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  • Yes, chocolate is toxic to dogs. While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion often results in significant illness. Chocolate is toxic because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant.

  • Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan (GAGS - see separate article found in this series) found in cartilage. It promotes water retention and elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and adequate nourishment of the tissues that line the joint.

  • Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10, CoQ10 or ubiquinone) exists in abundance in every human and animal body. It is an essential component of the mitochondria, which are the parts of the cell that produce energy from oxygen.

  • Colitis simply refers to inflammation of the large intestine or colon. Colitis is most commonly used to describe diarrhea or loose stools associated with the large bowel. Large bowel diarrhea is also used synonymously with colitis.

  • Pet birds often become ill. While most avian diseases can affect every species, some species are more prone to develop certain conditions. By being familiar with the various conditions that commonly affect a certain species, your veterinarian is able to formulate a diagnostic and treatment protocol that is most likely to result in a correct diagnosis and cure for your bird's illness.

  • Medical emergencies occur suddenly and without warning. It is important for all pet owners to have a basic understanding of common veterinary medical emergencies and basic first aid for their pet.

  • The Complete Blood Count, usually just called a CBC, is one of the most basic blood tests your veterinarian can request, and yet it is one of the most important tests for determining the health status of a pet. It includes a series of measurements that describe the quantity and quality of the cellular elements in the blood.

  • Any medical term that ends in -itis means "inflammation of". Conjunctivitis is defined as inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a mucous membrane, similar to the lining of the mouth and nose. This membrane, a layer of epithelial cells with mucus-secreting cells, covers the eyeball and lines the eyelids.

  • The conjunctiva is the lining tissue that covers the globe of the eye (the eyeball) and lines the eyelids and the third eyelid. Conjunctivitis refers to inflammation of this tissue.

  • Cats were once considered to be solitary creatures. Although there may be individual differences, we now know that they are in fact social animals who benefit from interaction with their own and other species.

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