Field Survey on Most Common Medicinal and Surgical Diseases in Police Guard and Explosive Dogs from 11/ 2007- 2/ 2010

Publishing Authors : Haithem, A. M. , Farghali1, Wael, M. Kelany2, Mahmoud Ebada3

Date Published : 2011

1. Introduction
Police working dogs’ utility and longevity
are presumably affected by diseases common to the
specific sizes, breeds and functions of these dogs, as
well as by procurement standards. Although diseases
that affect these dogs have been identified in previous
studies in military dogs (Moore et al., 2001),
advances in veterinary diagnostic and therapeutic
capabilities should correlate with advancing quantity
and quality of life for these valuable dogs.
Determination of those diseases that shorten a
working dog’s service life would ideally allow the
implementation of preventive medicine and
management practices to improve longevity. These
police dogs trained for guarding and for detection of
explosives in important hotels, hypermarkets; and
private and governmental organizations; and
international conferences.
There was also zoonotic aspect of some skin
affections to human as sarcoptic mange, ringworm
and resistant staphylococci which were easily
transmissible to contact human (Van Duijkeren et al.,
2004).
The most popular signs of gastroenteritis
were vomiting and diarrhea which caused by
numerous etiologies. Gastroenteritis caused by
dietary indiscretion, organophosphorus poisoning,
irritable bowel syndrome, hepatobiliary diseases,
renal diseases, Canine distemper virus, Corona virus,
Parvo virus, colibacillosis, salmonellosis,
campylobacteriosis, Clostridium perfringens,
Entameba histolytica, Blantidium spp., Giardia spp.
(Leib and Monroe, 1997).
Respiratory manifestations were commonly
seen in groups of dogs as military working dogs
(Moore et al., 2001). Predisposing factors played an
important role in upper and lower respiratory tract
infections as over-crowdness, unhygienic kennels,
traveling and over- exertion. Many etiologies
incriminated in respiratory diseases as Adeno virus,
Canine distemper virus, Mycoplasma spp., Bordetella
bronchiseptica (Leib and Monroe, 1997).
Fibrotic Myopathy is a chronic, progressive
disorder of severe muscle contracture and fibrosis.
The exact cause is usually unknown. Fibrotic
myopathy may result from acute trauma, chronic
repetitive trauma, autoimmune disease, drug
reactions, infections, neurogenic disorders, and
vascular abnormalities. Ischemia secondary to trauma
may also lead to fibrosis. Severely damaged muscle
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dysplasia or cranial cruciate ligament disease. Other
less common causes include sepsis, prolonged joint
immobilization, inflammatory joint disease, or
developmental diseases (e.g., OCD) after Trout
(2008).
The Causes of conjunctivitis may be
infectious agents (Bacteria and other organisms like
Gram-positive bacteria: Staphylococcus spp., Bacillus
spp., Corynebacterium spp., viruses like canine
distemper: nonspecific conjunctivitis during acute
disease or parasites like Thelazia spp., Cuterebra
spp., Dirofilaria spp. Larvae and systemic infections
like Blastomyces dermatitidis, Histoplasma
capsulatum or Borrelia burgdorferi). Immunemediated
disorders like atopy, type I hypersensitivity,
cell-mediated inflammation or irritative conditions
(drying of tissue from exposure or KCS, abnormal
hairs: distichia, ectopic cilia, entropion, or trichiasis
rubbing on the conjunctival surface, environmental
irritants: chemicals, smoke, dust, foreign bodies,
trauma or conditions accompanying other ocular
diseases: uveitis, episcleritis, glaucoma, or corneal
ulceration (Larocca, 2000 and Ring, 2008).
Bacterial UTIs are commonly associated
with other primary abnormalities that increase the
bladder’s susceptibility to infection such as recessed
vulva (the vulva is partially hidden by overhanging
skin and is not readily visible, this leads to a warm,
moist environment for bacteria to grow and ascend to
the bladder), urinary cystoliths, bladder
catheterization, urinary incontinence, with wicking of
bacteria through the urethra from decreased
midurethral pressure, diseases that decrease urine
specific gravity (hyperadrenocorticism, chronic renal
failure, diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus) and
anatomical abnormalities of the bladder and ureters
(urachal diverticulum, ectopic ureter, patent urachus,
urachal cyst and detrusor areflexia and hyporeflexia
or other neurological abnormalities of the bladder) as
reported by Langston (2008).
