Common Dog Health Issues & Diseases To Watch Out For

When you decide to get a dog, you should be ready with the responsibilities that came with it (and there are many!)
There are lots of things you need to consider in keeping your adorable fur baby happy and healthy. These may include daily exercise and training, proper food, grooming, vaccines and a whole lot more. 

According to experts, more people care more about their pet’s health than they do about their own. And as a responsible doggy parent, you may want to be aware of those common dog diseases that may put your pet’s health at risk.

Below we’ve included some of the biggest doggy health issues you’ll want to be aware of.

Heartworms

As the name suggests, heartworms are worms that develop in the heart and are transmitted through mosquito bites. 

Any dog can catch it, what’s worse is it could be deadly, and it takes years before your dog develops any signs that worms are present inside its heart.

Symptoms may include fatigue, coughing, collapsing, and depression. If you begin to notice that your dog has these signs, ask your veterinarian for advice.

Lyme Disease and Ticks

Parasites such as ticks attach themselves to your dog, cat or even to you. They feed on your dog’s blood and can end up transmitting diseases such as Lyme disease.
This disease can cause severe health issues for your dog such as fever, limping, renal disease or neurological disease.

It’s safe to say that keeping ticks away from your dog should be a pro-active effort. Fortunately, this isn’t all that difficult to do.
Vets will give your dog topical treatment that repels and kills fleas and ticks. It is applied every month to keep your house and your dog tick-free.

Heart Disease

Like humans, dogs may develop abnormal enlargement of the heart. In dogs, the most common cause of heart disease is ageing, but heartworms and other health issues may also play a part.

If you have an older dog, it is best to consult your vet. They can give you the best advice on how to take care of them, especially during the summer season.

Senior dogs, most notably those who have heart disease are more susceptible to heatstroke when the humidity and temperature are high.

Cancer

Dogs, just like humans, develop cancer over time. Unfortunately, it is more prevalent in dogs during these times. While it can affect young pups, it is more common to older pooches and can ends up affecting dogs of all breeds. 

Signs of cancer can include lumps that appear on the skin, swelling, lesions, or even a sudden change in your pet’s behaviour.

Whatever the case, it is important to have a diagnosis as soon as possible to stop its progress.

Arthritis

Like its owner, dogs can develop arthritis as they age. Most of the time, it occurs to dogs that were born with abnormalities such as hip dysplasia.

Even if it’s a manageable condition, it is best to have an early diagnosis from your vet. Vets will give your dog medication for its joints and muscles.

And as a pet owner, your duty is your dog at its ideal weight – exercises such as swimming are best for your dog, especially during summer.  

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is easily transmitted between dogs. This disease affects your dog breathing and voice box and can present itself as cough, sneezing, gagging and vomiting.

Kennel cough can progress to pneumonia if left untreated, which is why it is important to take care of it as soon as possible.

Fortunately, to avoid Kennel Cough, vaccines are available. Shots are usually given before your puppy reaches 3-4 months old and yearly after that.

Vomiting

Many things can cause vomiting in dogs. It may be due to viral infection, bacteria, parasites or inflammation of the pancreas.

Younger dogs sometimes swallow foreign objects that they should not ingest, which can get stuck in the stomach and cause inflammation.

Your dog may vomit if it eats inappropriate food like grapes which can cause renal disease. Younger or senior dogs can easily get weaker and sicker when vomiting. 
Vomiting may cause damage in the esophagus, and it may get them dehydrated faster.

Ear Infection

Most dogs may have an ear infection during their lives. Moisture in the ear may lead to the growth of bacteria or yeast.

Ear infection must be treated as soon as possible before it reaches the canal, which could be harder to cure.

Fortunately, the treatment is easy. Vets may prescribe drops in the ear and sometimes may add an antibiotic when necessary.

Obesity

Your dog’s health can be greatly affected if he is overweight. As humans do, they need to be fit and in shape as possible to avoid problems like diabetes and joint disease which affect a lot of dogs these days.

Ensuring your dog has a clean and healthy diet alongside adequate exercise will help keep your dog in tip top shape and avoid obesity.

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