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Common Genetic Conditions And Pre-Dispositions In Dogs

 

 


Degenerative Myelopathy
Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a slowly progressive spinal cord disorder that resembles Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in people.

 

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Alphabetical List Of Genetic Conditions With Descriptions

 

A Cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope (lens capsule), varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. Early in the development of age-related cataract, the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia), and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colors. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss, and are potentially blinding if untreated. The condition usually affects both eyes, but almost always one eye is affected earlier than the other.[1]

A senile cataract, occurring in the elderly, is characterized by an initial opacity in the lens, subsequent swelling of the lens and final shrinkage with complete loss of transparency.

Demodicosis, also called demodectic mange or red mange, is caused by a sensitivity to and overpopulation of Demodex canis as the animal's immune system is unable to keep the mites under control.
Demodex is a genus of mite in the family Demodicidae. Demodex canis occurs naturally in the hair follicles of most dogs in low numbers around the face and other areas of the body. In most dogs, these mites never cause problems. However, in certain situations, such as an underdeveloped or impaired immune system, intense stress, or malnutrition, the mites can reproduce rapidly, causing symptoms in sensitive dogs that range from mild irritation and hair loss on a small patch of skin to severe and widespread inflammation, secondary infection, and—in rare cases—a life-threatening condition. Small patches of demodicosis often correct themselves over time as the dog's immune system matures, although treatment is usually recommended.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or bloat or a twisted stomach is a medical condition in which the stomach becomes overstretched by excessive gas content. It is also commonly referred to as torsion and gastric torsion when the stomach is also twisted. The word bloat is often used as a general term to cover gas distension of the stomach with or without twisting. In dogs, gas accumulation in the stomach is usually associated with volvulus of the stomach, which prevents gas from escaping. Deep-chested breeds are especially at risk. Mortality rates in dogs range from 10 to 60 percent, even with treatment.[2] With surgery, the mortality rate is 15 to 33 percent.

Hemolytic anemia is a type of regenerative anemia found in dogs characterized by destruction of the red blood cell. The most important type is immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, which can be a primary disease or secondary to cancer, infection, drugs, or vaccinations. Antibodies are present on the cell surface, leading to lysis and severe anemia. Other causes of hemolytic lesion include hypophosphatemia, exposure to toxins such as lead, infections such as ehrlichiosis or babesiosis, and rarely, neonatal isoerythrolysis.[43] The behavioral condition pica, especially when involving the eating of concrete dust, tile grout, or sand, may be a sign of hemolytic anemia, indicating the need for a complete blood count to investigate a possible diagnosis.

Hip Dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is affected by environmental factors. It can be found in many animals and occasionally in humans, but is most commonly associated with dogs, and is common in many dog breeds, particularly the larger breeds.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most studied veterinary conditions in dogs, and the most common single cause of arthritis of the hips

Hypothyroidism is a state in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.
Iodine deficiency is often cited as the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide but it can be caused by many other factors. It can result from a lack of a thyroid gland or from iodine-131 treatment, and can also be associated with increased stress

Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome is a form of osteochondritis of the hip joint, where growth/loss of bone mass leads to some degree of collapse of the hip joint and to deformity of the ball of the femur and sometimes the surface of the hip socket. It is characterized by idiopathic avascular osteonecrosis of the capital femoral epiphysis of the femoral head leading to an interruption of the blood supply of the head of the femur close to the hip joint.

Luxating patella (or trick knee, subluxation of patella, floating patella, or floating kneecap) is a condition in which the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal location.
Patellar luxation is a common condition in dogs, particularly small and miniature breeds. The condition usually becomes evident between the ages of 4 to 6 months.

von Willebrand Disease is also called vWD and is the most common inherited blood clotting disorder in pet dogs. Dogs with the condition have an insufficient amount of von Willebrand factor, called vWF, which is a plasma protein. This protein is needed in order for the blood to clot properly. The disease inhibits normal clotting function and causes excessive bleeding even for minor skin wounds. For this reason, it can be a serious and even deadly bleeding disorder.

 

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