Dog is the most loved and talked-about pet in the world, and it’s also one of the most cheerful pets that brighten up households with their energy and antics.
However, with time and age, they may get sick due to various reasons.
As a pet owner, it is very important to understand the root cause of their illness.
This will help in maintaining them well, preventing diseases as much as we can, and providing treatment when they become sick.
Some dog breeds do have some diseases that are pertinent to them due to their personality or lineage.
Here is a comprehensive list of common dog diseases, their causes, symptoms, preventive methods and treatment.
Most Common Dog Diseases
They are Cataract, Arthritis, Parvo, Gastric Torsion, Renal failure, Lyme disease, Heartworm Disease, Chocolate poisoning, cancer, fungal disease and many more.
Some of these diseases have mostly symptoms that can be seen on their body or noticed in their behavior, and they can be treated completely if noticed early.
1. Cataract Disease
Cataracts is a serious problem with older dogs and drastically affects their vision.
Apart from age, eye trauma, diabetes, exposure to toxic substances or other infections can cause cataract.
In some cases, it may develop in the first few weeks of a puppy’s life but usually affect the seniors
When an older dog is finding it difficult moving around while there’s no problem with the legs or he’s no more alert and unable to identify people around him or different between things in darkness, then he’s much likely suffering from cataract.
Making a plan to take your dog on surgery should be the next thing to do since this is the most effective treatment you can give, although it’s quite a little expensive.
Oral supplements and eye drops can also be used for treatment, most especially when the cataract has not covered the entire eyes.
2. Arthritis disease
Arthritis is another common disease amongst older dogs.
Arthritis or osteoarthritis affects almost all dogs at some point in their lives.
The bigger in size and more activeness of a dog, the earlier the possibility of having arthritis as he ages.
When your dog is suffering from arthritis, he’ll start getting slow to get up on its feet, especially during morning time or winter periods.
The dog will not be running around like he used to do and will become less active.
Her responsiveness will reduce and will become lazy, however, arthritis can be difficult to discover in dogs sometimes as the dog may not show any sign of pain until the condition becomes really bad.
To prevent dog arthritis, you should be taking your dog on regular exercise. And for huge dog breed, weight control plans should be set up.
You should see your vet on the diet regimen and to get more tips in preventing this.
If a dog is already having arthritis, an anti-arthritic drug can help a dog overcome the pain.
Also, surgery can be recommended when the dog is having serious problem with movement.
3. Parvo disease
The Parvovirus or Parvo affects the dog’s intestines and heart. It is a viral and communicable disease.
When parent dog is suffering from this disease, it’s important to get it treated as others can be infected when they get in contact with infected dogs or their feces.
Some of the symptoms you can notice when a dog is infected with the parvo virus are severe diarrhea and vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy.
Parvo disease can be treated with supportive care, which can be expensive.
It is also preventable by the use of a vaccine. So, it is important to get your dog vaccinated against Parvo.
4. Gastric Torsion disease
Gastric Torsion, Gastric dilation volvulus or Bloat is a deadly disease that can kill an affected dog within weeks if treatment is not given.
It makes the dog’s stomach to be enlarged and prevents fluid and air from getting out of the stomach.
This prevents the dog from belching or vomiting and cause restlessness.
Besides some foods which can be a risk factor to gastric dilation, it’s also common to huge dogs with deep and narrow chest, and breeds such as Great Danes, Gordon setters, Weimaraners , and St. Bernards.
Common symptoms of bloat are the inability of the dog to vomit, stretched stomach area, restlessness, and excess drooling.
Some of the ways to prevent gastric dilation is to prevent other gastrointestinal diseases, avoiding offering your dog too much food and water at a time.
Dogs should be made to eat slowly so that they can chew the food properly. Avoid giving much water to dogs after exercise or rigorous play.
You can use time-based food dispenser so that they eat small portions slowly, avoid breeds that this disease is common to.
And for affected dog, a surgery can be done to correct this problem.
5. Kidney Disease
Kidney Disease or Renal Failure can develop naturally to a dog over time or due to medications or other diseases such as Lyme disease.
Dental diseases often cause chronic kidney disease.
The bacteria from the dog’s gums can find their way into the bloodstream and damage organs such as the kidneys.
The symptoms of Kidney disease are sudden and severe fever, vomiting, change in water intake, change in appetite, and amount of urination.
Chronic kidney disease is not preventable for dogs with a genetic predisposition to kidney failure in most cases.
To improve the oral health of your dog, professional teeth cleaning service can be applied for, proper health checkup should be carried out on the dog.
Also, human medications should be strictly kept away from a dog.
6. Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness which is caused by a bacterium transmitted by slow-feeding deer ticks.
The symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness in limbs, stiffness, loss of appetite and even kidney failure.
Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Dogs should be kept away from tick-prone areas and regular checking for ticks is important as well.
Some preventative tick medicines are also available in pet stores which prevent Lyme disease.
7. Heartworm Disease
Heartworm Disease is caused by infected mosquitoes.
This disease is caused by a blood-borne parasite called Dirofilaria immitis and can affect the health of your dog significantly in short period of time.
Heartworm disease can be detected if the dog has a dry cough for a prolonged period of time.
Other symptoms of this infection are lethargy, strange calmness of the dog, weight loss or anorexia, difficult breathing and allergic reaction.
Heartworm disease can be treated with several doses of an arsenic-based intramuscular injection.
There are cost-effective heartworm medications in the form of pills, topicals, and injections, which can as well prevent heartworm disease.
8. Chocolate Poisoning
Chocolate Poisoning is also a common health issue amongst dogs.
While dogs may like to eat chocolate, it’s not good for their health and should be kept away from them.
The dark chocolate can cause more problem than the milk type and it often disrupt the dog’s digestive system when eaten.
Some of the symptoms that your dog is suffering from chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, panting, shaking, irregular heartbeat, seizures, or heart attack.
The effects of chocolate poisoning will be reduced after the dog starts vomiting it, that’s when it’s taken alongside with other foods.
Unfortunately, if you or your kids feed the dog with much chocolate, it’s advised to take him to the vet immediately to avoid complications.
Cancer is becoming common in older dogs above the age of ten.
There are several risk factors to cancer, just like in humans.
The dog breed, family amnesia and environmental factors may also lead to cancer development in dogs.
Some of the signs of cancer in dogs are unusual odors coming out of their body, lumps on the skin, weight loss when there’s no change in diet, sudden loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Lymphoma, which is the most common form of canine cancer can be prevented by regular health check-up.
10. Fungal Diseases
Fungal Diseases can affect the dog’s skin or in some cases organs such as liver, lungs, brain or the entire body.
Symptoms of fungal infections may include sneezing, nasal pain, bleeding from the nose, decreased appetite, swollen nose, long-term nasal discharge, vomiting, muscle atrophy and many more.
Fungal diseases can be prevented by keeping the dog clean.
Many over the counter medicines are also available for fungal diseases.