Illustrated Articles

Dogs + Pet Services

  • An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In the dog, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance.

  • Allopurinol is an oral medication typically used to prevent uric acid and calcium oxalate stones in dogs. It is also used off-label to treat leishmaniasis and gout in dogs and other species. Side effects are uncommon but may involve stomach upset. Caution must be taken when allopurinol is used in conjunction with certain other medications. It should not be used in pets with liver or kidney dysfunction or in red-tailed hawks.

  • Amyloidosis occurs when amyloid proteins are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction. It is uncommon in dogs, except in Beagles, Chinese Shar Peis, Collies, Treeing Walker Hounds, and English Foxhounds. Signs depend on the organs involved, but kidney involvement is most common. If kidneys are involved signs include mouth ulcers, weight loss, vomiting, and dehydration. For dogs with liver involvement, signs include weakness, pale gum color, distended abdomen, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, and collapse. There is no specific medication for the treatment of amyloidosis in dogs, with treatment focusing on kidney support. Shar Peis may be treated with colchicine to reduce the effects of amyloid deposition.

  • Anal sac disease is a common problem in dogs that can be very uncomfortable or painful. Signs to watch for, diagnosis, and treatments, including identifying and managing underlying causes are outlined in this handout.

  • Anal sac tumors grow quickly and have a moderate risk of spreading to other parts of the body. Depending on the tumor’s size, your pet could develop signs of straining to defecate or produce thin ribbon-like stool. An increased calcium level in the blood is consistent with anal sac tumors, which can cause other signs and result in kidney failure. The best and most well-described local treatment for the primary tumor is surgery. Radiation and chemotherapy may be considered if there is evidence of spread.

  • Anaphylaxis is an acute severe allergic reaction caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an allergen such as a food protein, medication, vaccine antigen or other chemical. The most common signs include itching, cutaneous edema, hives, excessive drool, vomiting, diarrhea or respiratory distress. Diagnosis is made based on history and physical exam.

  • Anaplasmosis is a disease that affects dogs, but can also affect people. It rarely affects cats. Multiple species of ticks can transmit the disease. Diagnosis is relatively simple and treatment is effective.

  • Anemia has a wide variety of causes and appropriate treatments based on the specific cause. Signs of anemia include the loss of the normal pink color of the gums, loss of energy or stamina, weight loss, labored breathing, loss of appetite, a faster than normal heart rate, or signs of blood loss. Several tests are performed to diagnose anemia and additional testing may be required to determine the specific cause. Toxins, infectious diseases, or cancer are some possible causes. Prognosis is variable depending on the underlying cause and how early anemia is diagnosed.

  • Anesthesia is accomplished by administering drugs that depress nerve function. It is important that you fully understand what will happen to your pet, and that you acknowledge that you understand the risks. Anesthetic monitoring in a veterinary hospital is similar to that found in any human hospital. With today's anesthetics, many of which are reversible, your pet should be almost completely normal by the time of discharge.

  • Anisocoria is a condition in which the pupils of the eyes are different sizes; in other words one pupil is larger than the other. Anisocoria is a sign of an underlying disease condition, therefore there are several different causes. Your veterinarian will begin by conducting a physical examination of your dog, including a detailed examination of the structures of the eye. The treatment and prognosis of anisocoria depend entirely on the underlying cause of the condition, and treatment will be tailored specifically to the diagnosis.

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