You know your precious dog more than anyone, so you certainly know when something is off. Therefore acting on time at the first signs of an illness can help to prevent your dog from suffering and even save its life. You should know some of the most common dog health problems that dogs face and what you can do about them. Many health issues can affect dogs, and the following are among the most common.
01. Skin issues
Dogs experience many different types of skin issues. There are many causes for these skin issues, such as external irritants, burns, allergens, trauma, and infections (bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal). Due to this, the dog’s skin may appear red, inflamed, flaky, scaly, itchy, and may also lose patches of hair. Flea bite hypersensitivity is one of the most common skin conditions caused to domestic dogs.
When left untreated, your dog may feel uncomfortable, but also it can lead to infections, allergic reactions, and can even cause anemia from blood loss. Dog hot spots are infected, inflamed, and bleeding areas of skin, mainly occurs in the summer months. Hotspots are moist and painful and often develop as a result of contact allergies, food allergies, or flea bite allergies. These areas start to spread due to continued licking and chewing. If there are any red, inflamed sores on your dog, get him evaluated by a veterinarian before it gets worse.
02. Ear infections
The cause for most dog ear infections can be allergies, ear mites, bacteria, yeast, hair growth deep in the ear canal, wax buildup, endocrine, and autoimmune disorders, etc. The symptoms of ear infections are head shaking or head tilting, ear odor, vigorous scratching, Lack of balance, brown, yellow, or bloody discharge, redness of the ear canal, and Swelling of the outer portion of the ear. They can cause severe damage to ear when left untreated. If these symptoms keep exhibiting for two-three days, take your dog to the veterinarian.
03. Urinary tract infection – Dog Health Problems
Urinary tract infection is a potentially dangerous condition in dogs, which is mainly caused by bacteria. The signs of UTI are bloody and cloudy urine, straining or whimpering during urination, licking around the urinary opening, fever, frequent urination, urinating small amounts at a time, urine with a strong odor and pain in the abdomen. Structural abnormalities in the lower urinary tract, presence of bladder stones, and diseases such as kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism make dogs more prone to UTIs. The general treatment for a UTI is a course of antibiotics.
There are dozens of possible reasons that a dog can develop vomiting. Some of the rights are infections, intestinal parasites, dietary indiscretion, toxin ingestion, gastrointestinal blockage, pancreatitis, certain medications or anesthetic agents, and more. Abdominal heaving and drooling are the primary symptoms of vomiting. But, if your dog is extremely lethargic or unresponsive and has diarrhea and blood in the vomit, go to the veterinarian immediately.
Diarrhea may be a result of something as simple as a dietary indiscretion or something serious such as toxin ingestion, infections like parvovirus, intestinal parasites, ingestion of toxins or stress. Loose, watery, or liquid stool are the most common symptom of diarrhea. Be sure that your dog drinks a lot of water since diarrhea can lead to dehydration. If your dog exhibits symptoms like fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite, take the stool sample to the vet right away.
Two types of pests affect dogs. They are internal and external parasites. External parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites mainly infect skin and coat, whereas internal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and heartworms affect the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. These parasites can cause effects ranging from simple irritation to life-threatening conditions. Fleas, ticks, and mites are easy to identify and easy to treat.
7. Dental Disease
Dental Disease or Periodontal disease in dogs is characterized by infections or inflammations that weaken the tissues or the support structures of teeth. Sometimes this could lead to infections of other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. The development of the dental disease is a gradual process. It starts from the formation of plaque, which then turns it to calculus, which is also known as tartar.
Eventually, this tartar becomes worsen and result in bone and tissue loss. Common symptoms of gum disease are bleeding or red gums, Signs of irritation in the mouth, loss of appetite, difficulty eating, excessive drooling, bad breath, and teeth falling out. The best way to prevent dental disease in dogs is by maintaining proper oral hygiene.
Veterinary drugs, many types of plants and flowers, feed table scraps, and other random foods and chemicals such as cleaning agents, antifreeze, rodenticides, insecticides, fertilizers, etc. can be toxic to dogs. Apart from that, bee and wasp stings, ant bites, spider and snake bites are highly toxic and can lead to allergic reactions. The common signs of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, blood in the stool lethargy, loss of appetite, bruising, nosebleeds, irregular heartbeat, and inability to urinate. If you see any dog poisoning symptoms, take your dog to the veterinarian.
Arthritis means inflammation in joints, which causes pain and discomfort. The most common joints affected in dogs are hips, elbow, shoulder, stifle, and hock intervertebral joints. Arthritis is mainly caused due to the wearing and tearing of cartilage from aging, traumatic injuries, obesity, and structural or functional anomalies.
The most common symptoms of arthritis are limping, abnormal gait, reluctance to rise or difficulty rising, stiffness, unusual behaviors such as irritability, withdrawal or aggression, pain when handled, and licking or chewing at the painful joint. To avoid arthritis, in addition to drug therapy, weight management, acupuncture, cold laser treatments, and surgery can be done.
There can be many reasons for canine obesity. They are improper diet, lack of sufficient exercise, hormonal disorders, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome, and genetic predisposition. Obesity is dangerous because it can lead to many complications, such as cardiac disease, Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension, orthopedic injuries, osteoarthritis, respiratory disorders, and various forms of cancer. The warning signs of obesity are exercise intolerance and laziness. If your dog is obese, it is important to develop a weight management program that mainly consists of a structured diet and an exercise plan.