Dogs are man’s best friend but are also one that needs great care. As a conscious pet owner, you must pay regular visits to the vet with your pooch for medicines and vaccines. But apart from that also you need to be aware of the common health diseases your pet might pick up from time to time. Try and recognize the symptoms as they start and take immediate action to prevent any aggravation which can be deadly for your pet.
If your dog has been shaking his head or tilting the head more than usual check the ears for signs of infection. Ear infection is a common ailment in dogs and is usually caused by yeast, allergies, bacteria, ear mites, a growth of hair deep inside the ear canal and more. The symptoms include:
- Scratching vigorously
- Shaking the head or tilting it to a side
- Ear odour
- Lack of balance
- Usual eye movement especially while moving back and forth
- Yellow, bloody or brown discharge
- Swelling in the outer year
If the pooch shows signs of ear infection take him to the vet without delay. These are itchy and quite painful. Sometimes, ear infections are related or lead to skin diseases and even allergies. Cleaning the ears and proper medication in most cases cures the condition. However, sometimes surgery may also be required.
Fleas can be quite deadly for your pet and are among the common dog health problems. These parasites multiple into thousands in just three weeks and dog invariable pick up fleas from almost anywhere. Some of the commonest signs of flea infestation are:
- Scratching, biting, licking of the skin
- Hot spots
- Hair loss
- Allergic dermatitis
- Flea dirt
- Tape worm
A dog that has fleas will show major symptoms of discomfort. If the flea infestation has not been treated the animal will get an infection, allergy and even anemia which is likely to cause major blood loss. In the case of small dogs or sick ones, fleas can be quite damaging. Since the fleas often survive in the faces of the dog, they usually carry tapeworm eggs in their bodies. So, it is best if the dog does not eat up any of the fleas. The vet may suggest shampoos, topical medicines, oral medicines, collar, and sprays keep the flees at bay.
Internal parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, and hook worms are very common in dogs. Some of the symptoms of your dog being infected by such worms include:
- Diarrhea sometimes bloody
- Appetite change
- Loss in weight
- Poor appearance
- Dry and rough coat
If the dog is showing any of these symptoms then a visit to the vet is necessary. The course of treatment will depend on the type of worm present inside the animal. Your dog may have to take oral medicines and regular follow-ups with the doctor. For unknown dog problem and solutions, it is best to get in touch with the vet.
Dogs vomit owing to a number of reasons including infections, intestinal parasites, kidney failure, pancreatitis, heatstroke, or even poisoning. If the animal is suffering from any of these diseases then his abdomen will be heaving and will be drooling. Additionally, if it is lethargic, cannot keep down liquids or has blood in the vomit then also it is best to rush him to the vet. The treatment will be diagnosed on the basis of the symptoms. The doctor may have to resort to fluid therapy, medication, and prescribe homemade food.
There cannot be any one reason for diarrhea in dogs. Food can be an obvious reason but apart from that also a dog may be suffering from intestinal parasites, parvo virus, etc. The symptom of diarrhea is pretty obvious. The stool will be watery, liquid and loose. Ensure that the pet drinks a lot of clean water during this time. If the diarrhea continues for more than a day take him to the vet. Sometimes the dog can also have lethargy, fever, loss of appetite and bloody or dark colored stool.
Over nourished dogs become obese which in turn leads to its own dangers. Possessing excess body fat is not good for animals just as it is dangerous for humans. Obesity in pet dogs can lead to a reduction in the lifespan along with degeneration in the joints and digestive organs. Middle-aged dogs are more likely to be obese along with indoor and neutered ones. Some of the symptoms of obesity are excess weight, lethargy, unwillingness to exercise etc. To keep obesity at bay, dogs need to be taken out for a walk. They also need to run and exercise.
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that is easily contracted by dogs. It affects the animal’s voice box, windpipe, and lungs. It is caused by a combination of bacteria and virus which weakens the immune system. It spreads when the dog comes in contact with other infected dogs, contaminated objects and also spreads through the air. The symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Nasal discharge and runny nose
Tips to keep your pets safe
Pet owners are usually aware of the major dog healthcare tips that can keep them healthy and safe. Below is a compilation of the most important factors that can affect your pet.
- Food: Portion control and nutritional requirements have to be kept in mind. Ask your vet how much food should be given to him.
- Water: Keep a supply of fresh and clean water so that the dog stays hydrated.
- Exercise: Your pet needs a daily dose of activity. Play ball or fetch with him to keep him healthy.
- Grooming: Brush your dog’s coat regularly to check for fleas, ticks, lumps and loose hair balls. Trim the toenails also to keep infection at bay. Plus, it is a great way to bond with your pet.
- Oral care: Check the teeth for any signs of infection or odour. Get the teeth checked by a vet. To keep teeth healthy get him a toy to chew.
These are some of the common dog health care measures that you can take.
Also see: How to make your pet love you!