Top 5 Dog Diseases and How to Prevent Them
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Having the necessary knowledge about canine diseases is crucial for preserving your dog’s health and treating existing conditions. In this article, we’re explaining the causes and symptoms of the five most common canine diseases and what you can do to prevent them. Take a look.
Quite serious and potentially deadly, heartworm is a parasite that infects primarily domesticated canines and felines, but wild animals aren’t spared either. The infection is usually transmitted by a mosquito, and all it takes is one bite for your dog to contract this parasitic worm. The heartworm then travels through the dog’s bloodstream, and after a couple of months, it ends up in your dog’s vital organs – heart and lungs. The dog that is infected won’t show the signs of the infection until the worms have developed. If you notice that your dog is lethargic, tires rapidly, has troubles with breathing, or has lost appetite, those could be the warning signs of heartworm disease. In order to prevent the infection, it’d be best if you would consult with the veterinarian. They will recommend the appropriate pet supplies that will protect your dog from various diseases and prevent them from contracting dangerous diseases.
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Canine parvovirus (Parvo)
A highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease, canine parvovirus attacks the white blood cells and the digestive system of the dog, thus damaging its intestines and causing cardiac problems. Unvaccinated puppies and adolescent dogs are more susceptible to this virus, and some breeds like Doberman pinschers, German shepherds and Rottweilers are more prone to contracting the virus. The way the virus is transmitted is usually by direct contact with infected feces of the dog, as well as food and water bowls, clothing, carpets, leashes and collars. Some of the symptoms of parvovirus include vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, and bloody diarrhea. However, parvo is preventable, and by making sure your dog gets all the core vaccines when they’re a puppy, you can prevent your dog from contracting this deadly virus. Parvo treatments are expensive and they’re not always successful, so make sure your dog gets all the necessary vaccines right from the start.
Canine cancers are on the rise, with the age group of 10+ years being more susceptible to developing some form of this deadly disease. While different factors contribute to the development of cancer in dogs, genetics and environmental factors play a vital role. Aside from these two factors, some dog owners also attribute the rise of canine cancer to the use of cancer-causing ingredients in dog foods, suggesting that dog food labels require a closer look. Weight loss, lethargy, decrease in appetite, hair loss and swollen lymph nodes are all signs of canine cancer. However, there is one type of cancer that is common in dogs and is very treatable, and it is lymphoma. Nevertheless, regular check-ups are a must, especially if you have a dog that is ten years of age or older. Make sure you take your dog to the vet regularly so that you can diagnose the disease on time and treat it. The faster you discover it, the higher the chances of survival.
Kidney disease is another very common canine disease, especially older ones. Chronic kidney disease develops gradually, over the course of the pet’s life and unfortunately, it’s not preventable. Some breeds are more susceptible to kidney disease, especially those that are genetically predisposed to developing such condition. Kidney disease can also arise if there is another existing condition in the dog, such as Lyme disease, or it can be a complication from medications. However, dental disease, which is often the cause of chronic kidney disease, can be prevented. By brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and giving them chew toys and bully sticks, you will help remove plaque and prevent dental problems. Dogs could also suffer from acute kidney disease, but this form of renal failure is largely preventable. Infections, poisoning, or medication complications are common causes of acute kidney disease and include sudden
symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and changes in the amount of urination, as well as changes in appetite and drinking. Be sure to remove any items that may cause poisoning, such as human medications and antifreeze and keep them out of their reach.
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Quite common, yet highly preventable canine disease, Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that often causes the aforementioned kidney disease. The bacteria that causes this illness is usually transmitted by a deer tick and it can be found in grassy areas and forests. Tick bites can be difficult to find and some of the most common symptoms that dogs experience after ten hours of being bitten are weakness, lethargy, lameness in limbs, anemia, a decrease in appetite and kidney failure. If not treated on time, it could be fatal. The good news is, Rickettsial disease such as Lyme disease can be prevented with the use of preventative tick medicines that ward off these uninvited guests. It’d be a good idea to keep your dog away from tick-infested areas and check their fur frequently, especially during the summer months.
Proper care is a must if you want your furry friend to live a happy and healthy life. Keep in mind these five common diseases so you know how to identify them and ensure you provide your canine friend with proper help.
Sienna Penfold | Blogger