Why does a dog or a cat have mammary gland tumor ( cancer)?

There are two types of tumor : benign  and malignant. It is said benign when the tumor does not have ability to attack other tissues- Metastatic tumor- but  malignant  has this potential to make metastatic tumor to involve other organs.On the basis of pathological study there are some characters for malignant and benign tumor which are not necessary to mention them here.Any bump on the mammary gland can be a tumor but not all of them.Female dogs and cats are prone to affect by this tumor but those who are intact have high risk for mammary gland tumors because progesterone is a risk factor for this neoplasm ( tumor)

Obviously enough ovariohysterectomy ( Spay) in early stage of life can decrease the chance of this tumor in pets.Another factor is genetic , in some breeds like poodle and German shepherd or Persian cats.This tumor can affect one or more than one mammary gland.It can have very fast growth or slow growth, can be capsulated or diffuse, edematous or non-edematous. Therefor if your pet has a bump on the breast needs investigation by your vet.

Diagnosis is based on examination and biopsy.Any  mass in this area needs biopsy to diagnose it’s behavior : malignant or benign.

Treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.On the basis of your vet decision one or all of them can be used.

Prevention is based on the spay surgery before the first  heat (bleeding).It has been approved that there is a correlation between the time of this surgery and the rate of mammary gland tumor.It means ovaryhysterectomy before the  first bleeding has the lowest chance and after that the chance is higher.

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Why a dog or a cat shows seizure ( epilepsy or convulsion)?

Seizure means rhythmic movement of a part of body or whole body.Convulsion is another name for seizure but in veterinary medicine most often epilepsy is used.Convulsion can be started from a part of body and then it can affect other parts.During seizure animals don’t have ability to control their movements and they show teeth grinding and frothy secretion from the mouth.Convulsion can be continued for a short time and after a period of rest it is started again-clonic convulsion- or it can be continued without rest -tetanic convulsion.


Epilepsy is a syndrome.It means it has some known  and also unknown reasons.

Some reasons include: inherited ( idiopathic epilepsy) , brain diseases like tumor, encephalitis, meningitis or trauma to brain , advanced liver disease ( hepatic encephalopathy), advanced kidney disease, some poisonings

Idiopathic epilepsy is the most usual convulsion in the dogs which is started between 3-5 years old.


It is on the basis of its reason.For example if a dog has meningitis , this disease has to be treated to get rid of seizure.In idiopathic epilepsy some special medications can be used during life every day to prevent from convulsion.In other situations continuing the medication is based on your vet decision.

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What is cardiac murmur in pets?

To explain cardiac murmur it is necessary to familiar with activities of heart.

Heart has two activities:

1- Electrical activity which leads to mechanical activity

2- Mechanical activity which produces heart sounds.

Electrical activity can be showed as a wave which is named electrocardiogram-ECG.

Actually contraction of heart muscles, opening and closing heart valves also flow of blood in heart chambers lead to heart sounds.

When the heart is in contractile position it is named systolic period and when it is in relax situation it is named diastolic period.These two periods  produce special sounds similar to LUP and DUP pronunciation respectively which can be listened by a stethoscope.They are named systolic and diastolic sound.

Normally there is no additional sound  between LUP and DUP. Any additional sound is cardiac murmur .Cardiac murmur is classified as systolic murmur, diastolic murmur and if additional sound is listened in systolic and diastolic period it is named machinery murmur.

Cardiac murmur can be physiologic or pathologic. Pathological forms need treatment.

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Why can’t a dog or a cat open it’s eye?

Usually ocular pain causes closed eye.This problem can be involved one or both eyes.There are so many problems but most usual are:

1- Conjunctivitis : inflammation of the conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is the internal sensitive layer of eyelids. Any viral or bacterial infection, irritant materials and allergy can cause conjunctivitis.

2- Foreign body : penetrating or non-penetrating foreign body causes ocular pain and closed eye.

3- Corneal ulcer: any trauma to cornea causes painful eye.Cornea is a transparent thin layer which covers the eye globe.

4- Keratitis : any bacterial or viral infection of cornea causes inflamed painful cornea.

