Talk:Dog health

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WikiProject Veterinary medicine (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
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Overweight dog[edit]

About the overweight Australian Cattle Dog pictured in this article: I did not put his picture into the article myself but he is my dog: Yoda. I'm sure people would be happy to know that his vet put him on a diet about a month after that picture was taken. He isn't too happy about the diet but he is certainly looking healthier in the last 4 months since his diet changed. I was surprised to see his picture in this article since I uploaded it just as an ACD example but since his health was apparently a big enough concern to list him as an example of overweight dogs in this article I thought I'd give a health update on Yoda. He is losing weight and the vet is happy with how he is doing.

--Starladustangel 08:02, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

That's awesome news. (Dogs are NEVER happy about not being able to eat everything in sight, are they!) I did ask someone--I thought it was the uploader--about using the image as an example of an overweight dog because I didn't want to dreadfully offend anyone, and I remember asking whether we could have an "after" photo to go with the "before" photo after the diet and/or exercise has done its work. That would be perfect! Keep up the good work; you're doing the right thing for your dog and Yoda will be much happier for it in the long run. Elf | Talk 16:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

We eventually found out that Yoda was suffering from Cushing's disese which was what caused his sagging tummy and fat lumps. He passed away last month at the age of 14. He did lose weight but the sagging tummy never went away since that was part of cushing's. I will be changing his picture caption to say that he had cushing's since his saggy tummy was a sign of that.

The saggy tummy and the constant hunger. The peeing in the house. The lethargy. I wish we'd known about Cushing's a lot soonder than we did.

--Starladustangel 06:05, 15 April 2007 (UTC)


First, I am sorry I forgot to put in an edit summary. It won't happen again. I eliminated the part about necessary euthanization of unvaccinated dogs and added information about unvaccinated dog and cat quarantine after biting and being bitten. I also eliminated the part about treating rabies in dogs and cats, because this is not done.

I do have a question as I am new here. There really aren't any footnotes or references for most of the article. Should I automatically add one for every edit? I am a veterinarian and I can easily put in a reference to an appropriate textbook. Thanks. --Joelmills 01:22, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Please do! WP has gotten more serious about citing references even in the 2 years that I've been editing, so it would be wonderful to have specific references for information. Don't necessarily need one for every edit--but consider the article like a scholarly work where important info should be traceable. And thanks for updating the info. Elf | Talk 01:55, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


Changed heartworm migration information and eliminated reference to consumption of cardiac muscle. --Joelmills 01:55, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Splitting and titling of dog-related health articles?[edit]

Hi, I just have a quick question for you. I'd like to add some info on glaucoma in dogs. The link from dog health goes to an article with only info on human glaucoma. I could either add the pertinent dog info there, or I could (and probably should) start a new article. So I would change the link on dog health and any breed articles to glaucoma in dogs, and possibly put a link on the glaucoma article to the new article. And eventually I would do the same thing for glaucoma in cats. It's a big enough subject to need a new page, because the characteristics and treatment are somewhat different. Please let me know what you think. --Joelmills 00:57, 20 January 2006 (UTC) (Copied from User talk:Elf)

Glaucoma in dogs etc. sounds good to me, I think. Some articles on diseases have sections in them on how it manifests in dogs, but I think that's usually if they're more likely to occur in dogs (or only in dogs) than in humans, and/or if the info for humans is currently pretty sparse. I think the options are:
I don't know how to choose between 1st and 2nd choices; maybe depending on how it's usually discussed and/or whether it applies to other canidae? And the choice between specific vs. a general "animals" article with subsections probably depends on how different the manifestation & treatments are and how much there is to say about each animal... Anyway, those are my thoughts. Anyone else want to weigh in ? Elf | Talk 01:15, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. For instance I just added more dog info to entropion. Since that was a short article and the disease is similar to humans, I kept it on the same page. --Joelmills 01:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorting "Miscellaneous"[edit]

