Dogs are susceptible to a variety of illnesses, just like humans. However, many of these illnesses can be treated relatively easily if they are caught early. This article will list 12 common illnesses for dogs, along with easy remedies to help tackle them.
Arthritis is a common ailment in older dogs but can also affect younger dogs. Symptoms include limping, joint pain, and reluctance to move. The dog arthritis treatments include medications and supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as physical therapy.
2. Kennel Cough:
Kennel Cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is spread through contact with respiratory secretions (snot, saliva, etc.) from infected animals. Dogs contract Kennel Cough by either inhaling the virus or ingesting it – making it a common ailment amongst pups who spend time in kennels (hence the name). The symptoms of Kennel Cough include a dry, hacking cough, sneezing, and watery eyes – all of which can last anywhere from two to four weeks.
3. Ear Infection:
Ear infections are one of the most common health problems in dogs, particularly in pets with long, floppy ears. Symptoms include head shaking or scratching at the ears, excessive ear wax buildup, and odor. Left untreated, an ear infection can spread deeper into the ear canal to cause damage to an animal’s hearing.
Heartworms are parasites that take up residence inside a dog’s heart and blood vessels. Symptoms of heartworm disease often go unnoticed for years but can include coughing, lethargy, weight loss despite normal appetite, abnormal gait or posture, vomiting, pale mucous membranes due to anemia. Since adult worms are located only in the heart and its major blood vessels, they cannot be detected through radiographs (x-rays). The only way to accurately diagnose them is through a blood test.
5. Intestinal Parasites:
Intestinal parasites are common in many animals, including dogs. Some parasitic intestinal infections can be transmitted to humans or other pets, so it’s important to have your dog treated if you notice any symptoms of illness. Common signs of an infestation include loss of appetite and weight, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and a pot-bellied appearance.
Fortunately, many simple tests can detect the presence of these types of parasites, and treatment is often straightforward with medication from your veterinarian.
6. Canine Influenza:
The canine influenza virus (CIV) is similar to the human flu and spreads much like a cold or other respiratory illness. It is not extremely uncommon for dogs of any age to be infected with CIV, but older, immune-comprised animals are more vulnerable. Symptoms of canine influenza include coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
Fortunately, from an owner’s perspective, canine influenza appears very similar to a regular “coughing” cold in humans – it will run its course on its own within a week or two. So, the dog should rest until they feel better – there’s no specific treatment needed beyond what you would give your dog if he had a cough or fever from another cause.
The Heartworm is a deadly parasite that spreads by way of mosquitos. When an infected mosquito bites your dog, the heartworm larvae are transmitted into the body and develop in your pet’s major blood vessels and lungs. If left untreated, heartworms can prove fatal as they severely reduce the ability of blood to circulate through your dog’s system – leading to slow paralysis and even death.
8. Lyme Disease:
Lyme Disease is an illness contracted from ticks; those tiny little bugs you didn’t even notice on yourself after a hike or walk through fields at night during tick season (April – July). The early symptoms of Lyme disease include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever – all signs that should be observed by owners to avoid further infection down the line. Left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause severe joint pain and swelling, lameness, and even kidney damage. Thankfully, early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics usually lead to a full recovery for dogs.
9. Urinary Tract Infections:
Urinary Tract Infections make up a large portion of the ailments dogs frequently face – especially amongst female dogs. The main reason for this is that female dogs have shorter urethras than males. The problem is that they are more likely to get infections and blockages in their urinary tract system, which may require surgery to fix. If your dog seems sick, you should take her to the vet right away. If your dog starts to have some symptoms, there might be something worse so you need to go.
Dogs can get allergies just like people. They may have different symptoms depending on what type of allergy they have. If your dog scratches or chews at their skin often, it is because they have an allergy. The allergy could be to something in the environment like dust mites, pollen, or mold.
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11. Dog Flu:
Dog flu is canine influenza – and while it’s not as common as many other illnesses we’ve listed here (and thankfully isn’t usually as severe as some others), it still needs serious medical attention if you notice your dog showing any of the following signs: nasal discharge that’s discolored, coughing, sneezing, lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite.
12. Allergic Dermatitis:
Allergic dermatitis – also known as atopic dermatitis – is a skin allergy that usually presents itself before the age of three. Look out for symptoms like paw licking, redness around your dog’s paws and ears, increased scratching or rubbing their paws against surfaces (like carpet or grass), constant chewing or biting at specific areas on their body because it may be causing them discomfort. If you notice any of these things, don’t hesitate to go to a veterinarian right away!
These are some of the most common health conditions that dogs can get. There are other things that they might get, too. If you want to know more about illnesses, please check this article called human disorders. If you have any questions about your pet’s health, please talk to your doctor.
Thank you for reading, and remember – every little bit helps!