Tag Archives: Saint Bernard

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 […]

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 Globe And Orbit

Congenital Abnormalities Microphthalmos. Failure of the eye to develop to normal size is referred to as microphthalmos. Complete absence of the eye (anophthalmos) is extremely unusual in puppies and kittens. Microphthalmos is characterized by varying degrees of enophthalmos, with or without other ocular defects. Microphthalmos with multiple colobomas is an autosomal recessive trait linked to coat color in the Australian shepherd. In addition to small globes, affected dogs may have persistent pupillary membranes, cataract, equatorial staphylomas, choroidal hypoplasia, retinal dysplasia and detachment, and optic nerve hypoplasia. Vision is frequently impaired. Other breeds in which multiple ocular defects have been associated with coat color include the Great Dane, collie, Shetland sheepdog, and dachshund. Microphthalmos is also associated with inherited congenital cataracts in the miniature schnauzer, Old English sheepdog, Akita, and King Charles Cavalier spaniel. Microphthalmos occurs with retinal dysplasia in Bedlington terriers, Sealyham terriers, beagles, Labrador retrievers, and Doberman pinschers. Administration of griseofulvin to pregnant cats may produce microphthalmos in their offspring. Atypical Eye Position. 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 […]

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 […]

Epistaxis

Basic Information Definition Bleeding from the nasal cavity Synonyms Hemorrhagic nasal discharge, nosebleed Epidemiology Species, Age, Sex. Dependent on underlying cause: Young purebred animals: coagulopathies Young to middle-aged animals: infectious diseases, trauma Middle-aged animals: acquired immune-mediated diseases Older animals: neoplasia Genetics, Breed Predisposition, and Risk Factors Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia: young to middle-aged, small to medium female dogs Rickettsial disease: dogs living or traveling to endemic areas Thrombasthenia: otter hounds Thrombopathia: basset hounds von Willebrand disease: Doberman pinscher, Airedale, German shepherd, Scottish terrier, Chesapeake Bay retriever, and many other breeds; cats: Himalayan Hemophilia A: German shepherd and many other breeds; cats Hemophilia B: Cairn terrier, coon-hounds, Saint Bernard, and other breeds; cats Nasal lesions: – Aspergillosis: German shepherd, dolichocephalic breeds – Neoplasia: dolichocephalic breeds Contagion & Zoonosis Fungal infections (transmission potential appears low). Clinical Presentation History, Chief Complaint: (Some or all may be present.) Nasal hemorrhage Sneezing Pawing Read more […]

Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia / Pyometra

Development Pyometra is a relatively common disorder of older intact female dogs. True incidence is not known because most bitches in the United States are spayed when they are young. Pyometra is a two-step process with initial cystic endometrial hyperplasia (CEH) followed by infection. As the name implies, CEH is a cystic thickening of the endometrium, or uterine lining (). CEH can be created experimentally by exposing uterine tissue either to estrogen or to progesterone. Cystic endometrial hyperplasia develops to a greater extent and more quickly if the uterus is first exposed to estrogen and then is exposed to progesterone. This is the normal hormonal sequence of the estrous cycle in dogs. CEH develops over time after repeated estrous cycles in the dog. There are four grades of cystic endometrial hyperplasia described by Dow: worsening in severity from type I (mild changes) to type IV (severe changes with associated inflammation and tissue destruction). As might be expected because this is a progressive disorder, mean age at diagnosis of dogs with type I CEH is younger than is mean age of dogs diagnosed with type IV CEH. By the age of 9 years, two thirds of intact bitches had some degree of cystic endometrial Read more […]

Degenerative diseases: Breed-specific neuropathy

Inherited and breed-related neuropathies are rare diseases that usually affect young animals and can produce generalized motor, mixed motor and sensory, pure sensory and / or autonomic deficits (Inherited peripheral neuropathies) (). Inherited peripheral neuropathies Disease Breed Dogs Giant axonal neuropathy German Shepherd Dog Globoid cell leucodystrophy West Highland White Terrier; Cairn Terrier; Irish Setter Hypertrophic neuropathy Tibetan Mastiff Polyneuropathy Alaskan Malamute Laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy complex Dalmatian; Pyrenean Mountain Dog; Rottweiler Sensory neuropathy Border Collie; English Pointer; Longhaired Dachshund Progressive axonopathy (sensory) Boxer Distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy Rottweiler; Great Dane; Chesapeake Bay Retriever; Saint Bernard; Collie; Labrador Retriever; Newfoundland Motor neuron disease Brittany Spaniel; Swedish Lapland Dog; English Pointer; Great Dane / Bloodhound or Saint Bernard cross; German Shepherd Dog; Dobermann Pinscher; Griffon Briquet; Saluki; Rottweiler Motor and mixed sensorimotor neuropathies: This group of diseases includes the motor neuron diseases (in which the motor neurons Read more […]