Even after doing every possible thing to keep our dogs healthy, they can develop some health-related problems during their lifetime. And since your dogs count on you for their well-being, you should be aware of such common dog health problems, their signs and symptoms, and what you can do about them to help your dog live a healthy life.
1. Urinary Tract Infections
UTI’s are common in dogs. Dealing with a dog who pees in the house frequently can be extremely annoying. While many pet owners blame it on lack of training, there is a possibility that your dog could be suffering from urinary tract infections as well. Its symptoms include frequent urination and leaking, increased thirst, blood discharge in urine, lethargy, etc. However, these symptoms are also associated with diabetes or kidney diseases, so take your dog for a urine examination immediately if you suspect any such symptoms.
Arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is a very common health problem in dogs, especially in senior ones. However, the inflammation in joints during arthritis can also be due to other issues like injuries or hip dysplasia. Fortunately, it is manageable with proper treatment, but to avoid such issues, it is advisable to provide your dog with good joint care supplements.
3. Diarrhea and Vomiting
Almost all dogs suffer from diarrhea and vomiting at least once in their lifetime. While you may think it is nothing serious, it isn’t something to be ignored either. Diarrhea and vomiting may indicate stomach upset, toxicity, or other serious diseases. It can also happen due to dietary indiscretion. Whatever the reason be, if there are repeated episodes of diarrhea and vomiting, get your vet involved.
4. Ear infections
There are many reasons behind ear infections in canines. It may occur due to allergies, hair growth in the ear, yeast, bacteria, or just poor ear hygiene. If you notice that your dog is scratching his ears or is shaking his head, it may show that your dog is suffering from ear infections. You may also notice ear discharge or debris with a bad odor. Generally, cleaning and medication can clear up these infections but don’t ignore them as the repercussions can be serious if left untreated.
Parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms are very likely to affect dogs every now and then. Not only are these pesky parasites a nuisance, but they also give rise to many serious illnesses. However, thankfully, there are ways to prevent parasites from attacking your dog, like monthly preventive treatments.
6. Dental Diseases
Dental issues in dogs are often overlooked and they may end up damaging their teeth. Hence, if you notice bad breath or plaque or tartar build-up, it can be a sign of periodontal issues. Always pay more attention to your dog’s dental hygiene and do not let tartar accumulate. Invest in good dental care products and prevent your dog from getting into trouble.
The reason why obesity is a very common health problem in dogs is the lack of awareness among dog parents. They tend to feed extra food and give treats more often out of affection. Obesity can lead to major illnesses, so it is better to prevent it through proper diet and exercise.
8. Kennel Cough
Dogs that have recently visited an animal shelter or vet clinic are most likely to get kennel cough. Sadly, it can’t be prevented, but it isn’t as terrible as it sounds. It is more like a common cold for us. If your dog has kennel cough, the best way of taking care of them is by giving them rest and proper food. In severe cases, your vet may also prescribe some antibiotics to help you get it under control.
Diabetes in dogs is caused by inadequate functioning of insulin. Insulin breaks down food, including glucose into various small components. When a dog does not secrete enough insulin, the glucose can’t be broken down and hence the blood sugar level rises, causing hyperglycemia. This may affect many other functions of the body, and, hence it should never be left untreated, or else it may cause other complications.
As scary as they sound, cancer is a fatal disease in dogs. Dogs, like humans, can develop cancer as they age. All types of cancers that develop in humans develop in dogs, including lymphoma, melanoma, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Fortunately, most cancers can be cured with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy if caught early, so keep an eye out for any unusual lumps on your dog’s body.
If you notice any signs or symptoms of illness in your dog’s health, contact your veterinarian right away as only your vet can suggest the appropriate treatments for your pet based on your pet’s examination history.