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The 10 Most Common Diseases In Dogs

Unfortunately, when you get a dog, it’s clear that things don’t always go according to plan. Despite a species-appropriate and healthy diet, extensive care, lots of love, and numerous walks, it can still happen that your dog gets sick from time to time. So there are diseases that cannot be influenced at all, while others can be prevented by vaccination. Of course, it becomes a real nightmare when your own dog gets sick. Especially if it is a serious illness. In this article, you will learn what the ten most common dog diseases are and how to recognize them correctly. In addition, we give you tips on how you can best treat some diseases so that your darling gets better soon.

Disease number one: flea infestation in dogs

Not only are fleas really annoying, but they are also the most common type of parasite a dog can suffer from. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get rid of them, as these vermin become more resistant to various agents over the years. In addition, it can be observed that more and more dogs are suffering from flea infestation.

Affected animals suffer from severe itching due to flea bite. For example, it can be seen that even when they are asleep or when they are resting, they startle and start scratching themselves. An affected dog will scratch and bite more often than normal. If the flea infestation is severe, it can even happen that the skin becomes inflamed, redness occurs or tufts of fur fall out. In addition, it can, unfortunately, happen that the fleas suck so much blood that your dog develops anemia, the so-called anemia. Incidentally, you can also detect a flea infestation if you don’t see a single flea, for example. Flea droppings are found in dogs’ fur, which are small black dots.

If the dog has a flea infestation, it needs urgent treatment. There are many different tools that you can use to do this. For example, there are special collars that release an active ingredient over a certain period of time, which the dog absorbs. The fleas gradually die off. In addition, there are the so-called spot-on funds. This is a liquid that is dripped in a certain amount in the neck or between the shoulder blades. This is also a protection that lasts for a few months. There are also tablets, which are only available from the vet himself. These also give off an agent that kills the fleas. You can also use a special flea comb to remove fleas from your dog’s fur and also comb out the faeces. On top of that, many vets recommend that dogs are now regularly washed with a flea shampoo. In this way, the flea excrement can be rinsed out and the vermin themselves die off. Wash out the head if your darling shows fear. Please don’t forget to clean the area thoroughly as well. To do this, vacuum your entire apartment thoroughly at regular intervals, at least every two days, and then immediately throw the vacuum cleaner bag in the garbage. There is also a special spray that you can spray on the furniture. You should also urgently wash the dog’s sleeping place in the washing machine at hot temperatures in order to completely kill the eggs and larvae of the flea.

Disease number 2: ear infection in dogs

Dogs can also suffer from an ear infections. While short-haired dogs with pricked ears are often only rarely affected, animals with large, hanging ears and ears covered by fur tend to suffer from this disease. This is mainly due to the fact that the accumulated heat and moisture cannot escape properly and the ears do not get enough draft. This not only creates moisture in the ear but also warmth. This combination serves as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

You can recognize an ear infection in dogs if the animal tilts its head and shakes it again and again. A secretion of black-brown earwax can also develop in the ear. In some dogs, the ears then also smell strong. In addition, the animals scratch the inflamed ear out of reflex, which of course can make the inflammation even worse.

If you notice these symptoms in your dog, you should contact a veterinarian immediately, as in this case treatment with medication is necessary. Normally there are now special ear cleaners and ear drops, which now have to be dripped into the inflamed ear every day. It is best to always work with the reward system during this process, as it can be really uncomfortable for many animals and they will soon be fighting the drops with all their might. So reward your four-legged friend with a small treat after each treatment.

Disease number three: allergies in dogs

Just like us humans, dogs can also suffer from allergies. There are different disease patterns. For example, there are dogs that suffer from a food allergy, a skin allergy, or a contact allergy.

Depending on which allergy it is, very different symptoms can occur. It is best that you always consult a vet if the animal is behaving strangely. This can now test your dog for different allergy possibilities. For example, if your animal scratches very often but does not suffer from any parasite infestation, a skin allergy is likely. In the case of a food allergy, it often happens that animals do not tolerate certain substances. This could be accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, for example.

Depending on which allergy your darling suffers from, you can now react. In the event of a food intolerance, you must of course change the animal’s diet and make sure in the future that the different ingredients are no longer included. For example, there are also very different and special foods for allergy sufferers.

Disease number four: the ticks

Ticks are parasites that can also transmit serious diseases. These beasts are easy to see, especially in dogs with not too thick fur. During the months between March and October, it is important to thoroughly examine your dog’s coat at regular intervals. Especially if you went for a walk with your darling. There are now special tick combs, such as the flea comb, with which the fur can be thoroughly combed out.

As already mentioned, tick bites can transmit various diseases to the animal. A typical symptom that the tick has transmitted a disease can be found, for example, in the animals’ loss of appetite. Many dogs then make a very exhausted impression or become lame. Fever and bloody urine can also occur.