5- Keratoconjunctivitis: as it’s name shows this includes inflammation of conjunctiva and cornea together.The source of inflammation can be infectious or noninfectious.

6- Uveitis: inflammation of the components of eye globe is named uveitis.This disease can be infectious or noninfectious disease.

7- Eyelid paralysis: paralysis of the nerve which supports upper eyelid  movement causes closed eye.

Needless to say that eye is a sensitive tissue and paying attention to any its abnormality and referring your pet to your vet as soon as possible can prevent from disaster.

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Why is a dog or a cat so tired?

When the body’s metabolism has a problem , producing of enough energy is decreased which leads to exhaustion.

Metabolism is a complicated mechanism in cells   leads to provide enough ATP ( source of energy ) and maintenance of tissues. For normal metabolism having enough oxygen, glucose, minerals, proteins , essential fatty acids and water are necessary. Therefore deficiency of one of them  or any interaction with the process of metabolism cause exhaustion.

Reasons for tiredness:

1-Cardiovascular disease: any cardiac or vascular problem which interferes with enough blood circulation causes fatigue.Blood circulation is necessary to send oxygen to cells and return waste materials from cells to lung, liver or kidneys.

2-Respiratory system disease: lung absorbs the oxygen and sends out carbon dioxide from the blood.Every disease of respiratory system including nasal cavity, larynx, pharynx, trachea and lung can causes low oxygen in blood which can affect the cell metabolism.

3-Anemia : low red blood cells or hemoglobin which carry oxygen from respiratory system to cells causes exhaustion of your pet.Internal or external parasites, deficiencies like iron , chronic blood loss (  like gastric ulcer) and bone marrow diseases are in this category.

4- Low oxygen: living in  high altitude, air pollution in  cities  can lead to fatigue  not only in humans but also in animals.

5- Starvation: deprivation from food for long term.

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Reasons for dogs or cats’ limping ( Lameness) ?


Atrophy is a pathological term which means becoming smaller than normal.

Forelimb : front leg

Hindlimb: Back Leg

There are five major reasons for lameness in animals:

1- Nerve involvement: Fore and hindlimbs  have special nerves which innervate ( conduct ) with muscles. There are two kinds of nerves: sensory and motor nerves

Sensory nerves cause sense of legs or hands and motor nerves promote movements of them.If one of motor nerves is damaged in hands or legs, animals shows limping. Also disc disease causes limping of front or back legs in dogs or cats.

In long term because of lacking of using affected leg or hand , muscle atrophy is occurred. Therefore that forelimb or hindlimb seems slimmer than normal

2-Muscle damage: Myositis ( inflammation of muscle ) because of trauma, ischemia ( insufficient blood supply ) and infection can lead to limping. In this situation animals suffer from  sever pain.

3-Bone fractures & joint diseases: Any trauma to hands or legs can cause fracture of a bone of them. Inflammation of a joint leads to arthritis and limping.

4-Luxation and incomplete luxation: in this situation because of trauma or congenital defect the head of a  bone which is normally in a socket of the join comes out of its socket like patellar luxation.

5- Ligament damage: because of trauma  rupture or incomplete rupture of a ligament can lead to limping such as cruciate ligament rupture in dogs.

It is necessary to say in a patient one or some or all of them can be seen.


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Eyelid mass in dogs and cats

Mass means accumulation of cells. Theses cells can be malignant (bad) or benign(good).Almost one third of  eyelid masses is benign but sometimes it is malignant like melanoma.An eyelid mass can be situated on the edge of the eyelid or near it, on upper , lower or on the third eyelid.Third eyelid is situated on the medial aspect of the eye.On the third eyelid a part of lacrimal glands is situated.

Eyelid mass size  is different.At the beginning it is small and during the time it will be bigger and bigger. Most often it is black.The surface of it can be ulcerative or non-ulcerative. If it is ulcerative it shows bleeding.

Treatment: Surgery is necessary to remove eyelid mass.This surgery is a delicate one in which surgeon has to reshape the eyelid after removing the mass.For stitches very tiny stitches material is used.This can be absorbable or nonabsorbable suture.

