Protecting your small breed dogs from 10 common diseases

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Lovely, loyal, protective and intelligent, the dog is a friend who shall never abandon you. Thus, it is of vital essence that you make sure that your dog is taken care of, that its needs are seen to and it does not feel neglected. It is important that you know all about your breed, its preferences and above all, how to keep it healthy. While it is true that all breeds of canines are equally susceptible to diseases, there are some ailments that only affect certain breeds of dogs, such as dogs of a considerably large size. But smaller dogs too have their own set of problems. Because of their tiny size, there are a few diseases that are specific to them and owners must be careful to keep their dogs from suffering.

Here are ten disorders that usually afflict tiny dogs

Patellar luxation

This is a state where the kneecap, also referred to as the patella, is luxated, or dislocated, moving from the original location it had been in, which is the femur or thigh bone’s groove. A common indication that the dog is suffering from a dislocated kneecap is when it walks by skipping or raising either one or the two of his back legs when moving about. A severely painful condition, it may only be fixed once the muscles of the quadriceps in the legs at the back are able to relax and thus grow longer. Thus, it is for this reason that in most cases, surgery is the sole choice for fixing this state. In order to find out what is wrong, the owner must have their dog undergo X-rays, after which the veterinarian will decide the best course of action with regards to putting the kneecap back in its original location.

Dental diseases

That dogs are smaller in size does not mean that they do not possess the same number of teeth as all other dogs. This means that tiny dogs, with their much smaller heads, will still possess forty-two teeth, packed closely in their mouth. Consequently, all the teeth end up rather twisted and bent out of shape, creating a lot of extra gaps or cavities within the mouth. Substances that are harmful to the teeth such as tartar and plaque begin to develop in such crevices. Then there is the periodontal disease, that is the gums becoming inflamed, when the condition of plaque worsens. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis, an inflammation of the dog’s gums, considered to be the initial stage of periodontal diseases. X-rays may be used to diagnose the condition.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a condition where there is a formation, completely unnatural, within the socket of the hip. At its worst, the condition causes the dog to become lame and suffer intensely arthritic pains. This is a condition that affects all kinds of dogs, though smaller varieties are more susceptible. Large dogs have also been known to suffer from this condition. The breed that falls prey to hip dysplasia most often is the pug, as tests have shown over 68.7% of the pugs that were tested suffering from the condition. This is solely the most usual reason why dogs suffer from arthritis in the region of the hips. The primary reason for such a state is genetic, although the state of the environment also plays an important role. Once again, the easiest way to find out whether the dog suffers from hip dysplasia is by conducting X-rays.

Collapsed trachea

Those breeds of dogs that possess muzzles that are not very long and are often squished, are very susceptible of having their rings in the cartilage located in the trachea weaken or not form fully. This may happen within our outside the cavity of the thorax. The condition is dynamic. This condition takes place when the canine breathes in. It results in difficulty for the dog to breathe, as the collapsing of the rings causes obstructions in the windpipe of the canine. The coughs, often paroxysmal is also accompanied by a reluctance to exercise and the gums taking on a bluish a tinge. A way to find out whether the trachea has collapsed or not is to take a radiography of the dog. Another option is to conduct a Fluoroscopy. After this, the dog is usually given suppressants of cough.

Legg Calves Perth Disease

A disorder in the joints most common in tiny varieties of dogs, this is a terrible condition where the head located on the bone of the femur within the back legs of a dog begins to degenerate in a spontaneous manner. As a consequence, the joint of the hip dissolves and the bone as well as the joint itself are inflamed. It has not been found out as to why exactly dogs suffer from this state, but something common within all these canines afflicted by this disease is a limited supply of blood to the head of the thigh bone that degenerates. Some of the common signs of the dog suffering from this are it walking in lamely, muscles on the limb being badly affected, especially thigh muscles, wasting away. In order to diagnose the disease, a full examination must be conducted by the veterinarian.

Mitral Valve Disease

The mitral valve is a chamber within the heart located between the atrium of the left and the ventricle of the left. The disease is such that it causes deterioration of this part of the heart. The greatest danger arising out of this condition is that blood, which is usually supposed to flow in a singular direction, ends up flowing in the opposite direction, i.e. backwards. Some of the reasons may be that the veins are narrow or that the muscle of the heart is infected by bacteria or there are cancerous cells in the heart. Some of the effects of this disease are breathing problems during exercise, really intense blood pressure in the lungs, coughing, etc. Unfortunately, a cure has not been found for the disease yet and the condition of the dog afflicted slowly worsens, leading to failure of the heart due to congestion.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Another ailment particularly common among brachycephalic dogs (those whose faces are flat and muzzles are short), this condition also causes difficulty when the dog tries to breathe, as airflow is disrupted. The dog also is unable to cool itself properly; thus, this may lead to the dual dangers of suffocating or becoming too warm. The airway on the upper side ends up being blocked partly. This is caused by a variety of factors, most of them arising from the features of the faces of brachycephalic breeds, such as nostrils too narrow, a soft palate that is far too great in length or a complete collapse of the larynx, from which the dog emits various sounds. Some signs of the condition are when the dog snores, breathes rapidly or noisily, experiences problems swallowing, cannot perform a lot of activities that require physical exercise, among others. A laryngoscopy or tracheoscopy may be conducted to diagnose the condition.

Whelping Issues

Dogs of a small size are not capable of having as great a space within them for birthing as larger breeds may possess. Yet dog owners are continuously attempting to breed bigger variations all the time, something that is problematic for the females of smaller breeds as the canal through which they give birth is often not too large. This creates difficulties when they are giving birth to puppies, leading to the need for delivery by Cesarian section, reducing the risk of pushing the puppy through a canal too narrow for it. This also reduces the risk for the mother experiencing physical harm during the birthing process.

Homeostasis Imbalance

Tinier breeds of canines have a tendency to heat up far too quickly or have their body temperature fall below usual levels. They are far more sensitive of the heat and the cold and often suffer due to this. They either overheat or they experience severe hypothermia, affecting the body’s respiratory, circulatory and several other systems. Because of this, owners are warned to take special care of smaller breeds of dogs as their bodies are affected by and respond to minute changes in temperature. Overheated dogs tend to suffer terrible heat strokes or can often end up being severely dehydrated.

Reverse Sneeze

This is perhaps the least harmful of most diseases and disorders peculiar to smaller breeds of dogs, but it comes with its own set of discomforts regardless. Contrary to its name, a reverse sneeze is not an actual sneeze, but a name for a spasm caused in the soft palate and the throat that results in a sound that makes it seem as if the dog is choking. Obviously these reverse sneezes cause a lot of discomfort to the dog. Reverse sneezes are often caused due to impurities in the voice box or larynx. The dog attempts to remove these impurities that cause irritation by reverse sneezing.

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