Dogs + Diagnosis

  • Addison's disease (the common name for hypoadrenocorticism) is caused by a decreased production of two hormones from the adrenal gland. These hormones are cortisol, a stress hormone, and aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid hormone that regulates the body's water balance through its effects on sodium and potassium.

  • Antibodies are specialized proteins, also called immunoglobulins that are primarily found in the bloodstream. They are produced by specialized white blood cells called plasma cells, a form of lymphocyte.

  • The bile acid test is a very useful test that helps to determine if the liver is working properly.

  • Bone marrow is the soft material found in the central core of many bones. Bone marrow is vitally important for the production of blood cells, specifically red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Although many bones contain marrow, samples are collected from three main sites in cats and dogs: hip bone, top of thigh bone, or the forearm below the shoulder.

  • The first step in processing a blood sample is centrifugation. The blood is placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun in a small circle at high speed (much like a spinning ride at an amusement park).

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (or CSF) is formed within the brain, primarily at specialized sites called the choroid plexuses. CSF is found within the brain and in the space that surrounds both the brain and the spinal cord (this space is called the subarachnoid space).

  • Chronic degenerative valve disease (CVD) is a consequence of degeneration of the valves between the atrium and ventricle on both the right and left side of the heart. The changes in the valves stops them from forming a tight seal between the atrium and ventricle when the heart is squeezing or pumping. This causes the valves to leak blood backwards into the upper chambers, and an abnormal sound called a heart murmur.

  • Coagulation is the series of events that result in the formation of a clot. In the body, coagulation occurs after any injury to a blood vessel or tissue, in order to stop bleeding.

  • A Coombs' (or direct antiglobulin) test detects the presence of immunoglobulins (antibodies) on the surface of red blood cells. Immunoglobulins are proteins made by white blood cells (specifically plasma cells).

  • Cushing's disease is a condition caused by an increased production of the stress hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands. There are various reasons for an increase in cortisol production. The clinical signs of Cushing's disease are similar, regardless of the underlying cause of disease. However, it is important to try to identify the type of Cushing's disease as the treatment and prognosis (outcome) differ slightly depending upon the form of the disease.