Dog Health

Dog Health

Uncover dog breed-specific health information, including common hereditary and health concerns, prevention tactics, and breakthroughs in treatments. Read our dog health articles below.

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Terrier breeders who have had dogs that suffer from primary lens luxation (PLL), a painful, genetic eye disorder that often leads to blindness, shared relief when the gene mutation was discovered last fall by researchers at the University of Missouri, and the Animal Health Trust and the University of Cambridge, both in the United Kingdom. By mid-September a DNA test was available for PLL, allowing breeders to test dogs to determine which ones are carriers, affected and normal.

A new therapy for canine lymphoma that was first used in human medicine offers promise in treating the one in four Boxers affected by the cancer. The therapy, bone marrow transplantation, uses a dog’s own stem cells to stimulate bone marrow function and immune system recovery following radiation to kill cancer cells.
Animal digest is often considered a substandard pet food ingredient. In some cases, this is because the word “digest” is mistakenly thought to describe the contents of the digestive tract. 

Purina officials recently presented the AKC Canine Health Foundation with a donation of $220,746. The gift, which is based on participation in the 2013 Purina Parent Club Partnership (PPCP) Program, will be used for canine health research.   

Purina is the newest corporate member of the USA Rice/Ducks Unlimited (DU) Rice Stewardship Partnership. Through a $2 million commitment over four years, Purina’s investment in the Rice Stewardship Partnership will help keep working ricelands healthy, preserve wetlands and create habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

“Farmers, their dogs and waterfowl have long been part of our conservation heritage,” says Dale Hall, DU CEO. “Purina already is a great partner with DU, and we’re proud they’re joining us in our rice industry support and conservation mission.”

A long-standing commitment shared by Purina and members of national parent breed clubs to support canine health research has helped raise $3.07 million since 2002. Linked to research funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, the Purina Parent Club Partnership (PPCP) Program is credited with contributing to the discoveries of the causes of many canine diseases.

Purina Director of Conformation Ann Viklund is a leader in promoting canine health and working behind the scenes to support canine health research. Her work has not gone unnoticed.

At the “Canines & Cocktails” gala, held Dec. 14 in Orlando, Fla., the AKC (American Kennel Club) Canine Health Foundation presented Viklund its President’s Award for helping to advance canine health. About 425 dog-passionate enthusiasts attended the event that celebrates achievements in canine health research.

The recent discovery of the causative gene mutation for vestibular deafness in Doberman Pinschers, and the subsequent development of a direct DNA test to identify carriers, is expected to have an impact on reducing the suspected 13 percent of Doberman puppies born with the disorder.

The discovery of the highly contagious H3N8 canine influenza virus (CIV) by researchers at the University of Florida and Cornell University veterinary schools in a community of racing Greyhounds in 2004 represented a rare event in adaptive evolution.1 Experts studying the genetic composition of the virus were amazed to learn that the entire genome of the H3N8 horse influenza virus had transferred to dogs, where it adapted to become a new canine-specific virus.

Research to learn more about two canine health conditions, degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) in small-breed dogs and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), is producing better understanding that may one day lead to better care for affected dogs.

Recognizing Signs of DMVD

Chris and Renee Coney are Chihua­hua lovers.

Boxers are among the breeds predisposed to degenerative myelopathy, a progressive neuro­degenerative disease that affects adult dogs, and hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive, highly malignant cancer. Research of these diseases offers hope that effective treatments may one day help affected dogs. Here is a review of the research. 

Testing a Drug Therapy for DM

Stress from travel, competition, exposure to other dogs, and an unfamiliar environment can all contribute to gastrointestinal (GI) upset. Some dogs are more prone to developing digestive problems than others. The key is to recognize signs of a problem early.