Library

Dogs + Characteristics

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a long molecule that contains an animal’s entire genetic code. DNA is primarily located within the nucleus of each cell. In the nucleus, enzymes transcribe the DNA bases into a substance called RNA (ribonucleic acid), which serves as a messenger, taking the DNA message out into the cytoplasm of the cell where the RNA is translated into proteins. These proteins are responsible for a number of functions in the cell and throughout the body, primarily by acting as enzymes that regulate various cell reactions. DNA tests allow us to examine an animal’s DNA in order to see whether they carry certain genetic diseases. DNA testing can also be used to determine the ancestry of an animal.

  • Dogs use their noses infinitely more than humans to get around in the world and gather information. With specialized olfactory organs that detect pheromones, dogs' sense of smell is thousands of times better than humans.

  • This handout discusses the concept of hypoallergenic dogs. These breeds are meant to create less allergic reactions in people that suffer from dog allergies. Humans sometimes react to the proteins found in dog saliva and dander. Precautions to take when trying to reduce your exposure to these allergens are highlighted. As well, breeds that tend to be less reactive to dog allergy sufferers are discussed.

  • The lacrimal duct is part of the nasolacrimal system, a series of narrow tubes that allow tears to drain from the eye into the nose and mouth. This duct can sometimes become blocked or fail to develop properly, resulting in tears overflowing and potentially staining the face below the eye. The clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment options for the condition are explained in this handout.

  • The pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene, if mutated, can contribute to increased body fat and body weight and increased food motivation in affected dogs. At this time, this gene mutation has only been found in the Labrador Retriever and Flat-coated Retriever and affects the majority of those working as service dogs. This handout explains how the POMC gene mutation was discovered, how it impacts affected dogs, and how you can support your dog if affected.

  • Many dogs love to get out to socialize and exercise with their canine friends and dog parks are their go-to spots for getting together. Proper etiquette, from both you and your pup, will allow everyone to enjoy the park safely and courteously.

  • A recessed vulva, also referred to as a juvenile or hypoplastic vulva, is a conformational issue that occurs in female dogs. In this condition, the vulva is recessed within, or partially hidden by, surrounding folds of skin. Some dogs might have a recessed vulva for their entire life without ever experiencing any visible effects. In other dogs, however, a recessed vulva can predispose them to vaginitis and/or urinary tract infections. Depending on the severity of your dog’s clinical signs, medical or surgical options may be used to treat this condition.

  • Getting a purebred dog comes with some pros and cons. You know what you are getting but also run a higher risk for genetically tied health problems. Do a little research before selecting a new pup, purebred or otherwise, and remember this: whatever you name your dog, you will call him 'yours' no matter what he looks like!

  • Noses vary in size and shape in the canine world, but regardless of what they look like, they are important to survival. So pay attention to your dog’s nose to help him stay healthy. And enjoy those warm moist snuggles your dog’s nose provides you. A dry nose is not a guarantee of illness. Too much moistness could be a sign of a problem. 

  • Whiskers serve many important functions in dogs with regards to sensory inputs. Whiskers help dogs navigate the world and detect changes in their environment. These are some of the most sensitive hairs on the dog's body.

tyrtyhtrhhtrhfg