Tag Archives: Cocker Spaniel

Congenital and Hereditary Disorders of the Kidney

Structural Anomalies of the Kidney RENAL AGENESIS Renal agenesis is the complete absence of one or both kidneys. Bilateral renal agenesis is fatal and is a cause of early death in puppies and kittens (). Unilateral renal agenesis is more frequendy observed in puppies and kittens than is bilateral agenesis (). Unilateral renal agenesis may affect either kidney and is usually accompanied by ipsilateral ureteral agenesis. The etiopathogenesis of renal agenesis in dogs and cats is uncertain. A familial predisposition for renal agenesis in beagles, Shetland sheepdogs, and Doberman pinschers supports a genetic basis for the anomaly (Table 17-1). Unilateral renal agenesis may remain clinically silent, provided the contralateral kidney undergoes sufficient compensatory change to maintain normal hemostasis. Clinical findings may include an inability to palpate both kidneys or to detect a kidney by ultrasonography or contrast urography. Because of close associations in the development of the urogenital system, findings of abnormal or absent vas deferens, epididymal tails, or uterine horns at the time of castration or ovariohysterectomy should arouse suspicion of concurrent unilateral renal agenesis. Because unilateral renal Read more […]

The Eye

The Ophthalmic Examination History A complete ophthalmic history is an essential part of every puppy’s or kitten’s examination. Owners may be asked questions regarding the animal’s signalment, history of the presenting complaint(s), and any pertinent medical or ophthalmic diseases in the animal’s family histories. Other historical information that may be included is the animal’s vaccination status, diet, environment, and exposure to other animals. Previous therapy should be identified to prevent repetition of an unsuccessful regimen. Procedure Ophthalmic examination should be performed in a quiet area. Puppies usually require only gentle but firm restraint of the head. Very young puppies cooperate nicely when held in an assistant’s arms. Kittens can also be gently restrained and are less likely to demonstrate the constant ocular motion typical of puppies. Uncooperative puppies or kittens may be placed in a towel or restraint bag. Assessment of ocular abnormalities such as orbital swelling, squinting, or ocular discharge can be done in a well-lighted room, but actual ophthalmoscopic examination should be done with the lights dimmed. A bright source of focal illumination is required; the Finoff transilluminator on Read more […]

The Eyelids

Developmental Abnormalities Eyelid Agenesis. Eyelid agenesis is a congenital defect of the eyelid margin resulting in absence of varying segments of the eyelid margin, palpebral conjunctiva, and fornices. The agenesis may be unilateral or bilateral, affecting the kitten more often than the puppy. The lateral one third or two thirds of the upper eyelid margin is most frequently involved. Keratitis and ulceration result from direct contact of the cornea with facial hairs and from exposure secondary to imperfect eyelid closure. Small eyelid defects may be successfully managed with ophthalmic lubricant ointments applied three to four times a day to reduce ocular irritation or by performing an entropion procedure to evert the offending hairs. If one third of the eyelid or more is missing, a pedicle graft from the inferior temporal aspect of the lower eyelid can be transposed to the upper eyelid. Distichiasis. Distichiasis is an extra row of eyelashes (cilia) that protrudes from the orifices of the meibomian glands onto the eyelid margin. The upper, lower, or both eyelids may be involved (). Congenital distichiasis often occurs in the English bulldog, toy¬†poodle, miniature poodle, American cocker spaniel, golden retriever, Read more […]

The Lens and Vitreous

The lens develops rapidly in the early stages of embryogenesis, during which time it is nourished by the hyaloid vessel. The fully developed lens is avascular; by the second week of life, no remnants of the hyaloid system should remain. The normal lens often exhibits minor imperfections that can be easily detected with magnification in dogs and cats younger than 1 year. These include prominent anterior and posterior Y sutures and minute granules in its nucleus and cortex. A mosaic of brown pigment spots is occasionally seen on the anterior lens capsule near the center of the pupil, representing remnants of embryonic mesoderm. Disease of the vitreous would be expected to influence the lens or retina because of its attachments at the posterior lens surface and the optic disc. Congenital Abnormalities Congenital lens abnormalities include alterations in size or shape. Congenital absence of the lens (aphakia) is uncommon. In microphakia, the margin of the abnormally small lens along with elongated ciliary processes may be observed after pupillary dilation. Microphakia occurs along with other ocular defects in the Saint Bernard and beagle and in cats. Luxation of the microphakic lens may cause glaucoma. Lenticonus is a Read more […]

The Retina and Optic Nerve

Tapetal coloration of the fundus of the puppy and kitten is usually gray or blue at 6 to 8 weeks of age, gradually acquiring its adult coloration by 4 to 7 months of age when the tapetum matures. Myelination of the optic disc may also be incomplete in the puppy and kitten, giving the impression of a small, well-defined nerve head that takes on a more fluffy appearance as adult myelination occurs.Both congenital and acquired disorders of the retina and optic nerve are recognized in the young dog and cat. These may be inherited, as with collie eye anomaly, or secondary to postnatal influences, as occurs with canine distemper-induced retinitis. Congenital abnormalities can be diagnosed as early as 6 weeks of age, when the posterior segment is clearly observed. The more common congenital abnormalities of the canine fundus are summarized in Table Congenital Abnormalities of the Canine Fundus. Acquired abnormalities develop with advancing age and in this discussion are limited to those in dogs and cats younger than 6 months of age. Table Congenital Abnormalities of the Canine Fundus (diagnosed as early as 6-8 wk of age). DISORDER BREED CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES Collie eye anomaly Collie, Shetland sheepdog, Read more […]