Nervous signs as convulsions were rare
condition in canine practice as it was mostly occurred
in unvaccinated puppy in Canine distemper virus,
traumatic affections as fractures of skull or spinal
cord, epilepsy and spondylosis (Leib and Monroe,
1997).
The most serious and cause of rapid deaths
was Gastric dilatation-volvulus. Gastric dilatationvolvulus
(GDV) is an acute, life-threatening
condition in dogs (one of the most common causes of
death in working dogs) characterized by rapid
accumulation of gas in the stomach, malposition of
the stomach, increased intra-gastric pressure, and
circulatory shock. Gastric dilatation is an acute over
distension of the stomach with gas, fluid, or ingesta.
Gastric volvulus is rotation of the stomach around its
long axis in a clockwise direction (when viewed from
the ventro-dorsal perspective), which obstructs
outflow of the duodenum and esophagus and
compromises the blood supply to the stomach and
spleen and subsequent splenomegally (Moore, 2008).
The target of the present field survey was
to record the incidence of common medicinal and
surgical diseases affecting police working dogs. The
purposes of the present study reported here were to
determine cause-specific morbidity and mortality
rates and causes of death or reasons for euthanasia in
these dogs. Also the present investigation was aimed
to identify any apparent breed predispositions and to
determine the most important causes of diseases and
to identify potential interventions that could reduce
the incidence of these recorded diseases.
2. Materials and Methods:
A total number of 151 guard and explosive
dogs in K9 police center- police officers insurance
fund were thoroughly examined; and age, breed and
sex were recorded in table 1. Medical history of
previous treatments and routine health care, such as
deworming and vaccination programs was recorded.
All investigated dogs were vaccinated and received
Drontal® plus (50 mg praziquantel, 150 mg Febantel,
144 mg pyrantel- Embonat, made in Germany by
Bayer) as internal worm prophylaxis. Clinical
examination was performed by inspection and
recording of different clinical signs and physical
examination was also performed (Leib and Monoroe,
1997) .
Skin scrapings performed for all examined
dogs manifested dermatological lesions as mentioned
by Leib and Monoroe (1997). Fecal concentration
floatation was performed to exlude nematodes and
cestodes as described by Thiopont et al. (1986).
Hypoallergenic (Elimination) dietary trial was
performed to identify an adverse reaction to food as
directed by Leib and Monoroe (1997).
X-ray and ultrasonographic examinations were
performed in department of Surgery, Anesthesiology
and Radiology, Faculty of Vet. Med., Cairo
University, Giza, Egypt. Seven dogs underwent chest
radiography, they were not sedated; and a ventrodorsal
and a right lateral view were performed
according to Kirschvink et al, 2006. Ultrasonography
was performed to 10 dogs after 24 hrs fasting. The
examined dogs were positioned in dorsal
recumbency. Cranial ventral abdomen were clipped
and sheaved then covered with coupling gel.
Transverse and longitudinal scans were taken using
Toshiba Scanner (Japan) with alternating frequency
convex transducer of 5.0-7.5 MHz according to the
method described by Nyland et al., (1989).
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Table (1): Total numbers, breed and specialties of the police working dogs under the survey in K9 center.
German shepherd Malino Labrador Golden retreiver Rottweiler Total Number
Breed
Specialty ♂ ♀
Total
♂ ♀
Total
♂ ♀
Total
♂ ♀
Total
♂ ♀
Total
♂ ♀
Total
Explosives 64 5 69 9 4 13 8 3 11 2 2 4 2 1 3 86 15 100
Guards 3 – 3 1 – 1 – – – – – – – – – 3 1 4
Breeding – 3 3 – 2 2 – 2 2 – 1 1 1 3 4 1 11 12
Preprated 9 1 10 – 1 1 – – – – – – – – – 9 2 11
Newly enterated 23 1 24 – – – – – – – – – – – – 23 1 24
Total 99 10 109 10 7 17 8 5 13 2 3 5 3 4 7 122 30 151
A national questionnaire-based study was
conducted to identify the incidence of common
diseases, and circumstances of trauma affecting
police working dogs in a period between November
2007 and February 2010. All recorded data collected
in the designed table (2).