Since I'm not an expert in medical topics, I put everything that I couldn't quite figure out what to do with into "miscellaneous". Breaking the list into useful categories (like others went into "parasites", "eye problems", etc.) would probably be a helpful thing for readers, but I don't know where to begin. Elf | Talk 05:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I've been looking at that, but I haven't gotten around to it. I will soon, hopefully. I'm still going through the entire list one at a time. --Joelmills 05:45, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

OK, no rush, obviously! You're doing a great job. BTW, I created the list by working my way through List of dog breeds and adding everything that I found in any articles' Health sections. And SOMEWHERE I had a note about how far through the list I got--not all that far, I think--but I can't find it. Not in the dog-project to-do list, not in the talk page here, not on my user page, so I have no clue where I left off. Oh, well--someday someone should start from the top again and work on through. Doesn't that sound like fun?  :-) Elf | Talk 05:53, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I rearranged the lists and removed the two notes. To answer them, I think nervous system is a fine heading, and CEPS and Scotty cramp are not the same thing. Actually I'm not familiar with CEPS, but since they occur in two different breeds, I think they are different diseases. --Joelmills 02:59, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Cancer terminology[edit]

I hate to use cancer so much in this list, because cancer indicates malignancy. All of the anatomic areas I listed have benign and malignant tumors, so cancer is not accurate. Neoplasia would be better. However, the existing articles all have cancer in the title, and I didn't want to put in dead links. I used mammary tumor instead of breast cancer because there are just too many differences between dogs and humans in this instance. Eventually I will redirect these to dog (or more likely animal) pages in order to give a fuller description. That will have to wait until I can swipe the oncology book from work again. --Joelmills 03:41, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

  • There's the ongoing debate about correct technical terminology vs words and phrases that people who use the encyclopedia will be looking for. Although I'm not unfamiliar with the term "neoplasia", I still think I'd skim over it the first time if I were looking for "cancer". I dunno. You might take a strategy from how the human diseases have handled it. Of course wikipedia does have the ability to redirect things to synonyms, so I still dunno... (Helpfully,) Elf | Talk 04:52, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Dog disease list[edit]

First, I know I added a lot of red links, but I will create pages for those ASAP. After that, we need to look at the pertinent breed pages and make sure they direct to the proper page, in case they use different terminology. Most new blue links go to human disease pages, so as soon as I add dog info to them (or create a new page for the dog disease), I will add them to the dog health category. Lastly, the list is now pretty long. Should we go ahead and create a List of dog diseases page? --Joelmills 01:38, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I think so. Elf | Talk 04:53, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
FYI, Thai Ridgeback now has a link to dermoid sinus cysts. Not sure which name is better... Elf | Talk 04:54, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
FYI, Pug refers to "granulomatous meningoencephalitis" and "Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)"; current list here has "Pug encephalitis". Probably all of these shd link to same place when article is created. Elf | Talk 18:22, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

PDE (that name is fine with me) is a type of chronic granulomatous meningoencephalitis. There are subtle differences between PDE and the disease we usually refer to as "GME". However, only one page called granulomatous meningoencephalitis is probably necessary, with a redirect from PDE.

Regarding butterfly vertebrae and hemivertebrae, they are actually two different conditions. Along with block vertebrae and transitional vertebrae, they make up the "congenital vertebral anomalies" in dogs. So I will probably just do one page for all of them, with redirects from each. I'll correct the list now.

One last thing. I'm not sure how to create a new page for the dog disease list. Do we just cut and paste? --Joelmills 21:31, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Yup. What I do in such a case is first edit this page to put a link the way I'd want it (something like See also [[List of dog diseases]], click Show Preview, which makes the link active, then click the link to get to where you can edit the new page, then cut from here & paste there. Elf | Talk 21:50, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and on the hemivertebrae, the Pug article identifies them as the same thing. Can you correct it so it's correct? I'm just not knowledgeable enough. Thx. Elf | Talk 21:53, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Whoops. I checked another source and I think butterfly vertebrae can be considered a type of hemivertebrae, although technically they have a different cause. The source the pug page uses considers them to be synonyms, and it's such a fine point I hate to change it. If anybody cares to check the new article when I create it, they can get a more in depth description. And if I ever get a photo of an x-ray with either a hemivertebrae or a butterfly vertebrae, I can put them up there. Of course, I've never actually seen a butterfly vertebrae...

