Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies in Dogs

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Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies

For 25 years, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince has practiced as a board-certified veterinarian to small animals. Focused particularly on soft tissue surgical procedures, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince draws on a detailed knowledge of gastrointestinal foreign bodies as a health risk to dogs.

A gastrointestinal foreign body is any object that a dog may consume that does not pass easily through the digestive tract. These objects may cause a number of problems, from toxicities within the system to inflammation and bacterial contamination. Although some foreign bodies will naturally pass before causing any such symptoms, many will become stuck.

Blockage causes food and bodily fluids to accumulate behind the trapped object. This in turn imposes pressure on the blood vessels, which cannot supply the digestive tract with sufficient nutrients. This causes death of the gastrointestinal tissue and may lead to a tear, which allows for the spill of gastrointestinal contents into the abdomen and can cause a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.

The most common symptom of a gastrointestinal foreign body is vomiting, which occurs as the stomach contracts in an attempt to expel the offending item. Dogs may also display abdominal discomfort, diarrhea or difficulty passing stool, and a general lack of energy. These symptoms typically prompt a veterinarian to order blood tests and scans to assess for the presence of a foreign body, which he or she is likely to then remove surgically.


Strategies for Protecting Dogs’ Joints

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Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince has been practicing veterinary medicine for nearly 30 years. Board-certified in small animal care, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince maintains a particular focus on orthopedic care.

Dogs need their joints to stay healthy and whole so that they can run and jump without pain or hindrance, but the structures and the tissues that protect them can degrade with time, just like those in humans. Dog owners can help to counteract this process by making sure that their pets get plenty of exercise, particularly in their formative years (provided that this exercise is not so forceful that the dog is subject to injury).

Owners must also ensure that their dogs get all of the nutrients that they need to keep their joints strong. These nutrients occur naturally in a raw diet that contains bone matter, but most commercial dog foods today do not fall into this category. This being the case, supplements of glucosamine and hyaluronic acid can help to keep joints lubricated, while chondroitin supplements can support the repair of crucial cartilage.

Even with supplements, dogs need nutritious food in the correct quantities to prevent obesity, which can strain joints. If joints do become damaged, however, owners should seek treatment for their pets immediately to prevent worsening of the condition in both the short and the long term. This involves not only veterinary care but also adapting the environment, including the introduction of pet stairs and ramps if necessary, so that the dog can rest its joints as much as possible during recovery periods.

Peripheral Neuropathy in Dogs

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Peripheral Neuropathy

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

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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

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Elmhurst Animal Care Center

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

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Elmhurst Animal Care Center

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

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Fractures in Dogs

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.