A Survey Of Common Dog Health Problems

  • Canine health can be just as demanding and difficult to maintain as human wellness. Keeping your canine companion in top form requires more than just knowing how to feed him and care for him: you need to understand the warning signs for the most common forms of dog illness.


    Lyme Disease
    Transmitted by ticks, this disease is common to humans and canines both. In canines, it is often difficult to spot it until some of the most overt signs surface. Initial symptoms include lack of energy and lack of appetite, but are rarely more specific. Lameness or difficulty moving is a much more common and definitive symptom.

    Ear Infection
    Many different situations can cause canine ear infections. Infections can arise due to ear mites, bacterial infection elsewhere, allergic reaction, or poor ear care. The signs of an ear infection are easy to recognize. A canine with an ear infection will constantly scratch at its ears. It may react negatively when touched near the ears, or shake its head in an attempt to relieve the discomfort.

    Cancer
    As more canines live longer, this dog illness becomes more prevalent. It now develops in 50% of canines over 10 years old. The symptoms are highly varied and depend heavily on what kind of cancer the animal is suffering from and other dog health problems they may have. In general, look for fatigue, restlessness, or general sudden change in mood. Also examine your pet for tumors, a telltale sign of cancer.

    Bloat
    This chronic condition can quickly become one of the more life threatening dog health problems. Signs of canine illness include disinterest in food and inability to settle comfortably. A distended stomach is also present, but may not be able to be detected outside of a vet's office.

    Rabies
    Spread by bites from other infected animals, rabies is easy to prevent: you can curtail all related dog health problems by simply vaccinating your canine companion in the first place. Otherwise, rabies can be potentially life threatening to you and to your canine.

    Distemper
    This dangerous disease can be fatal, especially in puppies or older canines. The first signs will be a running nose, accompanied by heavy vomiting and diarrhea. As the disease progresses, additional symptoms may include dehydration, breathing problems, refusal of food, and increasing weight loss. Neurological signs such as muscle twitching or seizures are vitally important telltale symptoms. Thickening of the footpads is difficult to observe without medical training, but is also a distinctive sign.

    Heartworm
    Although technically a parasite, heartworm is still a significant factor in dog illness. Heartworm itself is transmitted by a simple mosquito bite, which then places the parasite within the canine's body. Dog health problems begin six months or more after infection. Before this, the parasite is small and not yet having a major impact on the body. Signs include coughing and a lack of energy with predisposition to exhaustion. If left untreated, fainting, coughing of blood, and weight loss will eventually progress to become congestive heart failure and death.

    These common dog health problems can all be serious for your pet's health and comfort. If you have even the slightest suspicion that one of them might be present, don't delay - take your pet to the vet quickly.
     
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