Index

Introduction
Homeostasis
Life Span
Systems
Regulatory Functions
Nervous System
Eyes
Ears
Nose
Tongue
Brain
Endocrine System
Hypothalmus
Pituitary
Thyroid
Adrenal
Nutritional Functions
Excretary Functions
Urinary System
Kidney
Bladder
Colon
Distributive Functions
Cardiovascular System
Blood
Respiratory System
Protective Functions
Reproductive Functions
Musculo-Skeletal System
Cancer
Arthritis
Obesity
Diabetes
Cushing's Disease
Heart Disease
Teeth
Skin and Coat
Conclusion
References


Distributive Functions
Blood

The blood is a highly complex medium of transport with many specialized cells performing immune, clotting, nutritional, waste removal, oxygen:carbon dioxide exchange, and temperature regulation functions. Many systems influence the blood. Plasma is the transport medium, transporting erythrocytes (red blood cells), which carry oxygen and carbon dioxide, and leukocytes (white blood cells), which are involved in regulatory and immune system functions. With age, comes a reduction in albumin levels resulting in reduced osmotic pressure and potential for edema ( ) and ascites (abdominal fluid formation).

As the kidneys age, there may be higher levels of wastes in the blood. In older dogs with clotting disorders, such as von Willebrand's Disease, minor injuries can become major problems. Some older dogs, especially those which have had heartworm infections may be susceptible to pulmonary thromboemboloic (PTE) disease when thrombi (blood clots) block the arteries, especially to the lungs.

Next Page - Respiratory System