Category: Health

Canine dysplasia: symptoms and treatment

Coxofemoral dysplasia in a disease that affects many dogs in the world. The first description of hip dysplasia in dogs was made by the American Schenelle in 1935, and it was this veterinarian who described them according to their severity. He explained that the origin of canine dysplasia was genetic, so he promoted programs and campaigns against this condition and the search to treat it in a less painful way. In this article we will show some clues to recognize if your dog suffers from this condition.
Hip dysplasia is a progressive and degenerative hereditary disease. The term dysplasia, as such, is related to an alteration in the shape of the anatomical structure, that is, a dysplasia can manifest in the elbow, in the hips, etc.
It is a militant disease that occurs in puppies or very old dogs and usually manifests in dogs of large and medium-sized breeds such as Dogo Argentino, San Bernardo, German Shepherd, Napolitan Mastiff or Basset hound.
As indicated by veterinarians, their origin is multifactorial; It can be genetic, overweight or environmental conditions.

What is canine dysplasia?

This pathology consists in that the head of the femur does not fit well in the acetabulum cavity (hollow of the hip). The lack of synchrony between muscle and skeletal development leads to microfractures, cartilage erosion, subluxation and, finally, phenomena of degenerative osteoarthritis.

How to know if our dog suffers from dysplasia?

It is always important before making any diagnosis, go to the veterinarian to perform the respective orthopedic exams and thus determine if you really suffer from dysplasia.
Here we will give you some clues about the common symptoms suffered by dogs with dysplasia:
If your dog belongs to any of the races mentioned above, you should be careful in its growth process to monitor if there is something out of the ordinary.
If your dog walks very slowly.
If you walk as if you used your hind legs to make slight jumps (like rabbits).
If standing keeps the legs very close.
If you show pain in the back of the body.
If you have morning stiffness.
If you have difficulty climbing to places where you normally did.
If you have alterations in your behavior.
It is important to emphasize that dogs that suffer from this condition should avoid reproducing because, as we mentioned before, it is a hereditary disease.

What treatments are there for dysplasia?

There are two types of treatment for dysplasia: medical and surgical.
Among the medical procedures are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and physiotherapeutic treatments, which consist of relaxing massages in the area of ​​the hips. Another of the medical treatments are the contrometabolics, which help the restoration of cartilage and stimulates the relief of pain.
Among the surgical treatments is the triple osteotomy, which consists in reorienting the acetabulum to fit the head of the femur; the arthroplasty by excision of the head of the femur, which is about amputating the head of the femur to eliminate the pain caused by friction, and the hip prosthesis, consists in suppressing the head of the femur and the acetabulum with the aim of replacing it with artificial devices.

Inflammatory myopathies in dogs

Infectious inflammatory myopathies or myositis in dogs are a group of diseases that generate inflammation of the different muscular tissues of the animal. The word myositis comes from “mine” which means muscle, and “itis” which means inflammation, which is why it is defined as an inflammatory disease of the muscles.

Types of myopathies in dogs

There are two pathologies that cause myositis in dogs: polymyositis and myositis of the chewing muscles.
Polymyositis is a type of inflammatory myopathy that is shown as a more generalized aspect of muscle involvement. First, it damages the muscles of the extremities, especially in adult races. Generally, it is discovered through exercise when the dog shows weakness, fever or the beginning of muscular atrophy.
For its part, the myositis of the chewing muscles, also called eosinophilic myositis, is an inflammatory disease that damages the animal’s chewing muscles, that is, the temporal muscles (masseter and pterygoid), causing immobility in them.
There are two types of these pathologies, chronic and acute. In the chronicle, muscle atrophy predominates; In the acute, its most common symptoms are pain and fever.

Causes of inflammatory myopathies in dogs

The main cause of an inflammatory myopathy has not been discovered, however, a possible cause that generates myositis could be viruses, since the animal’s immune system turns against its own muscles, causing weakness and other complications.
Also, a bacterial infection can produce a local myopathy after the condition, if the animal is exposed to a wound or distant external agent. Within these inflammatory diseases are microorganisms such as Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum, which aggravate the symptoms of these pathologies, especially in young and depressed dogs.
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that integrates the group Coccidia and Phyllum Apicomplexa. Generally, it is found in warm-blooded animals, but in the case of dogs, this bacterium is only a host in the canine organism.
This germ is formed as an inoffensive cyst that, when broken in the dog’s organism, can cause abortions as it crosses the placenta and infects the fetus. Toxoplasma gondii is lodged in the myocardial fibers that, when split, can cause lymphohistiocytic focal myocarditis with partial hyalinization of the fibers, hemorrhage and other serious injuries.
Neospora caninum, on the other hand, is a parasite that was originally associated with Toxoplasma gondii due to its similarities. This causes neuromuscular alterations in dogs, especially those found in fields or stables. In general, the dogs infected with this parasite had some kind of contact with another infected animal or access to infected placentas and fetuses of cattle. To become infected, the dog’s age is not relevant, it should only have contact with the bacteria.

