9 Common Dog Health Issues & How You Can Be Ready

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Dogs are the best companions. Having a little pet is the best feeling one can ever have. Just like our small children, dogs look up to us to provide them with care and medical aid when the need arises. Knowing what health Issues to be aware of and how you can prevent them is an important way of keeping them happy and fit.

Here are the most common health issues that your dog may face

1. Ear infections

health issue dog ear

One health issue that can arise is a nasty ear infection especially with dogs with long ears. The condition may be severe or easily treated. Some ear infections may disappear on their own while others require medical treatment. An ear infection may cause your dog to be unrestful and irritated. An ear infection can be caused by allergies, ear mites, bacteria, yeast, among many other conditions.

Your dog may start to scratch his ears vigorously as a way of showing that something is going on in the ear. Also, your dog’s ears may have a sour odor based which can also be a sign of an ear infection. The outer portion of the dog’s ear may also swell, an indication that the situation could be dangerous. If you are seeing signs as described above, you can be sure a trip to the vet is needed for treatment.

The good thing is that you can help avoid ear infections by ensuring that your dog’s ears remain clean.  This is easily done by wiping your dog’s ears with a clean damp cloth. However, if the ailment occurs, you should never hesitate to book an appointment with your vet. Some ear infections may require even surgery and delaying the treatment may put your little pet at high risk.

2. Worms

Worms such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are common amongst dogs. But, this does not mean that they should be ignored. Some like hookworms can be disastrous and put your dog at high risk. Your dog may start losing weight as a sign that the worms are present. Some signs of worms could be experiencing bloody diarrhea, and even visible in your dog’s stool.  

Based on the kind of worms present, your dog may also start to vomit. Other signs include appetite changes and the condition of his coat becoming rough and dry. 

However, you can save your dog from this misery by visiting your vet regularly, at least once a year for worms. For puppies, the visits can be three to four times in your pup’s first year. This website wrote about the best dog worming tablets but be sure to check with your vet to determine what kind of worms your dog is suffering from. The checkup will help in determining the perfect tablet to keep your dog worm free.

3. Vomiting

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Vomiting is a health condition that is actually common with dogs and food poisoning is usually the most common cause of vomiting. As stated earlier, your dog may also vomit because of worms, so it’s important to contact your vet. Also, vomiting could be as a result of kidney failure, a condition that could place your little pet at risk if not handled on time. An obstruction in the stomach or intestine may also trigger vomiting.

If vomiting last more than a day, your dog could be at risk of a health issue that may be more serve.  It can cause dehydration, which we all know can be life threating. Therefore, the condition should never be neglected. You should book an appointment with your vet to be sure of the cause of the vomiting. Also, it is advisable to know how to prevent the condition from appearing in the first place. Always watch what your dog is eating to prevent cases of food poisoning.

4. Diarrhea

Like vomiting, diarrhea has a lot of causes. Hence, it’s hard to figure out the real cause of the condition. Diarrhea may be as a result of stress, intestinal parasites, and infections such as parvovirus. Also, diarrhea may be caused by food problems. It may last a day or two, and then clear up on its own.

However, some diarrhea may take many days, and hence medical attention is highly recommended. Remember, diarrhea leaves your dog dehydrated, and we both know the risks that it can bring to your dog. Therefore, you should make sure that the dog has plenty of fresh water and on a bland diet to help clear a bout of diarrhea while seeking vet care.

5. Dental disease

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Dental disease can be a severe condition amongst dogs. The sad thing is that most people tend to ignore the situation. Signs of dental disease in dogs is bad breath from the bacteria in their mouth. Although many people assume that the odor is just how a dog’s mouth smells, this is not correct. Your dog’s breath should have a neutral scent.  The tartar and plaque in a dog’s mouth act as a good home for bacteria which makes your dog’s breath stink. In return, this bacteria will also cause teeth damage.

Neglecting your dog’s dental health is risky as the bacteria can make its way into the bloodstream. The entry of bacteria into your dog’s bloodstream can result in serious issues such as kidney failure or heart disease. The good thing is that you can prevent the dental complications from happening in the first place. Make sure that you take your dog for oral examination regularly. Also, brushing your dog’s teeth on a daily basis is vital. You should also be sure that your dog consumes quality food to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and has access to dental chews or toys that will help scrape his teeth.

6. Obesity

Like humans, dogs can become obese too. I know it sounds complicated, but the number of obesity cases is currently on the rise. When ignored, obesity may lead to diabetes, heart disease and degenerative joint disease among many other complications. The good thing about obesity is that it is easy to fix.

Like in humans, preventing obesity entails watching what your dog eats. You should ensure that your dog eats a healthy and high-quality diet. Also, ensure that you don’t overfeed your dog and that includes giving your dog too many treats.  Also, making sure that your dog has plenty of exercise is vital as it helps to keep your dog healthy and fit.

7. Skin issues

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Today, many dogs suffer from skin issues and a primary reason why they visit a vet. A change in your dog’s coat is one of the main signs that your dog may be suffering from a skin health issue. Based on the type of skin infection, your dog may develop lesions, crusting, scaling, pustules, and papules. Also, any discharge from skin lesions could be quiet serious for your dog’s health.

A healthy grooming regime will help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. A professional groomer will also check your dog’s skin condition and will alert you if they find any health issues that should be addressed and require a visit to your vet.  Your vet will help in figuring out the cause of the skin infection and hence develop a perfect treatment for your pet.

Skin conditions can be caused due to allergies from wheat or gluten ingredients in his food and should be eliminated by choosing a gluten and wheat free diet.   Also, adding an omega three supplement to your dog’s food can also help improve your dog’s skin condition.

8. Poisoning

Dogs can be prone to food poisoning especially if they eat something that shouldn’t like chocolate. Food poisoning can also be triggered by a dog eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food. The signs of food poisoning can entail vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms could last a day or even a week, depending on what they have consumed. 

Food poisoning should never be overlooked and if you know that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, you should contact your vet immediately. And if possible let your vet know what your dog has consumed. This will help the vet to diagnose a proper treatment.

Preventing food poisoning from occurring is always the best solution. Make sure that the dog’s surroundings are free from anything that may cause harm to your pet. This includes keeping food bins secure, and food that is dangerous for dogs out of paws reach.

9. Arthritis

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Currently, the number of dogs suffering from arthritis is on the rise. According to research, one in every five dogs suffers from arthritis, at some point in their lives.

Detecting that your dog is suffering from arthritis is quite easy. If you notice that your dog is:

  • Struggling to get up on its feet, especially in the mornings or in cold weather
  • Noticing that your dog is less active
  • Struggling to walk or having trouble with stairs

These could be signs that your dog may be suffering from arthritis.

If you notice these signs, a trip to the vet will confirm if your dog is suffering from arthritis.  If diagnosed, your vet with place Fido on a weight loss program if he is overweight, exercise and may prescribe anti-arthritic drugs to relieve the pain.  Studies have shown that exercising your dog can also help in preventing arthritis and a healthy weight will put less stress on your pet’s joints. 

We all love dogs.  Dogs are one of the best companions that anyone could ever ask for. Their love and affection is one of a kind and truly special. In return, they depend on us to care for them in the best way possible, and that involves keeping them free from health issues. There are some diseases which are common among our little pets as explained in this post and others that we can prevent from occurring in the first place which is always the best solution.

Photo by Andrii Podilnyk on Unsplash