10 Most Common Dog Diseases and How to Treat Them
Dogs and human beings have a history since time immemorial. Because of this great friendship, human beings have incorporated dogs in their living and ensured they were and are treated just a little bit less than human beings and certainly more than other animals. Here are the most common dog diseases your furry best friend will face.
1. Ear infection
Ear infection affects very many breeds of dogs, but mostly those that have floppy ears. There are three types of ear infection: media, otitis externa, and interna. Otitis external is more common, and it affects the outer part of the ear, whilst the rest affect the internal parts of the ear.
If not treated, these diseases can cause deafness and paralysis. There are obvious symptoms for detecting this infection for some types of dogs, which include swelling of the ear and discharge. But the common symptoms in most dogs include itchiness, shaking of the head, and discharge from the ear, odor, pain, and redness of the ear.
The major causes of this particularly common dog diseases are bacteria and yeast. They are catalyzed by factors like moisture, excess cleaning, allergies, wax buildup, and injuries within the ear.
Treatment of this infection requires a thorough assessment of the condition by a veterinarian. It takes an average of one to two weeks to cure the infection, depending on the severity. The veterinarian can prescribe antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery to remove the ear canal.
Dog flu is a respiratory disease that is caused by the influenza virus. The flu is airborne, so preventing it might be a hard task for those that interact with other dogs in parks and public places.
It can also be caused by contact with a contaminated surface. Some of the symptoms for the flu include sneezing, nasal discharge, fever, running nose, coughing, and difficulty in breathing.
There is no cure for dog flu, so reporting to a veterinarian early will help aid in the quick recovery of the dog. Prevention is done by making sure you avoid places with incidences of the flu and avoid coming into contact with an infected dog to avoid transmitting it to your dog.
Dogs have very varying types of allergies, which include skin allergy, food allergy, and acute allergic reactions. Some of the symptoms for these allergies include itchiness, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, itchy eyes, inflamed skin, constant licking, swellings on the face ears and lips and itchy ears.
Treating allergies is a bit more complex than treating other common dog diseases. A vet has to ensure that they have eliminated the chances of it being any other disease before diagnosing a specific allergy. Once it has been detected that these effects are caused by a specific type of allergy, the dog owner is required to avoid some of these causes, like a change in diet in cases of food allergies. There are cases where there is a medication given.
Worms are the most common type of disease in dogs. There are five types of worms that are common with dogs; whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms.
Some of the common symptoms in detecting worm in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, a dull coat, itchiness and skin irritation, scratching using the ground or hard surfaces, presence of worms in the dog’s feces, a pot belly, and coughing.
Treating worms is easy, but a lack of treatment might lead to death. Most of these worms just require medication from a veterinarian.
Dogs cool off by panting, and through their sweat glands, located at the footpads. In very hot weather, they find it hard to cool off, hence heatstroke. When a dog is overheating, it tends to stay in one place.
Some of the symptoms of heatstroke include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, uncoordinated movement, unconsciousness, reddened gums, and even collapsing. In case of such symptoms, ensure that you help cool off your dog immediately.
This can be done by hosing the dog with cold water, or submerging the dog in a bathtub or a pool, but ensuring that the head is not submerged. Ensure that cold water covers the neck and the back of the head. Ensure the dog drinks plenty of water without being forced, and finally ensure you take the dog to an animal clinic or a veterinarian.
6. Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that occurs in the urinary tract. This is an infection that can occur in any dog and might have very adverse effects if not treated quickly enough.
Some of the common symptoms of this infection include bloody urine, licking around the urinal area, straining when urinating, fever, odor from the urine, vomiting, change in appetite, increase in water consumption, frequency of urination and inability to urinate.
If such symptoms are detected, ensure that you take the dog to a clinic for immediate treatment. There are a variety of treatments the veterinarian may give based on the severity of the infection. They might include medication, change in diet, or even surgery.
7. Dental infections
Dogs also suffer from dental problems. Most of these problems are usually caused by bacteria, due to the remains of the food in their mouth after eating. Some of the symptoms of these infections include bad breath, dropping of foods when eating, scratching on the side of the face with the infection, swelling on the side of the face, bleeding gums, loose teeth and chewing on the side of the mouth.
To prevent such infections, always ensure that you clean your dog’s teeth daily. Also, ensure you provide chewing toys for your dog. The quality of the food should also factor in prevention–ensure that the food you give is the best quality. Also, ensure you take your dog for oral checks regularly.
8. Canine distemper
This is a viral infection that affects the respiratory and nervous systems of dogs. The virus is contracted through direct contact with blood, saliva, fresh urine, sharing of food and water bowls, sneezing and coughing.
The virus is usually quick at spreading, therefore it is recommended to take the dog to an animal clinic immediately. To prevent this, always ensure that the dog completes all the necessary vaccinations. Antibiotics are always recommended for treating the virus, although extra measures might be taken depending on the severity of the infection.
Conjunctivitis, which is commonly known as pink eye, is an infection that involves the covering of the eyeballs and the lining of the eye by a mucous membrane. Some of the symptoms usually include a discharge from the eyes, swelling around the eye and change in eye color.
This infection can be caused by allergy, injuries, birth defects, bites around the eye, eye diseases, viral infection, bacterial infection, and parasites. Ensuring your dog is vaccinated is the only way to prevent this infection. Treatment is usually dependent on the cause of the infection, but a generic medication that includes eye drops is usually the treatment.
10. Digestive problems
Most of the digestive problems in dogs are usually associated with an infection or a disease. But some occur due to a problem with the digestive system of the dog.
Most of such problems include diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, excess gas, loss of appetite and bloody or mucous stool. Most of these are treated categorically, based on the cause. Treatment for these disorders is usually easy once the cause is detected.
Ensuring you provide the basic care and ensure cleanliness, providing clean food and water, regular checks for the dog and ensuring they are vaccinated and incase of medications, they complete the dosage.