Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
They're either tough to diagnose, expensive to treat, fraught with complications and side effects or just plain baffling — and just about every veterinarian I know dreads them.
I'm talking about 10 diseases that can be a veterinarian's worst nightmare!
This is probably on every veterinarian’s top 10 list of tough-to-spot diseases.
The labwork tends to tell you most of what you need to know. In addition to the fact that sodium and potassium levels can be way out of whack, there’s a specific test that can confirm Addison's disease, which affects the adrenal glands in dogs.
But the disease offers such nonspecific symptoms — weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, for example — that many dogs go without adequate treatment, and some can even collapse and die if the adrenal glands aren't secreting the right levels of hormones.
Luckily, it’s highly treatable!
This disease is like Addison’s — in reverse. Cushing's disease manifests as an overabundance of canine adrenal hormones.
It’s generally easier than Addison’s to spot — common signs include increased thirst and urination, a potbelly and skin troubles in most cases — but this one can be a real pain to treat. That’s because most dogs can only be managed with side effect-laden drugs, which is why this disorder tends to rank high on our list of unlikables.
In South Florida, allergic skin disease is, by far, the most common dermatologic disorder I encounter in both dogs and cats.
But its prevalence isn't what makes it such a disliked disease — obnoxious effects are more the issue, including itching, redness, hair loss, crusting, ear infections and weeping sores. There's also all the explaining, educating, convincing, cajoling and hand holding it takes to get pet owners to properly understand the disease’s complex ins and outs.
For some dogs and their owners, there’s almost nothing worse than the extreme stress associated with serious thunderstorm phobia, but noise phobias come in a close second. Some dogs are so severely affected that veterinarians have no option but to medicate them.
This is arguably one of the most entertaining medical euphemisms in the veterinary lexicon. What "elimination disorder" means is that your pet is urinating and/or defecating in the wrong spots, which is definitely not entertaining for you — or your veterinarian.
Vets hate this disorder because we know how frustrating it can be to live with one of these patients, but also because there’s a challenging list of underlying problems we have to consider as we work toward a solution. The fact that so many of them are tough-to-treat behavioral issues makes this problem all the more annoying.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
An Indiana shelter with a soft spot for
seniors is making life better for a Golden
Retriever with terminal cancer.
From bringing in your puppy or kitten to
telling your friends about him or her, there
are plenty of ways to make a…
Minimize the risk of a bad trick-or-treat
interaction by brushing up on your dog’s
manners before October 31.
Dr. Jenna Ashton shares how to
determine your pet's water intake and tips
for encouraging him to drink more.
The Schapendoes (aka Dutch Sheepdog)
is known for his incredible jumping skills
and cheerful personality.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.