Peripheral Neuropathy in Dogs

Peripheral Neuropathy pic
Peripheral Neuropathy
Image: petmd.com

As a DVM, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1984. Additionally, he is active with several associations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince’s primary interests are soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures, oncology, and neurological disorders.

Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder in dogs that affects multiple peripheral nerves. Unlike the protected nerves of the spine, the peripheral nerves are exposed to elements that come into contact with the dog’s body, leaving them more prone to toxic damage and physical injury. Peripheral nerves are spread throughout the body and are responsible for conscious movement, flow of the digestive system, and automatic physical responses.

Numerous conditions are linked to peripheral neuropathy, or the degeneration of the sheath which protects the peripheral nerves. Examples include an underactive thyroid gland, autonomic movement disorder affecting motor and sensorimotor nerves, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, and sensory nerve disorders.

Neurological Diseases in Dogs

Joel Todd Leroy Prince pic
Joel Todd Leroy Prince

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a small animal veterinarian who resides and works in Illinois. In addition to serving as a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, he brings his more than two decades of medical experience to three additional clinics in the Chicago area. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince focuses his practice on companion animal preventive care, and is dedicated to continuing his professional education in fields such as neurological disorders.

There are a number of neurological disorders that can affect your pets. Three of these medical conditions, and their effect on canines, are outlined below.

Parkinson’s Disease. Though in humans this condition most often affects the elderly, dogs with this hereditary, degenerative disease often begin experiencing symptoms such as tremors, stiff muscles, and poor balance at a young age.

Epilepsy. Believed to also be hereditary in dogs, epilepsy causes repetitive seizures that range in severity. Animals afflicted with this condition are often prescribed anticonvulsant drugs, and require regular veterinarian appointments.

Degenerative Myelopathy. A result of degeneration in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, this condition occurs quite suddenly in adult dogs, and is seen most often in German Shepherds, corgis, and boxers. The hind legs gradually become weaker over six months to a year, until the animal is no longer able to support themselves at the rear.

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Elmhurst Animal Care Center pic
Elmhurst Animal Care Center
Image: elmhurstanimalcarecenter.com

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince earned his veterinary degree in 1984 from the University of Illinois. Certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners as a canine and feline specialist, he serves as a partner at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center outside of Chicago. Many of the disorders for which Dr. Todd Prince treats dogs and cats are similar or even identical to human ailments, including, among others, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, hypertension, and diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a hormonal disorder related to insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that cells use to convert glucose in the blood to energy. Type I diabetes is characterized by the body’s insufficient production of insulin, including an inability to produce the hormone at all. Type II diabetes occurs when the body does produce insulin but the cells don’t use it properly.

Type II diabetes among humans is a major public health concern in the U.S. It’s also becoming more common among dogs and cats. In 1970, about 1 in 1,250 cats was diagnosed with diabetes, and about 1 in 500 dogs had the disease. By the turn of the century, the incidence of diabetes had increased to about 1 in 81 in cats and about 1 in 166 in dogs.

Typical symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats include an increase in hunger, thirst, and urination, irritability, vision problems, increased fatigue, and unexplained loss of weight. Pet owners who observe these symptoms in their dogs or cats should have them examined by their veterinarian, who has several tests available to diagnose the disease.

Diabetes in dogs and cats is treated much the same as it is in humans, first by modifying the diet to one low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and protein, and instituting an exercise and weight program. Other treatment options include oral medications and injected insulin.

Tips for Preventing Colic in Dogs

Elmhurst Animal Care Center pic
Elmhurst Animal Care Center
Image: elmhurstanimalcarecenter.com

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince works as a small animal veterinarian at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois. A board-certified small animal vet, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is capable of treating a wide range of illnesses in dogs, cats, reptiles, and birds.

Colic, which refers to pain and discomfort in the abdomen, is a condition that can affect dogs of any age, though it is most commonly seen in puppies. While many cases of canine colic are mild, it can sometimes be fatal. Dog owners can take the steps below to help prevent colic in their canine companions.

Ensuring that a dog has a healthy, balanced diet is crucial for colic prevention. When an owner adjusts a dog’s food intake, the changes should be made slowly, usually over the course of five to seven days, so that the dog has time to adapt. It isn’t unusual for the family dog to enjoy some leftovers from the dinner table, but owners should be sure dogs aren’t getting too much greasy or sugary human food. These foods can be tricky for a dog’s digestive system to handle, which can quickly lead to colic.

Dog owners should make sure that their pets are checked for worms on a routine basis. Intestinal worms can lead to a host of digestive complications, including colic. If a dog has worms, a veterinarian can run tests and then prescribe medicines to eradicate the worms from the animal’s system.

Signs of Leg Fracture in Dogs

Fractures in Dogs pic
Fractures in Dogs
Image: peteducation.com

A board-certified small animal veterinarian, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince practices at a number of offices in and around Elmhurst, Illinois. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince focuses on soft tissue and orthopedic procedures as well as oncology and neurologic disorders.

A dog’s broken leg can be challenging for an owner to recognize. Although some fractures protrude through the skin or cause an otherwise visible change in structure, others are closed or incomplete fractures whose symptoms may mimic other injuries. Dogs with any type of limb injury may limp, whine, or howl regardless of whether the injury is a break or a sprain. Breaks are more likely to cause the dog to keep the leg entirely off of the ground, however, whereas a less severe injury may prompt the dog to simply favor the leg while walking.

Some dogs with broken legs may refuse to walk outright, while others may appear unwilling to climb stairs or run. The pain can also make the dog particularly protective of the leg, even to the degree that it attempts to bite anyone who comes near the fractured leg. Otherwise sociable dogs might withdraw from human company, a potential sign of fracture-related pain when combined with more specific symptoms. While any of these signs may indicate a problem other than a break, only a veterinarian can provide a firm diagnosis.

Benefits of the Parvovirus Vaccine for Dogs

Applying more than 30 years of experience in veterinary care, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince serves as partner in the Elmhurst Animal Care Center of Illinois. He firmly believes in the value of preventive care to maintain the health of a pet. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince received his DVM from the University of Illinois.

An extremely contagious viral illness, parvovirus aggressively attacks a dog’s digestive system and white blood cells. The disease presents with vomiting, lethargy, and a bloody diarrhea that can cause fatal dehydration. It is transmitted through contact with the feces of an infected dog and can remain in the environment for several months before infecting its next host.

The best way to prevent this disease is to ensure an up-to-date vaccination history. Because parvovirus is extremely dangerous, puppies should receive their first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age. The puppy should also receive boosters spaced four weeks apart for the subsequent two to three months, then another at around the dog’s first birthday. Older dogs may also be vaccinated if they have not received the puppy series. Because some dogs, particularly immuno-compromised and ill animals, are not suited for vaccination, owners should consult with their individual veterinarians before beginning any vaccination series.