cartilage that form a "box" in the throat. The stability of this box is maintained by the laryngeal muscles. When the nerves of these muscles become weak (paretic) or paralyzed, the muscles relax and the cartilages tend to collapse inwards.

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is also known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head. This is a condition in which the head of the femur (the ‘ball’ in the ball-and-socket joint that forms the hip) spontaneously begins to degenerate. Over time, this degeneration will cause collapse of the hip and lead to arthritis.

  • Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a protozoan parasite found in dogs and certain rodents in many parts of the world, most commonly in rural areas. The parasite is transmitted by a small biting sand fly (Phlebotomus spp.). It is an important disease because humans can also contract Leishmaniasis.

  • The lens is the transparent structure within the eye that focuses light on the retina, the area where vision occurs. It is a flattened sphere held in place by tiny ligaments around its circumference.

  • Lenticular sclerosis or nuclear sclerosis is the medical term for a bluish transparent "haze" that develops in the lens of the eye in middle-aged to senior dogs. This is considered a normal change in the lens associated with aging, and is observed as a cloudiness or bluish discoloration on the pupil. Vision does not appear to be significantly affected in dogs diagnosed with lenticular sclerosis.

  • Also known as acral lick dermatitis, this problem begins as an area of hair loss and reddened skin most commonly on the top of the wrist or carpal joint on the front legs. It often looks like a "hot spot." These differ from "hot spots" in that they persist despite treatment.

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