Dogs make the vast majority of our pets. Canine medicine is a large and progressive field and the level of care offered to pet dogs is extremely high. The amount of medical information is overwhelming and numerous resources are available. This article concentrates on some of the most common problems seen daily in veterinary practice.
Dogs go off food when sick. Common problems that can cause anorexia are:
Digestive diseases (infections, tumors, object ingestion, parasites).
Systemic diseases: Liver, kidney, pancreas diseases, infections, toxicities, cancer
Neuromuscular diseases, Oral and upper digestive pain, teeth problems, oral and throat infections or tumors, Jaw fractures
Stress, food choice
Occasional, self limiting vomiting, is very common in dogs. When vomiting persists, it is a sign of disease. Common causes of vomiting are:
Infections (Viruses, bacteriae), foreign bodies, obstructions, ulcers, drugs, irritants/spoiled food ingestion
Liver, kidney, pancreas diseases, infections, toxicities, cancer, Brain problems, drugs, congestive heart failure
Regurgitation is passive elimination of food and needs to be differentiate from vomiting. It is usually caused by esophageal disease.
In most cases, diarrhea is occasional and self limiting. Serious, profuse diarrhea can be caused by:
Intestinal parasites, infections (Viruses, bacteriae), foreign bodies, drugs, irritants/spoiled food ingestion
Liver, kidney, pancreas diseases, infections, toxicities, cancer
Constipation usually is a digestive problem but sometimes the cause is systemic.
Ingestion of indigestible material such as bones, cloth, plastic or hair may cause obstruction or facilitates formation of large and difficult to pass stools. Intestinal tumors can also cause partial or total obstruction.
Lack of exercise, pain, nerve damage, External tumors, pelvic fracture, enlarged prostate, Kidney failure, infections, drugs, and cancer
Anal sac disease is very common in dogs.
Dogs have two sacs on the sides of the anus. These sacs usually empty during the dog's activities. Sometimes the sacs do not empty and get impacted with material, which may get infected and develop an abscess. The condition is very uncomfortable and dogs react by scooting or licking and biting the area. Some dogs are prone to the disease and need periodic veterinary treatment.
The anal area can also be affected with tumors, which are relatively common in unneutered males.