Glossary of Dog Diseases

Dog Diseases, Short Descriptions

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Calcinosis circumscripta - the development of lumps of hard calcium deposits in the skin.
Canine Allergies - Any of a variety of reactions to allergens that are touched, consumed, or inhaled.
Canine Atopic Dermatitis - Hypersensitivity to inhaled allergens, typically affecting the skin (itching).
Canine Hyperlipidemia - A continuous elevated level of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream. It may be genetic, or it may be secondary to another condition, such as diabetes mellitus.
Canine Melanoma - Cancer developing from melanocytes, which produce skin pigmentation. Often seen orally, but may be anywhere.
Canine Microphthalmia - Birth defect. One or both eyes are abnormally small. May occur in conjunction with other ocular defects.
Canine Muscular Dystrophy - Any of a group of inherited muscle diseases, which produce weakness, muscle degeneration, difficulty swallowing. May be sex-linked.
Cardiac Arrhythmia - Abnormal electrical impulses in the nodes of the heart, leading to irregular or missed beating.
Cardiac valvular disease - weakness of heart valves producing heart murmurs and leading to cardiac failure.
Cardiomyopathy - a disease of weakened heart muscles.
Carpal subluxation - a condition where the "wrist" bones are loose and out of alignment.
Castration responsive dermatosis - a skin condition characterized by loss of hair, thickened skin and inflammation which responds to castration (i.e., hormonally dependent).
Cataract - as in humans, a change in structure of the lens of the eye leading to cloudiness and usually to blindness.
Cell-mediated immunodeficiency - a deficiency of t-lymphocyte function causing impaired immunity, chronic recurrent infections and stunted growth.
Cellulitis - inflammation and infection of the cells of the skin including the hair follicles and deeper structures.
Cerebellar and extrapyramidal abiotrophy - a condition where the neurons in the cerebellum part of the brain and parts of the spinal cord are malformed and eventually malfunction.
Cerebellar cortical abiotrophy - malformation of the neurons in the cerebellum, a part of the brain.
Cerebellar degeneration - a condition where a part of the brain deteriorates.
Cerebellar hypoplasia - a condition where the cerebellum, a part of the brain, is poorly formed (too small or absent) and doesn't function properly or at all.
Cerebrospinal demyelination - a condition where the neurons of the brain and spinal cord are malformed, lacking a specialized sheath, which causes malfunction.
Cervical disc disease - a degeneration or malformation of the cushioning discs between the spinal column bones (vertebrae) in the neck.
Cervical vertebral malformation or instability - a malformation of the vertebrae in the neck usually leading to nerve damage. Commonly seen in Doberman pinschers and causes a hackneyed gait (high stepping).
Chemodectomas - Benign tumors of the chemoreceptor system, usually of the aortic body (Aortic Body Tumor), at the base of the heart. Also the less common Carotid Body Tumor, in the neck. Typically affects older dogs, most often males.
Cherry Eye (Eversion of nictitating membrane) - When the third eyelid protrudes and becomes red and swollen. May lead to hypertrophy.
Choroidal hypoplasia - improper development of a part of the eye.
Chronic Superficial Keratitis - Long term inflammation of the cornea, leading to vision obstruction. Also known as Pannus.
Ciliary dyskinesia - congenital trait in several breeds where all ciliated cells (those with hairs or moving appendages) are deformed and rigid. Also called immotile cilia syndrome and Kartagener's syndrome. Causes chronic pneumonia and sterility. Common in bichon frise and Doberman pinschers.
Cleft lip - a condition where the two halves of the upper lip do not join together. Cleft palate and cleft lip are often seen together.
Cleft palate - a condition where the roof of the mouth is not closed and the inside of the nose opens into the mouth.
Coliform enteritis - an inflammation of the bowel tract caused by a certain group of bacteria.
Collapsed trachea - a condition where the cartilage rings that make up the trachea are malformed and tend to collapse easily.