Symptoms of inflammatory myopathies in dogs

Among the main symptoms associated with inflammatory myopathies in dogs, we find:

  • Fever
  • Pain with lameness
  • Rigidity in the extremities
  • Loss of muscle mass (atrophy
  • Inflammation in the affected area
  • Progressive paralysis of the hind legs
  • There may be alterations in the nervous system

In case of an inflammation of the chewing muscles, eosinophils rise and creatine kinase (CK) increases.

Diagnosis and treatment by the veterinarian

The diagnosis of these diseases is made by the veterinarian through a blood test, where it is evaluated whether an enzyme is elevated or not; This ferment is called creatine kinase.
Creatine kinase or kinase (ck) is that enzyme that allows muscle contraction. When muscle damage occurs in the dog, the activity of the CK reaches its maximum level of 6 to 12 hours. This time must wait and if the damage does not persist, the muscle can return to normal in about 2 days.
When the blood test is done to the dog, you can see in the results those muscles that were affected; This can also be diagnosed by means of a biopsy.
Once proven to be an infectious myopathy, immunosuppressants and medications such as clindamycin, pyrimethamine and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine can be given.
In the case of Clindamycin, this antibiotic belongs to the group of Lincosamides. It acts on positive bacteria streptococci, anaerobic bacteria and staphylococci. Dogs that have Toxoplasma gondii should give orally 1 tablet every 10 kg of weight, twice a day, approximately between 14 and 21 days.
This medicine can not be used in puppies or newborns, it can not be consumed by pregnant or lactating females, nor should it be administered with other antibiotics. In addition, it should be stored at a temperature between 15 and 30 degrees and should only be supplied under veterinary medical supervision.
Its excessive use can generate vomiting and diarrhea. In case you have to opt for a prolonged use, the animal should be given probiotics since they protect the intestinal flora and reinforce the immune system of the same.

In which cases laparoscopic surgery is used in animals

The minimal invasion represents a trend in terms of surgical techniques in veterinary operating rooms. Therefore, laparoscopic surgery is managing to displace conventional treatment thanks to the greater well-being that the pet produces and a faster postoperative recovery. Let’s see in what cases laparoscopic surgery is used in animals.

¿What is laparoscopic surgery?

To understand the subject well, we must know that laparoscopy is a technique used in modern medicine that allows, through a minimal incision, observe in detail the organs of the abdominal area of ​​the body through a tiny camera.
It is common, in these times, for veterinarians to use this type of technique as it effectively helps the diagnosis of an animal before performing more complex interventions.

Applications of surgery by laparoscopy in animals

This surgical technique is used in animals for various reasons; Next, we can name some of the cases where laparoscopy is used in the field of veterinary medicine.

Sterilization

Mostly, this technique is used in the animal (female) to perform ovary removal without complications. There are clinical cases of sterile females that develop cysts because in the sterilization there are ovarian remains, so it is also used to extract this type of material.

Biopsy

It is done by taking a sample of the tissue to be analyzed to obtain a better result at the time of diagnosis. They can be hepatic, splenic or abdominal, pancreatic, renal, gland, gastric, suprarenal, reproductive organs, lymph nodes, small intestine and spleen. With this method, the area where the biopsy will be performed is chosen with better precision and an area of ​​lower vascularity is chosen to check that there is no bleeding that could complicate the intervention.

Cryptorchidism

It is defined when the animals, in this case the males, suffer from an anomaly that does not allow one or both testicles to find their usual position, being outside the scrotal sac.

Bladder calculus

Like humans, animals also suffer from stones in the gallbladder or kidney stones (lithium) that can not be undone by the urethra but through an infraumbilical laparoscopic surgery called cystotomy.

Removal of perineal hernia

It affects male dogs more frequently. It appears as a deformation produced by the pressure against the perineal skin of the rectum, located in the area of ​​the levator ani muscle, and the external anal sphincter. As it is used for this type of hernia, laparoscopic surgery can also be performed for the extraction of any other common type such as diaphragmatic or inguinal.

Nephrectomy

It is the extirpation of the total or partial kidney, when there are benign or cancerous tumors with the purpose of extracting the diseased tissue. It is also used in cases of kidney donations. In addition, the excision of the adrenal glands due to tumors, called Adrenalectomy, can also be done by laparoscopic technique.
Other cases in which laparoscopic surgery is used in animals is in the gallbladder aspirate, closure of mesenteric defects and prostatectomies.
Laparoscopic surgery is increasingly extended in veterinary medicine thanks to its multiple benefits, among which we can mention less pain in the interventions, greater hemorrhagic control, less manipulation of the tissues and a quick recovery since, sometimes, the Animal patients can leave the office after 4 hours.

