lameness dog

Neuromuscular disorders

Neuromuscular disorders in pets can be very frightening for owners. Apparently healthy animals may collapse at exercise or become paralysed over a period of a few hours for no apparent reason. An accurate diagnosis is important as, with appropriate early treatment, many conditions can be managed such that the animal makes a full recovery over [...]

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis (MG) literally means grave (gravis) muscle(my-) weakness (asthenia). It is an unusual cause of generalised weakness in dogs and occasionally cats. What is myasthenia gravis? Each muscle in the body is controlled by its own nerve, but this nerve does not connect directly to the muscle. At the junction between the nerve and the muscle (also known as [...]

Managing pain in pets

Long term (chronic) pain is as debilitating in animals as it is in people. Constant pain significantly reduces pleasure in life and can lead to sleeplessness and a poor appetite. Simple measures to control even mild pain can result in a happier healthier pet. What conditions are painful? Animals, like people, are prone to many different [...]

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a condition that was first described in people in Lyme, Connecticut, USA in the 1970s and discovered in dogs in the 1980s. It is an example of a tick-borne disease (see below) and is one of many diseases that are passed between animals using intermediate hosts or vectors. How is the disease [...]

Joint problems in young dogs

Puppies continue to grow and develop for months or years after birth. Giant breeds may not reach full adult size for 18 months or 2 years. During this growth period they are at particular risk from bone and joint disorders. Some of these are inheritedsuch as hip and elbow dysplasia. Damage can also result from traumatic injury. What is [...]

Intervertebral disc herniation or “slipped disc”

A slipped disc (also known as intervertebral disc herniation) is the most common cause of paralysis in dogs. Cats are much less often affected. What is the intervertebral disc? The spine is the name given to the collection of bones (vertebrae) inside which the spinal cord is contained. The spinal cord is made of cables [...]

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. What is an inherited joint disease? Inherited diseases are genetic conditions passed from parents to their offspring. Sometimes the puppy inherits [...]

Cruciate ligament rupture (torn knee ligaments)

Cruciate ligament rupture is the famous knee injury of professional footballers. It is surprisingly common in dogs too. If the ligaments are damaged they need to be replaced during an operation on the knee. After the operation most dogs return to full athletic fitness. What are the cruciate ligaments? There are 2 cruciate ligaments in each knee [...]

Cauda equina diseases (back problems)

Back problems in dogs are not uncommon. Many breeds are affected by 'disk disease' but diseases of the spinal cord itself are also a problem. These diseases are painful and affect a dog's mobility. Medical management may help some dogs, but in severe cases surgery may be needed. What is the cauda equina? The cauda [...]

BVA/KC hip dysplasia scoring scheme

Hip dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. The Kennel Club (KC) introduced the hip dysplasia scoring scheme to identify affected dogs at an early stage so that [...]
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