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  • Atlantoaxial (AA) luxation is a condition in which instability, or excessive movement, is present between the first two vertebrae within the neck. This spinal disorder is most commonly seen in young, small breed dogs, such as Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas. Less commonly, however, large breed dogs and even cats can be affected.

  • Atovaquone is given by mouth and is used off-label to treat protozoal infections. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or skin rash. Do not use in pets that are pregnant. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions or twitching of the heart muscle, specifically in the atria. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in dogs occurs secondary to heart disease. In some large breed dogs, atrial fibrillation occurs as a primary heart problem. Most dogs who develop atrial fibrillation have underlying heart disease, so the signs that are observed are related to that disease and may include exercise intolerance, cough, or difficulty breathing. Treatment varies depending on whether the dog has primary or secondary atrial fibrillation. Your dog will need to be monitored on a regular basis.

  • Atrioventricular (AV) valve dysplasia describes a developmental malformation of the mitral or tricuspid valve. Bull Terriers, Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs, Rottweilers and Dalmatians are recognized to be susceptible to develop mitral valve dysplasia. Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Weimaraners, Irish Setters, Dogue de Bordeaux, Great Pyrenees, and Old English Sheepdogs are recognized as susceptible to tricuspid valve dysplasia. Exercise intolerance, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, weight loss, and stunted growth may be seen. Difficulty breathing or collapse may occur if congestive heart failure develops. Treatment of AV valve dysplasia is focused on managing signs of congestive heart failure, generally using medications. Activity may need to be restricted based on your dog’s exercise tolerance and nutritional modification may be recommended.

  • AIHA or IMHA is a life-threatening condition which may occur as a primary condition or secondary to another disease. Most dogs with AIHA have severe anemia, their gums will be very pale, they will be listless and tire more easily, be anorexic and will have increased heart and respiration rates. Diagnosis involves CBC, biochemical profiles, urinalysis, and X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen and chest. Treatment may involve blood transfusions and other medications over a prolonged course of time. The prognosis may be better if an underlying cause can be identified.

  • The body has an immune system that protects from foreign invaders that can cause disease and infection, however, if with an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks itself by mistake, causing illness.

  • Azithromycin is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off-label to treat a variety of infections. Give as directed. Common side effects include stomach upset. Do not use in pets that are sensitive to macrolide antibiotics. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Babesiosis is a disease that can be spread by multiple species of ticks and affect both dogs and people. It can be a persistent infection to treat and might not fully be cleared from the body. Treatment may involve multiple drugs and tick control is recommended in at risk regions for at risk pets.

  • Bacterial pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung usually caused by bacterial or viral infection but can be caused by inhalation of an irritant. Typical signs of bacterial pneumonia include fever, difficulty breathing, lethargy and coughing. As these can also be caused by other disease, diagnostics include a full physical exam, blood work, radiographs, and may also require bronchoscopy with sample collection for cytology and bacterial culture and sensitivity. Treatment includes the use of one or more antibiotics that ideally would be selected using the results of a culture. Affected dogs may also require hospitalization and supportive care including intravenous fluids. Prognosis is good to guarded depending on the presence of predisposing factors.

  • Bandages and splints protect an injured or wounded area of the body. It is important to closely monitor your dog’s bandage or splint to ensure it does not slip or become wet or soiled and to ensure there is no discharge or foul odors indicating infection. This handout explains optimal bandage and splint care for your dog at home as well as possible complications that will require veterinary attention.