I'll go ahead and create the dog disease list page. Would you mind checking it to make sure I don't screw it up? --Joelmills 01:02, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Looks good to me. I just added a ref back to this article & categories. Elf | Talk 04:02, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi, this i my first day, not sure how to make a new heading so this may be in the wrong place... I just wanted to point out that the term anterior cruciate ligament is used in human medicine. In veterinary orthopaedics we use "cranial" cruciate ligament. This is because the stance of the dog means that anterior and cranial are not the same. Hope that's not too pedantic/semantic! Dyrlægen (talk) 18:45, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Alcohol as treatment for antifreeze[edit]

An anon user keeps posting this text in the Labrador Retriever article. Is there any truth to this:

Ethanol found in alcoholic beverages can save a labrador's life in the event of ethylene glycol poisoning due to accidental ingestion of anti-freeze. Ethanol binds more tightly than ethylene glycol at the active site of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, therby limiting metabolism of the toxin and thus its harmful affects.

Elf | Talk 23:18, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that is true, including the mechanism of action. However, it should be added that the ethanol needs to be given IV and needs to be fairly pure. In our own practice in the past we have used vodka and everclear. There are side effects such as depression and hypothermia, and a better antidote is 4-methylpyrazole, aka fomepizole and Antizol-Vet - but it is more expensive and not everybody has it. Because antifreeze poisoning needs to be treated within eight hours of ingestion, you use what you can get your hands on. --Joelmills 02:42, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Dog with bandaged foot[edit]

dog with bandaged foot

I took a picture of a dog with a bandaged foot. Can I put it in this article - I find no obvious section to put it in. Right at the top? Alse see Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mammals#dog_with_bandaged_foot

--- PER9000 17:05, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

External links/References/Footnotes[edit]

The "References" section is a bunch of external links and some of them may or may not have been used as references in the article. It needs to be gone through by some of the article authors and made into proper references.

The EL section is attracting spam. Cleaning up the references section to the citation format will make that less attractive to EL spammers. SchmuckyTheCat 03:06, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


I think we should move this page, along with the dog antomany to the main dog page. From User:4444hhhh

If anything, dog needs to be shorter - it is already 81 kb in size. So I would say no to a merge. --Joelmills 22:53, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


I removed the following from this page:

  • Sugarless gum and candies. Xylitol (sometimes sold under the brand name Xylosweet) is a sugar substitute used in chewing gum, chewable vitamins, candy, toothpaste, and other products. It can kill dogs that eat even a small amount. The chemical in only a few sticks of gum can cause weakness, lethargy, loss of coordination, collapse, and seizures within 30 minutes. It can cause fatal liver damage with 24 hours.

The media frenzy from the last year is based on anecdotal evidence. For empirical lab studies that have shown no negative effects on dogs, see:

