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Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Lameness refers to an inability to properly use one or more limbs. It is most often associated with pain or injury. The most common causes of acute or sudden lameness in dogs are injury to a joint, bone fracture or dislocation. Osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia may also cause lameness in dogs.

  • The larynx or "voice box" is composed of a series of separate plates of cartilage that form a "box" in the throat. The stability of this box is maintained by the laryngeal muscles. When the nerves of these muscles become weak (paretic) or paralyzed, the muscles relax and the cartilages tend to collapse inwards.

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is also known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head. This is a condition in which the head of the femur (the ‘ball’ in the ball-and-socket joint that forms the hip) spontaneously begins to degenerate. Over time, this degeneration will cause collapse of the hip and lead to arthritis.

  • Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a protozoan parasite found in dogs and certain rodents in many parts of the world, most commonly in rural areas. The parasite is transmitted by a small biting sand fly (Phlebotomus spp.). It is an important disease because humans can also contract Leishmaniasis.

  • The lens is the transparent structure within the eye that focuses light on the retina, the area where vision occurs. It is a flattened sphere held in place by tiny ligaments around its circumference.

  • Lenticular sclerosis or nuclear sclerosis is the medical term for a bluish transparent "haze" that develops in the lens of the eye in middle-aged to senior dogs. This is considered a normal change in the lens associated with aging, and is observed as a cloudiness or bluish discoloration on the pupil. Vision does not appear to be significantly affected in dogs diagnosed with lenticular sclerosis.

  • Also known as acral lick dermatitis, this problem begins as an area of hair loss and reddened skin most commonly on the top of the wrist or carpal joint on the front legs. It often looks like a "hot spot." These differ from "hot spots" in that they persist despite treatment.

  • Cauda equina or lumbosacral syndrome is a disease that occurs at the lumbosacral junction in the lower back. The term lumbo refers to the lumbar vertebrae. These are the bones in the lower part of the spinal column. The term sacral refers to the sacrum, which is the part of the spine that joins the lumbar spine and the pelvis.

  • Lymphocytic plasmacytic gastroenteritis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease in which inflammatory cells infiltrate the lining of the stomach and intestine as the result of an abnormal immune response.

  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes and lymphatic system. This cancer may be localized to one particular region, or may spread throughout the entire body. Lymphoma is a relatively common cancer, accounting for 15-20% of new cancer diagnoses in dogs. The prognosis for lymphoma varies, depending on various characteristics that can only be determined by specialized testing.