Tag Archives: German shepherd

Dental Disease and Care

An oral examination should be performed each time a puppy or kitten is presented. Many pathologic or potentially pathologic conditions can be detected at an early age and corrective measures taken. Introducing the pet owner to the concept of oral home care and regular professional dental prophylaxis are the two most important responsibilities of the veterinarian with regard to dental disease care and prevention. Tooth Morphology There are three types of teeth in the deciduous dentition of puppies and kittens: incisor (I), canine (C), and premolar (P); a fourth type, molar (M), is found in the permanent dentition. Each type is designed to be self-cleaning in the non-crowded scissors occlusion, when the animal eats a natural diet, that is, catches its prey. Each tooth type serves a specific function. Incisor teeth are for grooming and nibbling, canine teeth are for grasping and tearing, premolars are for shearing, and molars are for grinding. The cat, a true carnivore, has no occlusal surface on the mandibular molar. The maxillary molar is small and vestigial in the cat (). Each tooth is covered with enamel, the hardest body substance. The bulk of the tooth is dentin, a living tissue that continues to be deposited Read more […]

The Pancreas

Inflammatory Pancreatic Disease The pancreas is a unique organ possessing both exocrine (digestive) and endocrine (hormonal) functions. Inflammatory pancreatic disease affecting only the exocrine portion is extremely uncommon in young dogs and cats (). Consequently, inflammatory pancreatic disease, that is, acute pancreatitis or relapsing pancreatitis that more commonly affects older dogs and cats, has been rarely identified in dogs and cats younger than 6 months of age. The likely causes of inflammatory pancreatic disease in the young dog and cat are abdominal trauma and infectious agents. Abdominal trauma may induce pancreatitis in dogs that are traumatized by motor vehicles and in cats that have fallen or jumped from high places (high-rise syndrome) (). In addition, abdominal surgery may result in acute pancreatitis due to traumatic injury to the pancreas (spearing the pancreas with a surgical instrument) or excessive manipulation of die pancreas. Infectious agents can occasionally contribute to inflammatory pancreatic disease. Pancreatic necrosis can be found on postmortem examination of an occasional dog afflicted with canine parvovirus infection (). It is not known whether the canine parvovirus is directly Read more […]

Autoimmune Disorders

Pemphigus complex the pemphigus complex comprises a group of rare autoimmune diseases described in dogs and cats the diseases are vesiculobullous ulcerative disorders of the skin and often the mucous membranes autoantibody is directed against the epidermal intercellular cement substance and may be demonstrated by direct immunofluorescence testing histologically the pemphigus complex is characterized by acan-tholysis (loss of cohesion between individual epidermal cells) Pemphigus foliaceus the most common of the autoimmune diseases dogs and cats no age, breed or sex predisposition Clinical features often begins on the face, nose and ears as a vesiculobullous or exfoliative pustular dermatitis () footpads are frequently involved with hyperkeratosis mucocutaneous lesions are uncommon Diagnosis history physical examination histological examination: subcorneal acantholysis leading to the development of a cleft. Within the cleft there are neutrophils and eosinophils direct immunofluorescence may reveal intercellular deposition of immunoglobulin throughout the epidermis Differential diagnosis bacterial folliculitis dermatophyte infection seborrhoea systemic lupus erythematosus discoid Read more […]

Panhypopituitarism (Pituitary Dwarfism)

hereditary, thought to be autosomal recessive German shepherd dog and carnelian bear dog are predisposed most dogs have a cyst (Rathke’s cyst) in the pituitary gland signs are principally related to lack of growth hormone, but there are others if the thyroid, adrenal or gonadal releasing hormones are deficient Clinical features pups are normal until approximately 3 months of age, but subsequently fail to grow the puppy coat is retained and no primary hairs develop; hair is easily epilated bilaterally symmetrical alopecia gradually develops during the first year of life although short of stature, affected pups have virtually normal body proportions hyperpigmentation usually develops in the alopecic areas there may be other signs attributable to hypothyroidism or hypoadrenocorticism other abnormalities which may be noted include aggression (fear biting), short mandible, delayed dental eruption, cardiac disorders, megalooesophagus and gonadal abnormalities lifespan is often reduced Diagnosis history physical examination and comparison with litter mates rule out other endocrine disorders biopsy: histopathology is that of a typical endocrinopathy — hyperkeratosis, follicular atrophy Read more […]

Idiopathic Colitis

This lorm of colitis is now considered to be one of the commonest causes of chronic diarrhoea in the dog () and appears to be much less common in the cat. However, there is a report of six cases of lymphocytic-plasmacytic colitis in cats (). It may be better described as a syndrome rather than a specific condition as there are many possible aetiological agents which may be responsible for the changes in the colon. Idiopathic colitis appears to affect any breed of dog and cat with no age or sex predisposition. However, cases appear to be more common in German Shepherd dogs. Rough Collies and Labradors. Unfortunately it is still unusual to determine the cause in the majority of cases of idiopathic colitis, hence the term, but occasionally a specific diagnosis is obtained. In this respect mycotic colitis has been recorded in cats due to Aspergillus spp.. The authors consider that dietary factors may be very important in the aetiology of colitis, because of the response noted to dietary management without drug therapy. Other aetiological agents include Trichuris vulpis infection, Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. Idiopathic colitis may also develop as a sequel to gastroenteritis, secondary to small intestinal Read more […]

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 […]

Gastric dilation and torsion

This condition preferentially affects the large deep-chested breeds of dog such as Bassett Hounds, German Shepherd dogs, St. Bernard, Irish Setters, Great Danes and Dobermans but Dachshunds may also be affected. There may be a predilection for young male dogs, but torsion has been observed in dogs from 2 to 10 years of age. The cause is not known but predisposing factors include; breed, use of dry cereal-based diets, overeating or drinking, stress, exercise and aerophagia (Table Predisposing causes for gastric torsion). Cereal-based diets fed as one large meal per day result in larger and heavier stomachs than those found in dogs fed tinned meat and biscuit. This predisposes the dog to gastric dilation and torsion (). It is also possible that disordered gastric motility may be involved. Torsions most often occur to the left or clockwise effectively sealing off the oesophagus and pylorus (). In our experience the mortality rate can exceed 68%. Table Predisposing causes for gastric torsion Breed Diet Overeating Stress, excitement Gastric stasis Aerophagia Motility disorder Lax gastric ligaments Normally the pylorus is held in position on the right of the abdomen by 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 Cornea

Congenital Abnormalities Comeal Opacities. The cornea of the newborn puppy or kitten is a light blue color; or at least the cornea is less clear than that of the adult. In 2 to 4 weeks, corneal clearing is sufficient to permit ophthalmoscopic examination. It is not unusual to observe multifocal or diffuse faint white opacities in the corneas of young puppies and kittens. The opacities represent superficial foci of edema, and most are self-limiting. The cause of these opacities is unknown. Therapy is not necessary unless the opacities are accompanied by a mucopurulent discharge, in which case topical ophthalmic antimicrobial preparations may be applied. Animals born with their eyelids open often have diffuse corneal edema that clears in 14 to 18 days. Because reflex lacrimation is absent at birth, the exposed cornea is subject to desiccation and infection and can be avoided by frequent application of a broad-spectrum antimicrobial ointment every 3 or 4 hours until the animal is 10 to 12 days old. Cats with lysosomal storage diseases may develop corneal opacities related to the accumulation of polysaccharides within the endothelial cells and fibroblasts of the cornea. Fine granular deposits in the corneal stroma may 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 […]