Table (2): The most common affections and numbers of affected dogs and their breeds in the period between
11/2007 and 2/2010:
Breeds Skin GIT Musculoskeletal Ear General Wound Abscess Pruritus Alopecia Ticks Vomiting Diarrhea Respiratory Muscle Bone Joint Eye Infection Trauma Weakness Hemorrha ge
Fever
Tail
Scrotal
affections
Urinary
Nervous
Dead &
euthanesia
Total
German
shepherd

Malino
Rottweiler
Golden
Retreiver

Labrador
Retreiver
Total
3. Results
The results recorded in table 3. Skin
affections (654 out of 1229-53.21%) recorded the
highest proportion in police working dogs (Fig I 2 , 3,
4 and 5). The manifestations and affections of skin
consisted of pruritus (305 out of 1229- 24.8%), ticks
(201 out of 1229- 16.4%), wounds (121 out of 1229-
9.8%, Fig. I, 7), alopecia (19 out of 1229- 1.54%) and
abscesses (8 out of 1229- 0.7%). Wounds represented
9.8% in the present survey which revealed that
incised form (46 out of 121- 38%) recorded the
higher incidence among the cases affected with
wounds followed by ulcerating (24 out of 121-
19.8%), granulating (17 out of 121- 14%), lacerated
(14 out of 121- 11.7%), contusions (8 out of 121-
6.6%), abrasion (7 out of 121- 5.8%), then
penetrating (5 out of 121- 4.1%) while abscesses
were represented by 0.7%. Alopecia attributed to
infestation by internal worms (4 cases of Dipylidium
caninum (Fig. II-2 & 3), 5 cases of Toxocara canis in
puppies (Fig. II-1), one case of Toxascaris leonina in
puppies) detected during fecal examination, 5
emaciated cases with malnutrion without other
detectable causes and 2 cases of ringworm.
Gastroenteritis (177 out of 1229- 14.3%) represented
the second common problem in police working dogs
which manifested by vomiting (64 out of 1229-
5.2%) and diarrhea (113 out of 1229- 9.1%, Fig. I-1).
Clinical examination revealed hypermotility
(increased peristaltic movements or boreborygmal
sounds). Respiratory manifestations (29 out of 1229-
2.4%) were the third problem. Respiratory problems
consisted of upper respiratory tract infections (22 out
of 29- 76%) and lower respiratory tract infections (7
out of 29- 24%). Upper respiratory tract infections
manifested by sneezing, serous to mucoid nasal
discharge, inspiratory dyspnea, moist coughing and
ocular discharge while lower respiratory tract
infections marked by mucopurulent nasal discharge,
progressive coughing, expiratory dyspnea (with
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severely extended head and neck) and systemic
reaction (anorexia, lethargy and fever). Respiratory
problems were commonly occurred in cold season in
winter (27 out of 29- 93%) and the rest of cases in
spring (2 out of 29- 7%). Musculoskeletal affections
(36 out of 1229- 4.5%) showed lameness and
recumbency (3 cases). These cases showed affections
in muscle, bone and joints. There were 10 cases
suffering from muscle affections. The main affection
of the muscle was chronic fibrotic myopathy (8
cases) which occurred as complication to deep
wounds (5 cases), chronic debilitating diseases (2
cases) and deep abscess (one case). Bacterial myositis
was recorded in 2 cases as secondary to punctured
wounds. Dogs suffering from bone affections were 22
cases. Fracture was recorded in 9 cases, varied
between metacarpal fracture (4cases), femoral
fracture (3 cases) and metatarsal fracture (2 cases).
Panostitis was reported in 8 cases. These dogs were
aged between six to nine months (offspring of the k-9
center). Osteomyelitis (bone infection) was recorded
in 5 dogs as complication to deep wounds. Four dogs
were recorded with joint affections. Three of them
showed DJD and one case showed sprain (Fig. IV, 5).
