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Diagnosis

  • Abdominal enlargement is not unusual in dogs. It can occur with obesity but there are many other causes. For example, redistribution of fat into the abdominal cavity may occur with Cushing's syndrome (hyperadrenocorticism).

  • The adrenal glands are closely associated with the kidneys. Each has a central medulla which is approximately one fifth of the total size of the gland and produces adrenalin, the so-called 'emergency hormone'.

  • Antibodies are specialised proteins (immunoglobulins) that circulate in the blood. They are produced by a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

  • Ethylene glycol, the main constituent of antifreeze is poisonous for dogs and cats. Statistically, in the UK each year more cats are poisoned than dogs, probably because more cats than dogs are able to access open containers of antifreeze stored on garage shelves.

  • Blood coagulation refers to a complex procedure which results in a blood clot. Clotting occurs after any injury involving blood vessels or tissues in order to stop blood loss.

  • Most of the red and white blood cells are formed in the bone marrow. If a recent blood test indicates a problem with any of the blood cells a bone marrow sample, sent to an appropriate laboratory, may indicate the reason.

  • Calcium is a mineral that is found in small quantities throughout the body. It plays an important role in many physical functions such as muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting and bone growth.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is formed within the brain. It circulates through the spaces both within and surrounding the brain.

  • Cytology is the microscopic examination of cells collected from the body. The appearance of these cells including their numbers, size, shape, colour and internal characteristics can often lead to the diagnosis of a problem.

  • (This should be read in conjunction with the handout on Diabetes mellitus.) Sugar diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a not uncommon disease of overweight, middle aged pets.