  • 1: Dogs in this study were exposed to a minimum of 10g of xylitol (which I believe would be more than is in an entire package of Trident) over six weeks. They lived (until they killed them for purposes of the study...). Other dogs in the study had diets of up to 20% xylitol in a two year study.
  • 2 Again, up to 20% of the dogs' diet was xylitol for the duration of another two year study.
  • 3 A statistical reevaluation of the two studies found that there was no significant liver weight increase in the 20% xylitol diet group. JordeeBec 05:20, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the text as it stood needed some work, but there is more than just anecdotal evidence to support the toxicity of xylitol in dogs. For instance PMID 15080212, "Hypoglycemia following canine ingestion of xylitol-containing gum" in Veterinary and Human Toxicology, and PMID 17014359, "Acute hepatic failure and coagulopathy associated with xylitol ingestion in eight dogs", in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. I only have full access to the latter article, which does address the first study cited above (the 20 percent study), and says that while the endpoint dose was equivalent to the levels currently seen to cause toxicity, the dose had been slowly raised to that level to allow for accomodation. The xylitol dose in these 8 dogs varied from 2 to 16 g/kg.
The mechanism of liver damage in these dogs is still under investigation, however, the cause of severe hypoglycemia in dogs is well-established: a rapid, severe increase in blood insulin concentration. The same JAVMA article recommends treatment for doses as low as 0.1 g/kg. Actually, I just found a good peer-reviewed article from the Dec. 2006 issue of Veterinary Medicine that discusses all of this better than I can [1] (PDF).
All that said, I'm planning a rewrite of this artice in the next couple of weeks, so I won't bother rentering that information until then. --Joelmills 01:21, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
It appears to me that the nine cases cited here are anecdotal (as opposed to a controlled study environment). These dogs ingested xylitol in many different ways--including in chewing gum, which contained many other chemicals, and chocolate cupcakes.
In the first clinical study above, the dogs were not administered 10g of xylitol as I stated, but 10g/kg. The second study had dogs jump from 0% to 5% of their diet as xylitol.
Certainly xylitol isn't good for dogs, and should be avoided. We could probably mention that it has caused isolated cases of liver failure, and the PDF link would be useful. JordeeBec 00:38, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
When I hear anecdotal my mind usually goes to unpublished, not the more proper definition referring to published case studies, so I'm sorry that I misinterpreted your comment. I agree with you about the mention of potential liver problems with xylitol - it should be mentioned that they are isolated reports. The emphasis should be on the potential to cause hypoglycemia, which is well documented. --Joelmills 01:26, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I checked with my vet. It is a danger, and the information should be reentered. JoKing 13:07, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, that doesn't count as a source. We have several empirical studies cited here. We're just waiting for the promised rehaul. ETA: Or I'll just do a quick rewrite myself. JordeeBec 03:04, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Splitting off sections[edit]

As I finally started the rewrite of this article today, I realized two things. First, this is going to take longer than I expected, and second, it is going to result in an article that is so large as to be impractical. I would suggest that two sections be split off: Toxic substances in dogs (or Canine toxicology) and Canine parasites (which can also be a subpage of veterinary parasitology). Brief synopses can be left in this article. Thoughts, anyone? --Joelmills 22:26, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Litter Box[edit]

Why does my dog keep getting into the litter box? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

new section(s)?[edit]

There is a distinct lack of information in this article on Auto-immune diseases in dogs. I was thinking of creating one before the "other" section also perhaps changing that section and creating two more new ones titled "reproductive disorders" and "endocrine disorders". Does anyone have any thought about this proposal before I go ahead? Cheers, Keetanii (talk) 11:57, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


I have added a citation for the toxicity of chocolate in large dogs, but looking earlier in the section I have concerns on two fronts:

  • The conversion of 30 grams to 1/2 an ounce is clearly incorrect (14 closer to 1/2 an ounce). As I am not sure what units were in the original source I have refrained from altering either and simply added a citation needed tag.
  • I have added a citation needed tag to chcoclate causing hallucinations.

If anyone can cast any further light it would be much appreciated. FrankFlanagan (talk) 17:44, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

May I suggest that some toxicity information be repeated in the section on Dog Treats, and/or wording such as "Important: See section 2.1 Dangerous Foods !" ? The Dog Treats section does not currently contain any warnings at all ! Darkman101 (talk) 14:13, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Toenail Clipping[edit]

Please would someone expert add some information on dog toenail clipping, which many dogs regularly need, or a link to somewhere appropriate ? Thanks. Darkman101 (talk) 14:19, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Logical fallacies regarding dietary concerns[edit]

>Their diet must consist of the appropriate mix of nutrients, carbohydrates, and proteins, with the appropriate mix to provide all of the minerals and vitamins that they need.