Eye affections (6 out of 1229- 0.5%) manifested
mainly by ocular discharge. Ear affections (132 out
of 1229- 10.62%) consisted from ear infections
characterized by otic pruritus and purulent ear
discharge and ear trauma or aural hematoma (Fig. I8)
manifested by swelling of ear pinna. General
conditions (82 out of 1229- 6.6%) constituted of
general weakness with emaciation (43 out of 1229-
3.4%), high fever (26 out of 1229- 2.1%) ranged from
39.8 to 41.3ºC and hemorrhage (13 out of 1229-
1.1%). Tail affections (21 out of 1229- 1.7%)
displayed signs of pyoderma in 6 cases and tail arrada
in 15 cases. Scrotal affections (52 out of 1229- 4.2%,
Fig.I- 9) showed thickening of scrotal skin and
purulent exudates with very offensive odor. Urinary
problems (2 out of 1229- 0.2%) consisted of case of
nephrosis and case of cystitis in female detected by
palpation. Nervous signs (1 out of 1229- 0.08%)
displayed chorea and respiratory signs in a
preparatory puppy.
Skin scraping revealed one case of Demodex
and 3 cases of Sarcoptes spp.. Fecal examination
detected macroscopically and microscopically 4 cases
of Dipylidium caninum , 5 cases of Toxocara canis in
puppies, one case of Toxascaris leonina.
Hypoallergenic diet trial detected 8 cases of food
allergy. X-ray confirmed cases of pneumonia and
also detected their types as diffuse interistitial
pneumonia (one case, Fig. IV- 2), lobar pneumonia (2
cases, Fig. IV- 3), or lobular pneumonia (4 cases, Fig.
IV- 4). Also radiography detected one case of severe
gastric dilatation prior to death (Fig. I- 6 & Fig. IV1).
Ultrasonography diagnosed one case of chronic
nephritis & chronic hepatitis (Fig. II-1), 7 cases of
chronic hepatitis in dogs manifested diarrhea and
vomiting (Fig. II-2), one case of hepatic cirrhosis
(Fig. II-3) and one case of cystitis.
1-3.8 Ys old German shepherd dog suffered
from profuse watery diarrhea and lethargy. 2-7
months old German shepherd puppy displayed fleas
and alopecia in ventral abdomen. 3- 8.4 Ys old
German shepherd showed alopecia and excoriations
on back (food allergy). 4- 4.9 Ys old German
shepherd manifested by redness, patchy alopecia and
crusts around nostrils (Demodicosis detected
microscopically). 5-3.2 Ys old German shepherd dog
suffered from patchy alopecia and crust (pyoderma).
6-Gross postmortum findings of 5.3 Ys old German
shepherd dog displayed gastric dilatation and
splenomegally (Gastric dilatation- volvolus).
Table (3): The most common affections and numbers of affected dogs and their breeds in the period between
11/2007 and 2/2010: Skin GIT Musculo-skeletal Ear General
Breeds
Wounds
Abscess
Pruritus
Alopecia
Ticks
Vomitin
g
Diarrhea
Respiratory
Muscle
Bone
Joint
Eye
Infection
Trauma
Weaknes
s
Hemorr
hage
Fever
Tail
Scrotal
affections
Urinary
Nervous
Deaths &
euthanesia
Total
German
shepherd 61 3 181 7 78 39 81 18 10 22 4 4 71 14 25 10 11 9 27 2 1 11 689
Malino 18 0 31 2 21 8 4 3 5 6 0 2 10 7 2 0 2 12 12 0 0 1 146
Rottweiler 7 0 26 1 17 2 7 1 0 2 0 0 4 1 6 1 4 0 2 0 0 1 82
Golden
Retreiver 5 0 24 1 23 4 8 2 2 0 0 0 6 1 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 2 83
Labrador
Retreiver 30 5 43 8 62 11 13 5 0 2 2 0 14 4 9 2 6 0 10 0 0 3 229
Total 121 8 305 19 201 64 113 29 17 32 6 6 105 27 43 13 26 21 52 2 1 18 1229
Percentage
(%) 9.8 0.7 24.8 1.54 16.4 5.2 9.1 2.4 1.4 2.6 0.5 0.5 8.5 2.12 3.4 1.1 2.1 1.7 4.2 0.2 0.08 1.5
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Figures (I): Different working dogs suffered from most common diseases:
1 2
1

3
2
4
6
5
7
8
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7-Ys old Labrador retriever dog showed external wound in the face under the eye. 8-7.8 Ys old German shepherd
dog showed dropped right ear (ear hematoma). 9-4.2 Ys old German shepherd dog displayed thickened inflamed
scrotal skin.
