Illustrated Articles

Medical Conditions

  • Bowel incontinence refers to the loss of the ability to control bowel movements. There are two broad causes of fecal incontinence: reservoir incontinence and sphincter incontinence. In reservoir incontinence, intestinal disease interferes with the rectum’s ability to store normal volumes of feces. In sphincter incontinence, a structural or neurologic lesion prevents the anal sphincter from closing normally. Clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and treatment vary based upon the underlying cause.

  • Bowel incontinence refers to the loss of the ability to control bowel movements. There are two broad causes of fecal incontinence: reservoir incontinence and sphincter incontinence. In reservoir incontinence, intestinal disease interferes with the rectum’s ability to store normal volumes of feces. In sphincter incontinence, a structural or neurologic lesion prevents the anal sphincter from closing normally. Clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and treatment vary based upon the underlying cause.

  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome refers to a particular set of upper airway abnormalities that affect brachycephalic cats. The most common sign of the condition is mouth breathing and, in the long term, the increased effort associated with breathing can put a strain on the cat's heart. Surgery is the treatment of choice whenever the anatomical abnormalities interfere with a cat’s breathing.

  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome refers to a particular set of upper airway abnormalities that affect brachycephalic dogs. The most common sign of the condition is mouth breathing and, in the long term, the increased effort associated with breathing can put a strain on the dog’s heart. Surgery is the treatment of choice whenever the anatomical abnormalities interfere with a dog’s breathing.

  • Brain injuries are devastating and, unfortunately, often fatal. The typical signs of brain injury in a cat include altered consciousness that may signal bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing swelling within the brain itself. There are many potential causes of brain injury and treatment will always be determined by the underlying problem that led to the injury.

  • Brain injuries are devastating and, unfortunately, often fatal. The typical signs of brain injury in a dog include altered consciousness that may signal bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing swelling within the brain itself. There are many potential causes of brain injury and treatment will always be determined by the underlying problem that led to the injury.

  • Brain tumors are generally classified as either primary or secondary. Several studies suggest that the prognosis for a dog with a primary brain tumor may be improved significantly by surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.

  • Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection that can cause a number of reproductive problems, including infertility and abortion in breeding dogs. Male dogs infected with brucellosis develop epididymitis, an infection of the testicle. Female dogs infected with brucellosis develop an infection of the uterus. The infection is usually diagnosed by a blood test (rapid slide agglutination test). Treatment with antibiotics is not significantly effective and infected dogs should be removed from the breeding population. In the United States, brucellosis is a reportable disease.

  • A burn is a type of skin injury, commonly caused by heat, fire, or chemicals. Burns are classified based on how many layers of skin are affected; this classification scheme can help predict prognosis. Treatment of burns varies, depending on the severity of the burn and how much of the body is affected. Superficial burns may heal without treatment, while more severe burns may require hospitalization and possible skin grafts.

  • Burr tongue is the common name for burdock tongue (also called granular stomatitis or granulomatous glossitis) caused by ingestion of the burrs from the burdock plant. Burr tongue is most commonly seen in long-haired dogs when they accidentally traumatize their tongue and mouth on the burrs during grooming. The hooked scales of the burrs become embedded in the tongue and gums and cause an intense foreign body reaction. Affected dogs often have small red bumps on the tip and edges of their tongue, front of the lips and gums, and occasionally the base of the nose. Based on the severity of the condition, treatment ranges from letting the injuries heal on their own to administering antibiotics and pain medications, to surgical intervention.

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