>Wild and feral dogs can usually get all the nutrients needed from a diet of whole prey and raw meat. In addition, the scraps often consist of fat rather than meat protein, which in excess is no better for dogs than it is for humans.

I'm sorry, but shouldnt there be some citations here? This implies that dietary fat is the concern.. in a carnivore.. which would eat only fat and protein in the wild. Does it not make more sense for carbohydrates to be the issue? Would you rather feed a dog a steak (fat and protein) or cake (carbohydrates and fat)? This is correlation, not causation, and I don't see very many fat wolves with their high protein high fat diets. Why would dogs, carnivores, require carbohydrates?

I blame insulin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Reduce Diseases section to just list of links[edit]

The viral and other subsections of Diseases seems unnecessary wordy, given that each disease mentioned has its own list. I would suggest collapsing it to a list of links for each section and adding any pertinent data about each disease to that disease's article page. (Adelle Frank (talk) 16:14, 8 July 2012 (UTC))


I removed zinc from toxic substances list as it is a misinterpretation by someone who added it.

The cited reference is for zinc phosphide. Overwhelming toxicity is from the phosphide, which is a pesticide. Cited reference doesn't support any claim about toxicity of zinc or if swallowing US penny as a significant causation.

"*Zinc toxicity, mostly in the form of the ingestion of US pennies minted after 1982, is commonly fatal in dogs where it causes a severe hemolytic anemia.[1]"

Cantaloupe2 (talk) 23:23, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Added talk reflist DferDaisy (talk) 01:25, 11 February 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Stowe CM, Nelson R, Werdin R; et al. (1978). "Zinc phosphide poisoning in dogs". J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 173 (3): 270. PMID 689968.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

Promotional contents[edit]

Trimmed promotional contents added on October 11 by Absander, who had serially inserted references into many articles, which is a clear indication of WP:Advert intended to sway opinion. The failure/passing of test is based on arbitrary standards that do not necessarily reference to any regulations, so in order words passing/not passing in their opinion, which have in this article as it disrupts objectiveness. pattern shows it is clearly non-neutralCantaloupe2 (talk) 18:38, 10 December 2012 (UTC)


I moved the stuff below to the talk page. It's not properly referenced (I doubt the holistic dog blog qualifies as a reliable source). Please do not move this back into the article until all the claims have been verified and referenced to scientific studies. So far it's just POV.

Onions contain thiosulfate which causes hemolytic anemia in dogs (and cats). Thiosulfate levels are not affected by cooking or processing. Small puppies have died of hemolytic anemia after being fed baby food containing onion powder.[citation needed] Occasional exposure to small amounts is usually not a problem, but continuous exposure to even small amounts can be a serious threat. Also garlic contains thiosulfate, even if to a significantly lesser extent, and it is also known to cause diarrhea and vomiting. Small doses of garlic 5-6 times per week can improve dog health, since garlic is a natural antimicrobial and helps to prevent heart disease. It is stated that garlic also has repellent effects on fleas and ticks, especially in combination with brewer's or nutritional yeast.[1]

Preceeding comment is unsigned by IP

I have restored the basic warning about onions, with a citation (although I am uncormfortable about the research on which the cited paper is based) and without the garlic promotion. It looks like a couple of hours work would enable someone to draw on a large amount of published material and cite this comprehensively. While I can respect deletionism, taking out this section in its entirity rather than trying to fix the citations is akin to taking down warning signs before construction works because the fine for killing or injuring a worker is stated incorrectly.
There are also papers citing garlic as having negative effects but I do not time to deal with these now.

FrankFlanagan (talk) 19:20, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Added talk reflist DferDaisy (talk) 01:26, 11 February 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Garlic for dogs, and Richard Pitcairn, Dr. Pitcairn Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs And Cats

Purebred dog susceptibility to diseases[edit]

I have heard that purebred dogs are slightly more susceptible to certain diseases. Should this be mentioned, if at all, and where should it be mentioned? (talk) 11:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

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