Top 10 Common Health Problems in Dogs

A sick dog is no fun

1. Canine Distemper

A highly contagious disease that affects dogs is known as canine distemper. It is a virus that can be spread through direct or indirect contact and through the air. It initially starts in the infected dog’s tonsils and lymph nodes before it moves to attack the respiratory, gastrointestinal, nervous and urogential systems. A vaccine can prevent a dog from becoming infected with canine distemper and symptoms are flu-like including a high fever, red eyes, persistent coughing and vomiting, and diarrhea. More at PetMD

2. Ear Infections

Almost every dog will experience an ear infection throughout his or her lifetime. Ear infections can be painful and common signs to look for are persistent ear scratching or rubbing, redness or swelling in the ear, and an unusual odor. Your veterinarian will prescribe your dog with a cleaning solution that must be applied gently to the infected ear or ears for treatment. The most common cause for ear infections in dogs is a buildup of bacteria or yeast. More at PetWave.

3. Demodectic Mange

An inflammatory skin disease that is caused by an infestation of mites is called demodectic mange. Dogs who suffers from this problem can be infected by lesions that occur in specific areas or by lesions that affects their entire bodies. These lesions are hairless spots that can be crusty,red, or oily. Dogs with compromised or underdeveloped immune systems are more susceptible to demodectic mange. Treatment for localized cases are not necessary in most cases because they usually resolve themselves but severe cases generalized throughout the dog’s body may require medication. More at MarvistVet.

4. Dental Problems

Dogs can suffer from a number of dental problems including a broken tooth or gum disease. Most of the time, owners do not realize their dog is even suffering from any dental ailments because dogs don’t often show signs that they are in pain. Once the problem becomes severe signs can include bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, blood on chew toys and difficulty eating. Make sure your dog receives regular oral exams and you brush his or her teeth to help prevent any problems. More at DogzHealth.

5. Fleas

A very common problem affecting canines, especially those that live or spend a lot of time outdoors are fleas. These blood sucking parasites live within the dog’s coat where they also lay eggs. Signs of fleas include excess scratching and black and white specs throughout your dog’s environment and coat. Fleas can be very hard to fully eliminate from your dog or home, which is why prevention is the key to avoiding an infestation. Natural Solution at Wondercide.

6. Hotspots

A common skin condition that a dog can encounter is a hotspot, an area of skin that is irritated and has become inflamed and infected. Hotspots can be very painful to the dogs, as well as itchy, and can be caused by anything that itches the dog’s skin. Dogs often chew and lick at the infected area, which worsens the condition so it is best to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment involves keeping the area clean with topicals and oral medication to kill the infection. More at VetMedicine.

7. Obesity

Being overweight is not a problem that just faces humans, dogs are also susceptible to gaining too much weight and becoming obese. A dog that suffers from obesity is at higher risk for diabetes, joint pain, and liver disease. It is important to monitor your dog’s weight throughout their lifetime to prevent them from becoming overweight. Sticking to a feeding schedule and making sure your pooch gets enough exercise can help prevent obesity. More at VCA Animal Hospitals.

8. Parvovirus

An extremely contagious viral disease, Parvovirus attacks a dog’s rapidly dividing cells and white blood cells, which can be life threatening. Parvo is an extremely resistant disease that can live in the environment for months and be spread by any person, animal or object that has come in contact with a parvo-positive dog’s feces. Dog’s who have not received vaccination against the disease are more susceptible to contracting parvo and symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, bloody diarrhea and loss of appetite. More at WikiPedia.

9. Sarcoptic Mange (scabies)

A treatable but highly contagious skin disease found in dogs is known as sarcoptic mange. The disease is caused by mites that have burrowed into the dog’s skin and cause severe itching. Dogs often continuously scratch these itchy areas causing their hair to fall out. Mites are easily transmitted from animal to animal, which is often a dog’s source of infestation. Treatment, which usually kill living mites but not their eggs, includes a scabicide to kill the mite and in more severe cases the dog will be dipped in a scabicidal shampoo that kills all of the mites in a dog’s skin. More at PetEducation.

10. Worms

There are generally five types of worms that commonly affect a dog throughout his or her lifetime: tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms. While some show signs, like appearing in the dog’s stool, and can be easily diagnosed, other types of worms, like heartworms for example, aren’t diagnosed until the infestation has progressed. Some symptoms to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of energy, change in appetite, weight loss, excess itching and “scooting” their bottoms on the ground. More at DogHealthGuide.

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