About third eyelid mass, removing the complete eyelid is a mistake because  this procedure can lead to dry eye and a specific disease: keratoconjunctivitis sicca

After surgery using antibiotic eye-drop or cream and e-collar at  for two  weeks are necessary to prevent from infection and scratching.

Complication: eyelid notch, infection and  returning the mass after several months.


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Why my dog scratches itself?

Inflammatory mediators like histamine cause cutaneous nerve stimulation which leads to pruritus sensation and scratch.Affected areas show erythema ( redness ) or rashes.In chronic patients alopecia and darkness of the skin can be seen.

Common Causes:

Most often pruritus in dogs is caused by :

1-Ectoparasites:  flea, lice,,scabies, insect biting,demodicosis

2- Infection agents: Staphylococcal pyoderma , Malassezia dermatitis

3-Allergies: contact,food and atopic dermatitis


On the basis of examination, distribution of lesions,flea comb,skin scraping or cytology test,therapeutic trial, skin allergy test,rarely skin biopsy diagnosis is done.


It is done on the basis of diagnosis such as anti-flea spray for flea infestation.


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Hair losing ( Alopecia ) in dogs and cats

This phenomenon can be local or general, temporary or permanently.

Alopecia is a scientific term which is used in veterinary science for hair losing.Sometimes alopecia  is occurred with changing color of the skin.Hyperpigmentation  is used when  the color of the skin is changed to darkness and hypopigmentation is a vice versa situation.

Melanin  is a dark pigment which is in the skin.The more melanin skin has, the darker it is. Pruritus is a term which is used to explain scratching feeling.Now and then alopecia has pruritus.

Reasons: there are so many reason for alopecia including:

Genetic, skin parasites like fungal infection or flea, bacterial infection, after severe fever ,deficiency like zinc deficiency in husky  breed, vaccination , skin contact with irritant materials, some poisonings, skin autoimmune diseases, certain tumors, allergic reaction to certain medications, sunburn, food allergy especially in cats, self trauma, psychological  alopecia, endocrine diseases like cushing disease

Diagnosis:  on the basis of symptoms and clinical signs, skin scraping test, blood test , special endocrinology tests, radiography, sonography, pathology and sometimes trial treatment , diagnosis is done.

Prognosis: in most often with accurate diagnosis and treatment hairs will be regrow.For some certain diseases using medication during life is necessary.Needless to say sometimes diagnosis is expensive and it takes time.


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Heartworm disease in dogs

As the name shows this illness is produced by a parasite which lives in the heart  or major vessels of dogs .A study on “Heartworm in dogs in Canada in 2010” published by the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph has revealed that  60 per cent increase in the number of dogs in Ontario with heartworm since the last study of its kind was conducted in 2002.


Female mosquitoes act as the intermediate host for the stage 1 of the cycle of larvae.Mosquitoes are infected when feed blood from infected dogs.The life cycle of this parasite (Dirofilaria immitis) takes at least six months after infection for the symptoms to become apparent.In this period of time 3 stages of life cycle of larvae are done in the mosquitoes bodies and finally by biting, L3 is transmitted to dogs .After about 100 days

L5 enters the pulmonary artery and it releases L1 into the bloodstream.Now the dog has been so infected that can be a source of the L1 and this cycle can be repeated if a mosquito bites that dog.

Cats appear to be more resistant to heartworm disease but can be infected.

Clinical signs:

Heart failure causes clinical signs including: fever,coughing,difficulty in respiration,increased heart rate,bleeding from respiratory system and pale mucous membranes and finally death.


Unfortunately treatment  in advanced stage of disease is very difficult and expensive .Any way therapy includes cage rest, corticosteroids, supplemental oxygen,heparin and spacial drugs which  can kill larvaes and even surgery.


Prevention is based on the heartworm test on the blood.In this lab test Ag or Ab is recognized in the serum.If the test is positive treatment has to be done and if this dog has had annual test,the disease  is in the early stage  and can be treated easily.If test is negative, prevention can be done by using special medication : chewable  tablet like Heartguard  or liquid form.



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