*Figures (II): Results of fecal examination:
1 2 3
1-Gross fecal examination revealed adult worm of Toxocara canis in 9 weeks German shepherd puppy. 2-Gross
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1-Sagittal double B-scan of liver, left kidney and spleen in 7.9 Ys old German shepherd dog showed the parenchyma
of the liver and renal cortex was little bit more echoic than spleen with disclearance of echogenic portal vein walls
(chronic nephritis and chronic hepatitis). 2-Hepatic scan of 6.3 Ys old German shepherd bitch revealed marked
increase in echogenicity with absence of echogenic walls of portal veins and increased echo-density of gall bladder
wall (increased thickness) in chronic hepatitis. 3-Hepatic scan of 8.2 Ys old German shepherd dog revealed marked
increase in echogenicity, clear sublobes of the liver and ascetic fluid (hepatic cirrhosis).
*Figures (IV): Radiographic findings:
1 2

5
1-Lateral radiograph of 6.9 Ys old German shepherd dog suffering of gastric dilatation and volvolus showed severe
distention of the stomach and aerophagia. 2-Lateral radiograph of the thorax of 3.5 Ys old Labrador retriever bitch
suffering of pneumonia showed diffused radio-opaque patches of the cranial, middle and caudal lobes of the lung
4
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(diffused interstitial pneumonia). 3-Ventro-dorsal radiograph of the thorax of 5.6 Ys old German shepherd suffering
of pneumonia showed diffused radio-opaque patches of the cranial and middle lobes of the lung (lobar pneumonia).
4-Lateral radiograph of the thorax of 2.8 Ys old German shepherd suffering of pneumonia showed focal radioopaque
patches of the middle lobes of the lung (lobular pneumonia). 5- X-ray of 7.5 Ys German shepherd dog
suffered from osteoarthritis (DJD).
4. Discussion
The zoonotic importance of diseases of dogs
and the high value and price of these well trained
dogs under our field investigation ensured thorough
research work-up of each individual problem to
perform a strategic plan to decrease incidence of
these diseases and to save life of these valuable dogs.
Skin affections (654 out of 1229-53.21%)
constituted the highest proportion in police working
dogs. The manifestations and affections of skin
consisted of pruritus (305 out of 1229- 16.4%), Ticks
(201 out of 1229- 16.4%), wounds (121 out of 1229-
9.8%), alopecia (19 out of 1229- 1.54%) and
abscesses (8 out of 1229- 0.7%). Pruritus recorded
the highest percentage in our field survey. It
attributed to numerous etiologies as allergic
conditions (flea allergic dermatitis, atopy, food
allergy and contact allergic dermatitis), pyoderma
(surface, superficial and deep pyoderma), sarcoptic
and demodectic mange. Food allergy detected and
managed by hypoallergenic diet (8 cases). Ticks
recorded an increased incidence during summer,
autumn and spring (193 out of 201- 96%) but
recorded very low incidence in winter (8 out of 201-
4%). It was recommended to use alternative methods
as ultrasonic apparatus which used to repel ticks and
weekly dipping of dogs by different acaricidal
solutions and firing of walls. Faires et al. (2010)
recorded that Methicillin resistance (MR) in recurrent
pyoderma is an increasingly important problem in
staphylococci and choice of suitable antibacterial to
compate it, needs further investigations. Wounds
represented 9.8% in the present survey which
revealed that incised form (46 out of 121- 38%)
recorded the higher incidence among the cases
affected with wounds followed by ulcerating (24 out
of 121- 19.8%), granulating (17 out of 121- 14%),
lacerated (14 out of 121- 11.7%), contusions (8 out of
121- 6.6%), abrasion (7 out of 121- 5.8%), then
penetrating (5 out of 121- 4.1%) while abscesses
were represented by 0.7%. The low % of the some
recorded cases surgical wounds was attributed to the
ill developed signs of these forms of wounds, so they
did not get attention of the dog trainer (Boden, 2005).
