Your dog is much less a pet and far more a member of your family, and like humans, dog diseases are an important part of caring for your pet.
This site is dedicated to providing the information an owner would need to identify and learn about the treatment options available for common dog diseases. If you are asking yourself question such as; could you help her recover from common dog diseases? Do you know the warning signs of the most common canine diseases and disorders ? If these are your dog health questions, then this is the right place for you.
Top Causes of Dog Disease
According to a survey of dog health insurance companies, the leading causes of dog diseases and conditions are:
- Dog Skin Allergies
- Dog Ear Infections
- Stomach Upsets
- Dog Bladder Infections
- Benign Tumors
- Dog Arthritis or other joint diseases
- Dog Leg Sprains
- Dog Eye Infections
- Enteritis (dog diarrhea or intestinal inflammation)
- Canine Hypothyroidism
The best way to catch these common dog health problems before they become a major health issue is to schedule twice -yearly visits to your veterinarian. If you think about it, dog’s age much faster than people. Also always watch for changes in your dogs condition including signs of disease such as lethargy, changes in appetite, dog blood in urine or feces, diarrhea, frequent or infrequent urination, excessive licking, dog hair loss, and cough among others.
Common Dog Diseases and Related Symptoms
Degenerative Joint Disease
Some larger and older dogs are prone to degenerative joint disease, a progressive, incurable disorder that restricts your pooch’s everyday movement and activities. At its worst stages, DJD results in permanent lameness and can really only be helped by pain management. More importantly, make sure your dog’s weight is under control, because joint diseases can be very common in certain breeds and can nearly always cause lameness and may not be reversible. Some of these diseases are dog hip dysplasia, Osteochondrosis & Elbow dysplasia.
Are your dog’s teeth healthy?
You should also pay close attention to your dog’s body language and actions. If she’s doing any of the following, she may not be in top dental health, Halitosis (nastier breath than usual), extreme drooling, trouble swallowing, chattering teeth, hesitation to eat, tilting her head while eating & pawing at her mouth. If you notice any of these signs, try sticking to a good dental regimen for a week.
Keeping those pesky Parasites away from your Puppy or Dog
Every dog owner should watch for these dog symptoms if you believe that a parasite might be the cause. In general, it’s best to consult your veterinarian when choosing flea and tick preventatives for your dog.
- Fleas are one of the most common parasites pet owners must face. Begin by bathing your dog with a flea preventative, then apply the flea repellant recommended by your vet.
- Ticks love to feast on the blood of mammals and tend to hang out near ground level until they sense a shadow, vibration or heat, which find a suitable place on the host animal, the tick dives right through the skin and gorges itself. Their saliva can cause inflammations on the skin, but a more troubling problem is an infestation of several ticks, which can lead to anemia. In extremely bad cases, the poison in a tick’s saliva can cause paralysis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. You should apply a flea and tick repellant recommended by your vet to your dog’s coat on a monthly basis if you live in an area where lyme disease in dogs is a problem.
- Mosquitoes can also be fatal for dogs since they’re carriers for heartworms and can infect your dog if she’s not on a heartworm preventative.
- Dog Ear Mites: Dark brown or black wax can be an indicator of dog ear mites. You can confirm this by running a cotton ball over the outer part of your dog’s ears, then holding the cotton ball against a dark piece of paper under a bright light. If you see any movement, your pup has ear mites. Speak with your vet to prescribe stronger washes and medications to get rid of the mites and their eggs as well as any secondary yeast infection they may have created.
- The other common parasites are worms:
- Roundworms: The most common worms are roundworms which can be avoided using regular worm preventative. The symptoms are “spaghetti stool” (feces that look like spaghetti), vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Hookworms are intestinal parasites that can cause anemia by sucking blood through the internal organs. As a result, diarrhea, weakness, and weight loss can occur. Hookworms are extremely easy for your pup to contract – they can move through their pads or belly into the body from the soil or grass or can be ingested.
- Heartworms (transmitted through mosquitoes and grow inside the heart until they completely block heart functions and lead to heart failure) are one of the most well-known internal parasites and can be easily prevented with a regular heartworm treatment. Symptoms are coughing, weight loss, and fainting can be indicators of heartworms. Be aware that if the winter in your area was mild, there could be more mosquitoes and cases of heartworm in dogs. Prevention is even more important with recent shortages in prescription heartworm medication in the United States and other countries.
Canine Diseases and Symptoms caused by Germs and Viruses
There are several types of viruses that can negatively impact your dog’s health.
- Blastomyces: keep out of shady areas beneath bird-packedtrees, because lack of germ-killing sunlight makes those spots a hotbed for germ activity. It may cause your dog bronchitis, pneumonia, or skin sores.
- Streptococci bacteria: If you notice sores on your pup’s skin that are raised and whitish or look as though they may contain pus, she may have a strep infection.
- Rhabdovirus: the virus that causes rabies
- Leptospira: keep your pup away from drinking from outdoor puddles which may contaminate bacteria
Here vaccination is the best way of preventing disease and infection. Many vets now offer extended release versions of more
common vaccines. Most vaccines are administered during the first year of life. After that you should need only 6-month or annual renewals.
- Parvovirus: spread through infected fecal matter, pups who have a nasty habit of eating other dogs’ feces are at high risk. Symptoms are diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, and lethargy. Dogs that go too long without treatment of symptoms such as dehydration can result in shock and death.
- Distemper: this disorder causes dog symptoms such as trigger seizures, convulsions, poor behavior and even blindness. Symptoms are fever, fatigue, vomiting and discharge from eyes and nose.
- Kennel Cough: can be distinguished from normal coughing through its dry, shallow honk. It was named because the disease is transmitted best in close quarters with poor ventilation, but many kennels today take great steps to preventing such conditions
- Rabies: dog rabies can turn your once sweet and harmless pet into a ferocious predator. There is no effective treatment for the virus, so vaccinations are especially important for rabies. It transmitted by saliva, usually through bites from wild animal such as raccoons and possums. If your dog is bitten by an animal you feel may carry the virus, wash the wound with soap and water (wear gloves!) and take her to the vet for a booster.
- Tetanus: it is common in nearly all warm-blooded animals and is most commonly contracted through the presence of soil in a deep wound. If the infection goes unnoticed and untreated, it can cause spasms, lockjaw, and even death. Routinely inspect your pup for cuts, scrapes and wounds is important to prevent tetanus.
- Canine Lyme Disease: carried by ticks, it is most common in heavily wooded areas in which ticks have access to a number of different animal hosts. Tick transmits the Lyme bacteria from the mouse through its saliva. Symptoms are fever, lameness, lethargy and weight loss. To prevent the disease, use regular tick preventative for your dog, but also make sure you run your hands through her coat and inspect her thoroughly after outdoor walks
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