(By Saad Imran)
Knowing the most common dog health conditions can help you recognize the signs when your doggo is sick and needs a veterinarian visit.
About one of the best things anyone can do for their pet’s health, Dr. Jeff said, “Don’t wait for the problem to happen. When dogs are old enough, work with your veterinarian for routine exams.”
The following list of the most common dog health problems can help you decide when your dog needs your immediate attention.
Most of the time, vomiting is not an indication of severe health-related dog problems. It can even happen when your dog eats more than it can handle!
However, sometimes vomiting can be caused by ingesting toxic substances, kidney failure and many other severe medical conditions.
If you notice symptoms such as dehydration, fever and weakness along with vomiting, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Skin infections can cause your dog intense discomfort and it can end up being very miserable if these infections are left untreated. Most common skin infections are caused by environmental allergies, skin parasites and endocrine diseases.
Skin infections cannot effectively be treated at home. Watch out for symptoms like itching, hair loss, crusted skin and dry patches of flaking skin.
On noticing these symptoms, take your dog to the vet!
Urinary Tract Infections are also one of the most common health conditions that may affect your dog’s health. Some symptoms of UTIs in dogs are:
- Bloody Urine
- Licking around the area
- Straining during urination
Most of the UTIs go away with treatment and do not cause any lasting damage. However, if symptoms persist, it can indicate more serious problems.
Your dog can be infected by three types of parasites: Internal, Intestinal and External parasites. The most common parasites that can affect your dog’s health are heartworm, ringworm, hookworm, fleas and ticks.
You can prevent your dog from getting a parasite by maintaining a clean environment and regularly washing his food and water bowls.
Also, watch your dog’s behavior for any changes like changes in appetite or activity levels.
If you witness your dog shaking his head, scratching or whining, he might have an ear infection. It is estimated that about 20% of dogs have some form of ear disease.
You should not try to treat ear infections at home. On noticing any signs of an ear infection, visit your vet at the earliest because the infection can spread and can be painful for your dog.
Cataracts in dogs can develop when the lens of its eye becomes cloudy due to changes in water balance or protein within the lens and It causes your dog to go blind.
Cataracts can only be diagnosed by your vet, who’ll use a bright light and a magnifying glass to check your dog’s vision. He’ll also perform blood tests to give you a complete picture of your dog’s health.
Arthritis is mostly seen in older dogs. The main symptoms of arthritis are:
- Difficulty in jumping or going up the stairs
- Reluctance to move
Arthritis in dogs can be managed by physical therapy, medications and changes in diet. You can consult a pet nutritionist about developing a diet plan that fits your dog’s needs.
Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are usually present in the environment and a dog gets them onto his fur when he’s outside. Some of the symptoms of fleas are flea eggs on the skin, excessive scratching and hair loss. On the other hand, ticks are mostly visible to the naked eye.
Since fleas and ticks feed on your dog’s blood, they can cause blood loss, anemia, skin discomfort, and irritation to your pet.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention data shows that 55% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. Obesity in your dog should be pretty concerning for you as it can lead to complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer.
The best thing you do for your dog is to work with his primary vet to develop a care regimen that will help him lose the excess weight.
Periodontal disease is the most common type of dental disease in dogs. Since this disease is not easily diagnosed until it’s in the advanced stage, a thorough dental examination should be included in your dog’s annual checkup.