The higher incidence of the traumatic injuries among
working dogs may be due to the heavy duty and
efforts which faced by those dogs. The results from
the present study revealed that incised form (38 %)
recorded the higher incidence among the cases
affected with wounds which may be due to trauma
during transportation of the dogs from the kennel to
the site of work. Alopecia in the present survey
attributed to infestation by internal worms (4 cases of
Dipylidium caninum, 5 cases of Toxocara canis in
puppies, one case of Toxascaris leonina in puppies)
detected during fecal examination, 5 emaciated cases
with malnutrion without other detectable causes and
2 cases of ringworm which detected during skin
scraping. Internal worms as a cause of alopecia were
of very low % as the effective control measures by
the use of broad spectrum anthelmintic Drontal®
every 3 months (Leib and Monoroe, 1997).
Gastroenteritis (177 out of 1229- 14.3%)
represented the second common problem in police
working dogs which manifested by vomiting (64 out
of 1229- 5.2%) and diarrhea (113 out of 1229- 9.1%).
Perhaps the greatest single cause of diarrhea is a
change of diet. Thus, a dog that has been used to
eating a commercial brand dog food and is suddenly
given table scrapes is very likely to suffer diarrhea. It
was detected and solved by the use of hypoallergenic
diet within 6- 8 weeks in our work-up (94 cases)
which was detected the offending commercial dry
food. Abrupt changes in diet are particularly
distressing to puppies whose intestinal tracts are still
very sensitive. Summer is also the season of another
serious source of diarrhea – spoiled food. Our
investigation recommended being cautious of moist
food that becomes moldy. Dietary therapeutic
management was instituted taking into account all
these consideration. The general protocol was as
follows. Other causes of vomiting and diarrhea were
detected by other investigations as ultrasonography
which detected 7 cases of chronic hepatitis and one
case of hepatic cirrhosis. Treatment was generally
begun with a 24-48 hour fast (Leib and Monroe, 1997
and Cave et al., 2009). The rest of cases was
diagnosed as undifferentiated cases of gastroenteritis
and responded in a good manner to symptomatic
treatment.
Respiratory manifestations (29 out of 1229-
2.4%) were the third problem. Respiratory problems
consisted of upper respiratory tract infections (22 out
of 29- 76%) and lower respiratory tract infections (7
out of 29- 24%) which confirmed by radiography.
Upper respiratory tract infections manifested by
sneezing, serous to mucoid nasal discharge,
inspiratory dyspnea, moist coughing and ocular
discharge while lower respiratory tract infections
marked mucopurulent nasal discharge, progressive
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coughing, expiratory dyspnea (with severely
extended head and neck). Respiratory problems were
commonly occurred in cold season in winter (27 out
of 29- 93%) and the rest of cases in spring (2 out of
29- 7%). This recorded incidence of respiratory
diseases in cold season as dogs exposed to faulty
system of working. This faulty system planned to
work the dogs an hour outside the hotels and
hypermarkets then kept indoor for rest an hour and
released suddenly again outdoor to chilly and
sometimes rainy environment and so on. These
factors predisposed the working dogs to infection
attributed to destruction of the respiratory clearance
mechanisms. These predisposing factors also
reported by Leib and Monroe (1997) and Eldredge
(2007).
Musculoskeletal affections (36 out of 1229-
4.5%) showed lameness and recumbency in 3 cases.
The causes may attributed to myositis or degenerative
joint diseases or bone affections. Bacterial Myositis
may be focal myositis arised from direct infection of
traumatized and devitalized muscle and often
associated with contamination of a wound or may
result from injection of bacteria into muscle (bite
wounds). Myositis may develop from hematogenous
infections also as reported by Trout (2008).
Osteoarthritis (i.e., DJD) is a syndrome of pathologic
changes in diarthrodial or synovial joints
accompanied by signs of pain and disability. It
developed secondary to trauma, or from application
of normal forces on abnormal joints, such as with hip
dysplasia or cranial cruciate ligament disease. Other
less common causes include sepsis, prolonged joint
immobilization, inflammatory joint disease, or
developmental diseases (e.g., OCD) after Trout
(2008).
