Common Dog Health Problems and How to Avoid Them
There are tons of dog health problems your furry friend can get, Below you will see the most common dog health issues and how to avoid them!
Rabies is one of the most common dog health problems. It is caused by a virus affecting the central nervous system of the dog.
Rabies is known to be spread through saliva/being bitten by an animal infected with the virus/eating a rodent or animal that carries or is infected with the virus. In the first stage, the dogs are seen with a behavior change. In the second stage, the dogs become very violent, and in the third stage body parts of the dogs stop coordinating with each other. There is no cure till now for this deadly disease.
Bloat (gastric torsion):
If you suspect your dog has bloat or is bloating you MUST get them to the vet ASAP as the window to save your dog is very small!
This is a serious/life-threatening dog health problem. Surprisingly, not many people know about bloat in their pets. When your dog has bloat, their stomach gets twisted upside down and your dog can become septic and bloated! Usually which is due to overeating, eating too fast, or too much activity right before or after eating/ drinking.
Bloat is far more common in large/giant breeds.
The symptoms of bloat:
- Enlarged and/or hardened stomach
- Hunched position or unable to get comfortable
- Refusing to lay on their side
- Dry heaving or vomiting foam
- Weak pulse
- Shallow breathing
- Unable to defecate
Ways to prevent your dog from ‘bloating’:
- *Feed multiple small meals each day
- *Rest dog before and after each meal allowing the food to digest
- *Give the dog daily probiotics to aid with smooth digestion
- *Feed dogs out of ‘slow-feeder’ bowls to slow their eating/drinking and limit the amount of extra air they intake to lower gas accumulation in the stomach
Although there is a lot of dog health problem! Distemper is considered to be the worst dog health problem worldwide. The common symptoms of this disease are congestion in the chest, coughing, diarrhea, gunky eyes, nasal discharge, etc.
At later stages, it affects the nervous system of the dogs leading to paralysis. It is a highly contagious dog health problem. It can be transmitted from the feces of the infected dog. This dog disease too does not have any cure. The ONLY way to avoid this is through preventative immunizations!
It is a very contagious dog health problem affecting the intestinal tract of the dogs. It is also said to affect the heart of the dogs. The symptoms of this disease are severe diarrhea, depression, a decrease in appetite. The fecal matter of the dog is found to be in a different color with bloodstains.
The symptoms normally appear within hours of the infestation and can even kill the dog within 2 to 3 days of infection, especially young or very old dogs. Hence, why it is considered a deadly disease.
If you are a breeder there are many things you can do to prevent your pups from getting Parvo-prior to them being old enough for immunizations.
- On your property and in your home-require ALL guests to spray the bottom of their shoes with a bleach/water combination (Bleach is the ONLY thing that kills Parvo) Dilute 1/2c to 1 gallon of water). On a personal note, we have a boot tray outside of our gate and we keep bleach water in it for customers and visitors to step in before entering our yard. Please warn all customers/visitors this is required so they do not show up in flip flops or expensive shoes. Note the amount of liquid should only cover the soles of their shows but not get the whole shoe wet! Or, as I mentioned earlier, have a spray bottle by your door to spray the soles of their shoes before entering your home or whelping area.
- When visiting the vet, with a pup that has not had ALL their puppy shots, do not place the dog on the floor. Carry the dog or keep them in a carrying crate/bag.
- Do not take your puppy to a dog park or any store UNTIL they have had their full series of vaccines.
- As a breeder, if you go somewhere and spend some time around other animals, change your clothes before going by any puppy that has not been FULLY vaccinated (their first puppy shot does not provide full Parvo protection.
- When in doubt, Act on the side of caution-Parvo can live on ground, grass, dirt, bushes, fabric, shoes, carpet…virtually everywhere and not only is it deadly for your pups, it is also very expensive and hard to get rid of! No one wants to bleach their whole property! Better to be safe than sorry!!
It is very common among dogs. It is a kind of respiratory disease. This can be easily treated. It can also be avoided by keeping contaminated dogs from your property and immunizing your pups/dogs against it. The main sign of kennel cough is, you guessed it, coughing. But it may also present other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever.
Canine Viral Hepatitis:
This disease affects the liver, kidney, and blood vessels of the dogs. The common symptoms are profuse thirst, vomiting, hemorrhages, loss of appetite, etc. This virus too spreads through the feces of the dogs. Another reason to keep your dog/pup that is not FULLY vaccinated away from dog parks or other common areas that a bunch of other dogs frequent (stores, parks/playgrounds, etc)
Leptospirosis is a disease that is caused by bacteria. It is also a disease that humans can contract! Several species of bacteria have been found to produce the disease in dogs. The common symptoms include lethargy, fever, kidney inflammation, clotting of blood, and conjunctivitis. In more chronic conditions it can produce pneumonia, intestinal inflammation, and jaundice.
Heartworms are a kind of parasite which multiply and grow, causing infection in the chambers of the heart and arteries of the lungs. The symptoms may start with a mild cough, fatigue, and lethargy. If it is not treated properly it can lead to congestive heart failure.
Ways to avoid-
Monthly Heartguard from your vet or online if you have a prescription.
ALSO Monthly flea/tick/AND Mosquito treatments!
*** IF you are a breeder and you administer the puppies first shot yourself-we recommend buying your vaccines through Revival Animal health! You can buy them individually or buy them in packs of 25 (what we do).
***IF you have never given a shot before-please do not try this on your own-get training or bring all pups to the vet for any shot they need!!
Schedule for vaccines-
Many vets suggest a minimum of 2 puppy shots but some insist on 4 puppy shots;
5 in 1 given between 6 and 8 weeks
5 in 1 given 2 weeks later
If two additional shots are recommended, they will be done at 10-12 weeks and then again 2 weeks later.
Rabies needs to be given after 12 weeks of age (I prefer 6 months of age).
PLEASE NOTE-dogs should get annual vaccination and rabies.