Unfortunately, health related problems in our pets are a part of life, affecting the young, the elderly, and every age in-between. While most owners try their best to keep their pets healthy and happy, certain conditions can occur that are simply beyond their control. Although it’s something we’d all rather avoid thinking about, it’s important to educate ourselves about which conditions, illnesses or diseases are most likely to affect our pets.
Dog is the most loved and talked-about pet in the world, and it’s also one of the most cheerful pets that brighten up households with their energy and antics. However, with time and age, they may get sick due to various reasons. As a pet owner, it is very important to understand the root cause of their illness. This will help in maintaining them well, preventing diseases as much as we can, and providing treatment when they become sick. Some dog breeds do have some diseases that are pertinent to them due to their personality or lineage.
7 Most Common Dog Diseases & How to Treat Them
Dental Disease – Did you know that oral infections are one of the most common dog diseases? Such concerns usually start after dogs turn three and develop tartar and gingivitis. Symptoms include bad breath, loose teeth and changes in appetite. There are plenty of treatments available, including teeth cleaning, extractions and even root canal. All of these treatments should be administered by a trusted veterinarian.
Ear Infections – If your dog has large, pendulous ears, there's a higher chance of him getting an ear infection. If you notice your pet scratching or pawing at his ears, shaking his head or even rubbing their ear on the furniture, then it's time to seek professional treatment. Start addressing your dog's ear infection by cleaning his ears and letting them dry. If both ears are infected, then your dog needs to be sedated and let the vet treat it. The vet will be able to identify what type of ear infection your dog has.
Skin Infections – While dogs scratch daily, scratching incessantly is a sign that something's off. Dog skin infections usually come in the form of allergies. If that’s not the case, then bacterial or yeast infections can be the cause. When left untreated, this can lead to hot spots, which are very painful sores. Depending on the skin infection, your dog may need something as simple as a new shampoo or an antibiotic treatment. To be sure, it's always best to seek advice from your trusted vet.
Obesity – Obesity is quite obvious with most dogs. But if you have a furry dog, run your hands over his ribcage. If you cannot feel his ribs, then your dog's overweight. You need to put him on a high-quality diet and engage him in regular exercise like walks or running around.
Urinary Tract Problems – UTI symptoms include blood in the urine, constant urination, breaking housetraining, crying out while urinating or even obsessively licking the genital area. In such cases, it’s important to take your dog to a vet immediately to know what kind of UTI he has.
Rabies – One of the most common dog diseases, rabies is usually transmitted through direct contact with infected animals. Symptoms include seizures, paralysis, aggression and lack of general coordination. As rabies can be fatal, you should immediately take your dog to the vet for treatment.
Parvovirus – Usually transmitted through exposure to water, feces of contaminated dogs, parvovirus is a fatal disease that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment is usually intensive and requires intravenous fluids and medications. As it commonly affects unvaccinated puppies, it’s recommended to get shots for your dog as soon as possible.
What Diseases Can Kill a Dog?
Many canine illnesses are preventable and treatable. However, deadly dog diseases can result when left untreated. Vaccinating your pet and recognizing early warning signs are the best ways to ensure your dog stays healthy.
If your dog experiences any symptoms of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately.
How to Protect Your Dog from Diseases
Protect your dog from diseases and prevent the spread of infection by taking the following steps.
Routine examinations can reveal early warning signs that your dog may have a medical condition or disease. Below are other measures you can take to prevent the onset of illness.
Administer monthly flea, tick, and heartworm medication.
Clean up any indoor urine, feces, or vomit immediately. Use a disinfectant on the affected area and wash your hands afterward.
Keep your pet's water fresh and clean.
Additionally, ensure your dog has adequate daily exercise, a balanced diet, and a comfortable environment.
Essential Puppy Vaccines
Four necessary vaccines given to puppies can ensure that your dog never contracts a preventable disease. Below are the following vaccines every puppy should have.
Vaccinate your puppy as soon as possible and avoid these severe illnesses.
How To Give Your Dog A Pill and Liquid Medication
The bond between dog and owner is a loving and powerful one. The most caring and considerate dog owners want to make sure their pets recover as quickly as possible from their health problems. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t quite so good at taking their pills which means they will need a little help.
Some dogs are better than others when it comes to sniffing out medicine that has been hidden inside their food bowls. If your dog has a brilliant sense of smell and refuses to eat the pill you will have to administer it yourself.
Follow our five easy steps to find out how to give your dog a pill without food.
With one hand hold your dog’s nose and slowly tilt his head back.
With the same hand, place your thumb on the roof of his mouth. This will force your dog to keep his mouth open. You may need to use your other hand to prise open the jaw.
With your other hand, place the pill or tablet on top of your dog's tongue as far back into his mouth as you can.
Keep your dog’s head tilted back and gently close his mouth.
Massage your dog's throat until you see him swallow
If you truly love your family pet and you wish to protect it from poor health, illness and an early death then you need to be conscious of what you are feeding them.
It is that simple, cheap food and table scraps do not provide your beloved buddy with the nutritional balance that they require thriving.
Many of the common health problems that will cut your dog’s life short are directly related to their nutrient and the care that they get from their owner.
If you can't imagine life without your pet, the best thing you can do right now is start feeding them instead of waiting for a diagnosis. As your dog gets older, health problems may occur. However, if your dog is well-cared for and provided nutrient-dense, high-protein food, their chances of living to their full doggy years are greatly boosted.