Eye affections (6 out of 1229- 0.5%)
manifested mainly by ocular discharge. Pannus
keratitis may be the principal cause which
characterized by infiltration of the cornea with
lymphocytes, plasma cells, neutrophils, melanocytes,
and granulation tissue. It was also known as chronic
superficial keratitis or Uberreiter’s syndrome (Ring,
2008). Atypical pannus, or plasmoma, is a variation
of pannus involving the third eyelid, thought to be
immunemediated. Breed predisposition was German
shepherd dog (primarily) and other herding dogs:
Golden retriever and Rottweiler (Moore, 1999).
Superficial erosion also may be the second common
cause which is a loss of the corneal epithelium only
while stromal ulceration (Corneal Ulceration)
involved loss of both the epithelium and some
portion of stroma (with a descemetocele, stroma is
lost down to Descemet’s membrane or perforation in
which there is a wound in Descemet’s membrane,
with leakage of aqueous humor and/or iris prolapsed
(Ring, 2008). The main cause was trauma (External
sources: cat scratch, foreign body, or eyelid disease:
distichiasis, ectopic cilia, entropion. The other causes
are tear film disease like Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
(KCS), Goblet cell deficiency or Lipid tear film
abnormality from meibomian gland pathology
(Moore, 1999). Also Exophthalmos (pathologic or
conformational) and decreased blink frequency (It
may occur from corneal denervation after trigeminal
nerve injury or Brachycephalic dogs have relatively
few corneal nerves and often an incomplete blink)
may be involved. Other causes of corneal ulcer are
infections: bacterial (Tolar et al., 2006), fungal:
aspergillosis (Marlar et al., 1994) or viral: FHV,
thermal or chemical burns, immune-mediated
disease: marginal keratitis and secondary to other
corneal disease like calcium infiltrates, edema
(especially bullous keratopathy) or corneal epithelial
basement membrane disorder.
Ear affections (132 out of 1229- 10.62%)
consisted from ear infections characterized by otic
pruritus and purulent ear discharge and ear trauma or
aural hematoma manifested by swelling of ear pinna.
This agreed with Gotthelf (2005) who said that aural
hematoma is uncommon findings in chronic skin
diseases and many dogs affected with aural
hematoma did not have signs of any concurrent
auricular, cutaneous or systemic disease.
General conditions (82 out of 1229- 6.6%)
constituted of general weakness with emaciation (43
out of 1229- 3.4%), high fever (26 out of 1229-
2.1%) ranged from 39.8 to 41.3ºC and hemorrhage
(13 out of 1229- 1.1%). General weakness or
overexertion was attributed to long time of working
hours which may reached in some explosive German
shepherd to over 12 hours. High fever attributed to
numerous etiologies but some cases previously
infested by ticks may resulted from infection by
Erhlichia or Babesia which need further
investigations. Cases of hemorrhage mostly attributed
to trauma or fights. These findings also recorded by
Leib and Monroe (1997) and Eldrege (2007).
Tail affections (21 out of 1229- 1.7%)
displayed signs of pyoderma in 6 cases and tail arrada
in 15 cases. It need a massive medicinal therapeutic
approach in cases of pyoderma and surgical
intervention in cases of tail arrada. Weekly cleaning
and rinsing resulted in obvious decrease in % of these
problems as recorded by Fossum et al. (2002).
Scrotal affections (52 out of 1229- 4.2%)
showed thickening of scrotal skin purulent exudates
with very offensive odor. Weekly cleaning and
rinsing and wide space resulted in a marked decrease
in incidence of these affections as recorded by
Fossum et al. (2002).
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http://www.americanscience.org 825 editor@americanscience.org
Urinary problems (2 out of 1229- 0.2%)
consisted of case of chronic nephritis and case of
cystitis in bitch. They were attributed to one case of
chronic nephritis and the other case of cystitis which
were detected by ultrasonography. These cases
advised to be treated massively to prevent the further
chronic renal failure (Freitag et al., 2006).