Epilepsy treatment in dogs and cats

Epilepsy represents one of the most frequent neurological problems in dogs and cats. It is produced by an irregular activity in the neurons of the animal brain and can be caused by several factors.
This disorder occurs when many overexcited neurons send electrical signals at the same time and collide; It is at this time that epileptic seizure occurs. Two of the most common treatment actions is to suppress the tonic phase (initial seizures) of the electroshock and increase the threshold between the neurons.
The causes of epilepsy in dogs can be due to intoxication when consuming a substance, head trauma, metabolic diseases, brain tumors, among others. For its part, epilepsy in cats is caused by brain lesions, congenital malformation, degenerative or vascular diseases, toxoplasmosis and its variants.

How and when the pet should be medicated

Epilepsy has a cure according to the causes and the type. In both dogs and cats, it is divided into idiopathic (chronic) epilepsy, which is one that manifests itself clearly due to genetic causes and does not show structural problems; and cryptogenic epilepsy, which is caused by secondary diseases.
The first is diagnosed in young cats 3 years of age while the second in older cats who develop diseases throughout their lives. On the other hand, in dogs, the manifestation can occur regardless of age.
Seizures are both focal and generalized. The classification of epilepsy is a determining factor in the application of the treatment since some types can be cured depending on the causes. For example, epileptic seizures can occur due to a brain tumor or a secondary disease that, when treated as a root causes seizures to disappear.
The most common treatments for chronic epilepsy (there is no cure) are the anticonvulsants used to reduce the impact of attacks and the frequency of attacks.
Most veterinarians recommend starting treatment when the postictal phase lasts more than 24 hours or is so aggressive that it causes blindness, aggression, fainting, etc .; when the frequency of electroshock increases more and more or when they have two or more crises in a period of six months.

Treatments: pharmacology, dosage, side effects and monitoring

Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital belongs to the group of barbiturates and has an effectiveness of 60-93%. It is the most used since it has sedative-hypnotic, anesthetic action, suppresses the tonic phase of the epileptiform crisis response and increases the threshold between the neurons. In addition, it is easily achieved and is the most economical antiepileptic.
It is absorbed by the body in approximately 2 hours. In cats, the elimination half-life is 34-50 hours and in dogs 40-90 hours. The recommended therapeutic levels are between 23-30 g / ml. It is used as the first before deciding for another.
Side effects, which may appear at the start of treatment or when the dose is increased, usually disappear within 2 weeks. They are manifested by sedation, ataxia, polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia and changes such as hyperexcitability.
Hepatotoxicity has not been evidenced in cats, but in dogs, although in a very low frequency and proportion. Similarly, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, cutaneous hypersensitivity have been evidenced. All these reactions disappear after suppressing the treatment.
The recommended dose for both is 2.5-3 mg / kg orally every 12 hours.
It is very important to monitor the therapeutic concentrations of phenobarbital in serum that reach stable levels 3 weeks after the start of treatment. From this moment, analysis must be done at 15,45, 90 and 180 days; Subsequently, the check will be every 6 months.

Potassium bromide

For its part, potassium bromide is an inorganic salt and the second anticonvulsant treatment used in dogs and cats that has an effectiveness of 73%; when used as a second treatment linked with phenobarbital, it increases up to 95%. Tolerance in cats is rare.
The body absorbs it faster than phenobarbital, approximately in 1 hour and a half. The elimination half-life in cats is 11 days and in dogs it is longer, it takes between 15 and 46 days. Unlike phenobarbital, it does not develop hepatotoxicity, so it is recommended to patients with liver pathologies.
Like the previous drug, the adverse effects begin to manifest at the beginning of the treatment and decrease when the therapeutic levels are stable in the blood. Between 35% and 42% of cats have manifested allergic pneumonitis. Among the most common side effects are polyphagia, polydipsia, polyuria, ataxia and weakness. In other cases vomiting has been evidenced by the irritation of the gastric mucosa produced by potassium bromide.
A daily dose of 20-40 mg is recommended at the start of treatment, although this varies according to the form of administration, if it is monotherapy or is used to complement another drug. To avoid irritation of the mucosa, it should be administered twice daily.

Levetiracetam

Initially it was used to complement other antiepileptic drugs, but recent research shows that it can be used as monotherapy, reaching an effectiveness of up to 64%. It is recommended for patients with liver disease.
The elimination half-life in dogs and cats has an average time of 3-6 hours. Thanks to the binding with the SV2A protein, it acts on the level of the neuronal calcium flow and propitiates that the inhibitory neurotransmitters are released.
This medicine must be given 20 mg / kg orally every 8 hours or as directed by the veterinarian.
Adverse effects are very rare, but can cause lethargy, ataxia and inappetence. Stable levels in the blood are between 1 and 2 days. Due to the few adverse effects that may occur, monitoring should be done 1 week after the start of treatment. It is done mainly so that the dose is correct since it has a high level of security.
Other drugs that can be given in case of requiring a change of treatment or intolerance to the aforementioned are Zonisamide, Pregabalin, Diazepam in cats, Felbamate in dogs and Topiramate. These are more difficult to obtain and more expensive, but they work correctly as alternatives.
It is very important to take the pet to the veterinary clinic before starting any treatment; The specialist in neurology can make an accurate diagnosis and establish the right medication.