Collie eye anomaly (CEA) - a condition of collie dogs where the narrow shape of the head causes the eyes to be malformed.
Coloboma - an abnormal development of the eye, usually seen in collies, which can lead to blindness
Colobomas - Depressions or disonnections in the area of the optic disk (eye). Increased chances of retinal detachment, hemmorhage, possibly blindness.
Color mutant alopecia - a condition where certain colored areas of a dog's skin grows less or no fur.
Combined immunodeficiency - a severe combined deficiency of cell-mediated immunity (T-cell function) and low levels of serum immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, and variably IgM). Affected puppies usually die from viral infectins by 12-16 weeks of age. Seen in Basset hounds
Complement deficiency - a deficiency in serum levels of the third component of complement which impairs neutrophil function and causes recurrent infections.
Congenital Stationary Night Blindness - Autosomal recessive disease in Briards that causes night blindness
Conjunctivitis - an inflammation of the conjunctival membrane of the eye.
Conus septal defect - a developmental abnormality of the right ventricle of the heart.
Copper Toxicosis - Inability to excrete copper adequately via bile, leading to an accumulation of copper in the liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
Corneal dystrophy - an abnormality of the cornea usually characterized by shallow pits in the surface
Corneal leukomas - an abnormal accumulation of a white material in or on the cornea.
Craniomandibular osteopathy - an abnormal development of the bones of the face and the jaw.
Cranioschisis - Abnormal openings in or between the skull bones.
Crohns Disease - Also known as Granulomatous Colitis. Chronic inflammation of the small and large intestine, possibly accompanied by ulcers which, if severe, may puncture the bowel wall and lead to serious infection.
Cryptorchidism - Failure of a testicle to descend into the scrotum.
Cushings Disease - Also known as Hyperadrenocorticism. Overactivity of the adrenal glands, usually caused by pituitary tumor or, less often, adrenal gland tumor. Typically occurs in older dogs.
Cutaneous asthenia - Connective tissue disease. Produces loose skin that can tear easily . Also called Ehlers- Danlos syndrome.
Cutaneous vasculopathy - Recessive disease involving footpad swelling and depigmentation, with crusting and ulceration of the tail and ears. Most often in puppies.
Cyclic neutropenia - Periodic reduction in neutrophil count (type of white blood cell)
Cystic ovaries - A condition in which the ovaries fill with fluid, leading to hormonal problems.
Cystinuria - Abnormal presence of cystine in the urine.
Cystitis and cystic calculi - Infection of the bladder which may lead to the formation of bladder stones.
Dacrocystitis - The inflammation of a tear sac of the eye.
Deafness - Inability to hear.
Deformed tail - Congenital malformation of the tail.
Degenerative Spondylolisthesis - Also called Wobblers Syndrome. Weakening of the neck or back spinal joints, causing a compression of the spinal cord and resulting weakness in legs.
Demodicosis - Mange caused by Demodex canis mites living within the skin layers and producing an immunodeficiency syndrome.
Dermatitis, atopic - Allergic skin reaction to common substances, and subsequent inflammation
Dermatomyositis - Lesions involving skin and sometimes muscle. Onset is usually at a young age.
Dermoid cyst - Small growth of skin cells.
Dermoid sinus - Large growth of skin cells.
Detached Retina - Where the retina is pulled away from its normal position at the rear of the eye.
Diabetes mellitus - Deficiency in the production of insulin and the resulting difficulty in metabolizing sugars.
Digital hyperkeratosis - Thickening of the foot pads, which then crack and become infected. Typically occurs in Irish Terrier puppies.
Discoid lupus erythematosus - Autoimmune disease that affects the stkin
Dislocation of shoulder - Shoulder joint that is out of position.
Distichiasis - Eyelashes that grow abnormally and may irritate the cornea.
Dwarfism - Growth disorder leading to abnormally small adult.
Dystocia - Difficulty or problems giving birth.