Nervous signs (1 out of 1229- 0.08%)
displayed chorea and respiratory signs in a
preparatory puppy. Unvaccinated preparatory puppy
was attributed as it matched with signs recorded by
Leib and Monroe (1997)
Death and euthanasia were recorded in 18
cases. Nine cases died (four cases were suffering
from gastric dilation and volvulus, three were
suffering from senility and two cases suffering from
heart attack diagnosed by auscultation of heart
murmrurs antemortum). Nine dogs were euthanized,
6 cases showed chronic osteoarthritis (DJD), 2 cases
suffering from general weakness and one case
suffering from chronic hepatitis.. The first cause was
GDV (gastric dilatation volvolus) in 4 cases. The true
cause of GDV is unknown and overall prevalence in
the general dog population is low. Middle-aged to
older, large- and giant-breed, deep-chested dogs are
at greatest risk; however, GDV has also been
reported in small breeds (e.g., dachshund, basset
hound, pug) and the cat (rare) (Moore, 2008). A
combination of environmental, anatomical,
physiological, and pathologic risk factors include
(Rasmussen, 2003; Glickman et al., 2000) increased
risk in large- and giant-breed dogs, dogs with a firstdegree
relative with a history of GDV, large,
thoracic, depth-to-width ratio (deep-chested), lean
body condition, age, behaviors that promote
aerophagia, eating from a raised food bowl, stress
and nervous temperament, feeding a large volume of
food per meal (Raghavan et al., 2004), feeding of dry
foods containing a fat or oil in the first four listed
ingredients (Raghavan et al., 2006) and pyloric
outflow obstruction. One case was confirmed with
plain x-ray film. These cases died within 12 hours
and reported as dead cases. Postmortem examination
confirmed the diagnosis as it showed rotation of the
stomach around its long axis in a clockwise direction
and congestion of the spleen. The causes of GDV
were unclear and overall prevalence in the dog
population was low which agree with Moore (2008).
All cases were recorded in male German shepherd
dogs with age between three to six years which
parallel to findings of Moore (2008)
Cave et al. (2009) recorded in a survey of
diseases of working farm dogs in New Zealand that
trauma was identified as a cause of injury in 848
(38%) visits. Huntaways dogs were apparently overrepresented
in cases of constipation, gastric
dilatation-volvulus (GDV), theriogenological
problems, laryngitis, hip dysplasia, and degenerative
lumbosacral disease. In contrast, Heading dogs were
over-represented among cases of multiple
ligamentous injury of the stifle, disruption of the
gastrocnemius or Achilles tendon, tarsal injuries, and
hip luxation. Traumatic injury involved injury by
stock (20%), automotive incidents (19%), transit
across fence lines (16%), and dog bites (12%). Loss
occurred following 10% of visits, of which trauma
was known to be involved in 32%. The most
important non-traumatic causes of loss were GDV,
degenerative joint disease, mammary neoplasia and
diseases involving the female reproductive tract,
cardiac disease, and poisoning
Our field investigation was concluded that
there were 21 recorded signs in different body
systems and deaths. These problems arranged
according to percentage in descending manner as
follow: pruritus (24.8%) which recorded the highest
percentage followed by Ticks (16.4%), surgical
wounds (9.8%), diarrhea (9.1%), otic pruritus (8.5%),
vomiting (5.2%), scrotal affections (4.2%), general
weakness (3.4%), bone affections (2.6%), respiratory
signs (2.4%), ear swellings or ear hematoma
(2.12%), fever (2.1%), tail arrada (1.7%), alopecia
without itching (1.51%), deaths (1.5%), muscle
affections (1.4%), hemorrhage (1.1%), abscesses
(0.7%), joint affections (0.5%), eye affections
(0.5%), urinary signs (0.2%), nervous signs (0.08%).
5. Conclusion
Medicinal and surgical diseases in guard and
explosive dogs are common health problems. The
present survey was succeeded to direct the efforts to
control serious and common diseases which affect
life of these valuable dogs and health of human. It
was recommended to make an strategic plan to each
individual problem and also to do every effort by
further thorough investigations to compate unsolved
problems. Kennels, transmitting vehicles if repaired
and fights if prevented; surgical wounds, ear
hematoma, otitis externa, musculoskeletal affections
and eye affections will be minimized. Wide space in
transmitting vehicles and hygienic kennels were
advised to reduce percentage of scrotal affections. It
was advised further thorough investigation in skin
affections as huge percentage to select an effective
therapeutic plan.
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