The Respiratory System

Evaluation of the Respiratory System Respiratory diseases are relatively common in puppies and kittens and can quickly result in life-threatening emergencies if not treated early. The most severe manifestation of respiratory disease is hypoxemia. Hypoxemia can result in clinical signs characterized by changes in respiratory rate, character, and effort. The respiratory rate may be increased or decreased, the depth may be impeded or exaggerated, and effort is often multiplied to the point that the puppy or kitten is weak and exhausted from the increased work effort. Mucous membrane color often ranges from cyanotic to pale. Kittens in severe respiratory distress often do not show the same degree of obvious difficulty as puppies. Tachypnea and less apparent increases in respiratory effort herald respiratory distress in kittens. Abnormal Breathing Patterns Care should be taken when assessing breathing patterns in puppies and kittens; their rates are more rapid and depth is shallower than those of adults. Respiratory distress and abnormal breathing patterns typically are identified in obstructive or restrictive respiratory diseases (). Obstructive respiratory diseases are characterized by upper or lower airway obstruction Read more […]

Intention tremors due to cerebellar disorders

Tremors that occur when an animal intends to move in a goal-orientated activity are most often the result of cerebellar disease (). Degenerative diseases Cerebellar cortical degeneration Cerebellar cortical degeneration, also termed cerebellar abiotrophy, is usually an inherited disease in dogs () with few reports in cats. Primary cerebellar cortical degeneration refers to degeneration and loss of Purkinje cells, molecular cells and granule cells. Clinical signs: These diseases are recognized syndromes in American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Gordon Setters, Rough-coated Collies, Border Collies, Brittany Spaniels, Bullmastiffs, Old English Sheepdogs and occur rarely in Samoyeds, Airedales, Finnish Harriers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Cairn Terriers, Great Danes, Scottish Terriers and others (). Clinical signs usually begin between 3 and 12 months of age. However, a subset of adult onset diseases occur with signs starting from 2-8 years of age in the Brittany Spaniel (), Gordon Setter (), Old English Sheepdog (), American Staffordshire Terrier () and Scottish Terrier (). Other signs of cerebellar disease that accompany cerebellar Read more […]

Aggressive Behavior

Characteristics of Dogs That Bite: Age and Sex The etiology of aggressive behavior presents considerable variation from dog to dog. Aggressive behavior is most frequently exhibited by socially mature and intact male dogs (), but young puppies can have serious precocious aggression problems, as well. Mugford (1984) reported that among 50 English cocker spaniels the mean average age of dogs with dominance-related aggression was 7.4 months (range, 3 to 24 months). In another group of golden retrievers treated by Mugford (1987), 24 with aggression problems averaged 2.9 years of age (range, 0.7 to 8.0 years). Of the 24 dogs treated by Mugford, 19 were males, two of which had been castrated. Beaver (1983) found that of 120 dogs with aggression problems (various diagnoses) the mean age was 3 years (range, 9 weeks to 11 years). She reported that 60.1% of the dogs were intact males (14% castrated), with 15.4% intact females (10.5% spayed). Wright (1985) found that the average age of dogs involved in severe attacks was 3 years (range, 0.67 to 10.5 years). All 16 dogs were males. These statistics suggest that considerable variation exists with respect to the time of onset associated with aggression problems. Although most dogs Read more […]

Aggressive Behavior: Role of Integrated Compliance and Obedience Training

Most treatment programs for aggression problems incorporate some element of obedience training () or nonconfrontational compliance training (). According to Tortora (1983), the benefits of obedience training depend on treated dogs learning that safety can always be obtained by engaging in cooperative behavior. Similarly, Clark and Boyer (1993) have argued that obedience training promotes a “feeling of security” as the result of establishing clear lines of communication and social boundaries by selectively and consistently applying incentives and appropriate deterrents to guide and shape dog behavior. The efficacy of obedience training as a therapeutic tool has been confirmed by Blackshaw (1991), who reported a high success rate involving dominance and territorial aggression by introducing proper restraint techniques and obedience training as her primary form of behavioral intervention. Even those individuals who appear to discount the preventative value of obedience training as & placebo, exerting “neither positive nor negative effects on the incidence of behavior problems” (), may nonetheless recommend such training because “obedience training provides tools for owners to use in modifying pet behavior” (). Finally, Read more […]

Peripheral vestibular diseases

Anomalous diseases Congenital vestibular disease Congenital vestibular diseases are seen infrequently in dogs and cats but have been reported in Siamese, Burmese and Tonkanese cats, and in Dobermann Pinschers, Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherd Dogs, Akitas, Smooth Fox Terriers and Beagles (). Clinical signs. The onset is usually first noticed between 3 and 12 weeks of age. Head tilt, ataxia and circling may be seen, and the animal may be deaf. Nystagmus is not a characteristic feature. Pafhogenesis. The pathogenesis is not known. One study of Dobermann Pinschers demonstrated noninflammatory cochlear degeneration in affected animals, with progressive loss of the auditory sensory hair cells (), whilst a separate study revealed the presence of lymphocytic labyrinthitis in affected Dobermann Pinscher puppies (). Diagnosis. Diagnosis is by exclusion of other disorders and consideration of signalment and history. Treatment and prognosis. No treatment is available. Vestibular signs may improve over time; this is most likely due to compensation for a static vestibular deficit rather than disease resolution. Deafness, if present, tends to be permanent. Affected animals should not be bred from as the condition is Read more […]