Internal disorders

Organs malfunction

  • Portosystemic Shunt or Liver Shunt: On a healthy subject, the blood circulates in the liver and gets cleared of some toxins. Liver shunt disease happens when the blood bypasses the liver. As a result, a high volume of toxins remains in the dog's blood. This disease affects the general health of the dog. When affected by this disease puppies will be seriously sick and reject food. In case of liver failure, vet will check the health of your dog and establish if he is healthy enough to receive a surgical treatment. If surgical treatment is not an option, the vet will recommend a different treatment to your dog (usually antibiotics) and help you establish a more suitable diet for your dog.

  • Kidney disease: The affected dog will tend to drink a lot of water and will regularly need to go to the toilets. Kidney failure also affects the dog in many other way causing a loss of appetite, lethargy... Vets will try to stimulate the kidneys cells via injections and might recommend a change of diet.

  • Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism refers to an abnormal activity of the thyroid resulting in a poor amount of thyroid hormones circulating in the dog's blood. Thyroid hormones are essential to a good metabolism. Dogs suffering from Hypothyroidism an have all sort of symptoms: obesity, lethargy, hair loss, dry skin and many other conditions. As a result, it is difficult to establish for certain that the dog suffers from Thyroid problems without a proper examination. If the vet suspects your dog to suffer from Thyroid problems, he will ask for a blood test. Once the results are known, he will establish a proper treatment. If the dog suffers from Hypothyroidism disease, the vet might consider a synthetic thyroid hormone treatment.

  • Pancreatitis: The pancreas organ is necessary to the digestion of any living animal (including us, humans). The Pancreas creates enzymes. The role of these enzymes is to regulate the animal metabolism and help him digest fat, sugar and proteins. The Pancreas is also responsible for the production of insulin, which regulates the volume of sugar in the blood. Pancreatitis is a dysfunction of the Pancreas leading to an abnormal level of blood serum lipid in the body of the animal. Pancreatitis causes great stomach pain, diarrhoea and a general weakened state. This condition can be treated with injections and antibiotics. A change of diet might be necessary to the well being of your pet.

  • Von Willebrand's Disease: it happens when the dog blood does not form clot and the wound takes more time not heal. There is currently no treatment for this disease. Only a selective breeding can prevent this condition from happening. In case of a haemorrhage the vet might be obliged to perform a transfusion.

  • Gastric torsion (or bloat): Gastric Torsion or bloat is very common within large dog breeds. It happens when the dog absorbs too much air and his stomach gets distended. This generally cause the stomach to twist. Early symptoms of this condition, such as distended abdomen and attempts to vomit, are often unnoticed by owners. As a result, the health of the dog is jeopardized. Gastric torsion is a very serious condition; affected dogs should be brought to the vet immediately. A surgical operation can be recommended to avoid the condition to happen again.

  • Oesophageal achalasia: it happens when the lower oesophageal sphincter cannot relax. As a result, dogs affected by this disease have difficulties to swallow their food and tend to regurgitate undigested food. If you suspect your dog suffering form Oesophageal achalasia, you should bring him top the vet for a proper examination. Surgical treatment is often required.

Heart diseases

  • Congestive heart failure: it happens when the dog's heart is weakened and does not function properly. As a result, the heart does not seem to be able to pump enough blood to supply the body muscles. If you suspect your dog from suffering from Heart failure, you should bring him immediately to the vet.

  • Cardiomyopathy: it happens when the heart does not function normally and not enough blood circulates in the body. Generally, it goes unnoticed by dog owners until the dog collapse. During an examination of the dog, the vet can suspect a heart failure by listening to the dog's pulse.

  • Aortic Stenosis: Aortic Stenosis occurs when the blood does not reach the heart. The heart has then to work harder to get blood from the aorta. This causes heart failures.

Neurological disorders

  • Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a seizure in the dog's brain. Affected dogs will display many symptoms such as contraction of the muscles, clamping of the jaws, jerking and a general state of confusion. When a dog is having an epileptic crisis, it is best to leave him alone in a room where he can not get hurt. When the dog has an Epileptic seizure, it is recommended not to comfort him as he might be more aggressive than usual.

  • Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (also referred as Spike's disease): Dogs affected by this disease will have similar symptoms as dogs affected by epilepsy. Their body will have abnormal rhythmic movements and, eventually, a seizure will occur and the dogs will collapse on the floor.

  • Neuroaxonal Dystrophy: This neurological disorder evolves progressively. Dogs affected by this disease will not be able to coordinate their movements.

Impairments

General conditions