In case of suspicion, please go directly to your veterinarian. In such cases, the dogs often have to be treated with antibiotics, as these can have serious consequences for your animal, which in the worst case can even lead to death. It is also advisable to regularly provide the dog with tick remedies. This includes, among other things, a tick collar that administers certain active ingredients that are ingested by the animal. Furthermore, there are also the so-called spot-on agents, which are also effective against fleas. However, it is important to provide the animal with these medications at regular intervals.

Disease number five: worm infestation in dogs

Worms, which can infest your dog, are also very annoying and can be classified as part of the parasite case. In addition to the well-known tapeworm, there are many other types of worms. The worms can be transmitted, for example, by mice or the faeces of other animals.

The symptoms or the various complaints depend on the type of worm as well as the age and health of your dog. Rice grain-like parts can be found in the faeces of many animals. These are tapeworm limbs. In addition, dogs can suffer from an itchy bottom, for example. Because of this, some animals slide their butts across the ground to relieve the itch. Bloody diarrhea can also be a symptom of worm infestation. In this case, puppies in particular often suffer from a pain-sensitive stomach, which is also bloated.

At the slightest premonition, it is important to urgently provide the dog with special medicines to kill the worms inside. Because even a worm infestation can have serious consequences for your dog. The vet will usually give you an injection and give you tablets to take home, which you then have to give over a certain period of time or once. However, it is possible to provide the animals with wormers in advance to prevent worm infestation.

Disease number six: hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a serious joint disease, also known as HD. This disease occurs mainly in larger dog breeds and can lead to very painful inflammation. In addition, this disease is accompanied by a deformation of the hip joint of your darling. In some cases it can even happen that the dogs suffer from this disease from birth, which can also be transmitted from the parents. For this reason, breeders in particular test in advance whether the parent animals and their ancestors are really HD-free.

This disease manifests itself primarily through an unstable gait. Dogs that suffer from this often have pain when getting up and lying down. Climbing stairs can also quickly become a problem for the animals. In addition, you will probably find that your dog’s joints are slightly stiff and he has a reduced ability to walk. In addition, some animals suffer from a joint crunch or cracking, which often occurs when walking.

Fortunately, while hip dysplasia used to be a clear death sentence for dogs, there are now treatment options. If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your vet urgently, who can treat your dog so that he can live pain-free for a few more years. After such a diagnosis, you can adapt to the disease in everyday life and plan your day accordingly. Avoid climbing stairs unnecessarily and help your dog in different situations. Furthermore, some veterinarians recommend a feeding bowl, for example, which can be adjusted in height to the body size of the animal, which is also particularly easy on the joints.

Disease number seven: kennel cough in dogs

Kennel cough is a very contagious disease in dogs. To be precise, it is an upper respiratory tract infection. In some cases, it can only take a few days from infection or contagion to the point at which this disease breaks out. Still other dogs may have an incubation period of up to a month, which is also not uncommon for kennel cough in dogs.

The very typical symptom is the dry cough that the dogs suffer from. This dry cough is mainly triggered by pressure on the trachea, as is often the case when walking, for example, when the animals pull on the leash. In addition, the strong cough can also cause choking with vomiting. Furthermore, a nasal discharge or slight breathing difficulties can be recognized in some animals. As a rule, however, the general condition of the animal is not particularly affected, so that they continue to eat normally and have no fever. Due to the very noticeable cough, this disease is easy to recognize.

Above all, dogs suffering from this disease need a lot of rest. While in some animals the symptoms go away after one to two weeks, in unfavorable cases it can take a few months. In addition, it can happen that serious complications occur, as can be the case especially with the bacterial secondary disease. In these cases, the animals can suffer from fever and pneumonia and pleurisy also occur in rare cases, which of course makes a visit to a veterinarian unavoidable. If you have kennel cough, you should have your doctor examine the dog so that treatment with special medication can be initiated.

Disease number eight: tumors in dogs

Cancer is a disease that unfortunately can also affect dogs. Statistically, one in four dogs will develop a tumor in their lifetime, although few die from it. Of course, there are many different types of tumors and different places where they can develop.

Tumors can often be discovered quickly by stroking, although it does not always have to be cancer. There are also fat sores or other growths that are tumor-like. There are also additional warning signs that you should always look out for. Some malignant tumors affect metabolism. In these cases, both the fur and the muscles are increasingly broken down, so that your dog loses weight and becomes thinner. Some animals also suffer from a loss of appetite due to pain.

Please always consult a veterinarian immediately as soon as you discover an external change in your dog. Even if one in four dogs develops such a tumor, it does not necessarily mean that it will die. Luckily, there are many treatment options available today that can be tailored to each type of cancer. The surgical removal of the tumors is no longer a problem in many cases. In addition, should it be an inoperative tumor, the doctor can alleviate the suffering of the animals with medication.

Disease number nine: contagious hepatitis in dogs

Just like us humans, dogs can also contract hepatitis, a contagious inflammation of the liver. This can take a very different course. This is a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted by saliva or feces, so your darling can become infected even when playing with other dogs.

For example, most dogs have no symptoms at all. Instead, these animals develop antibodies that make your four-legged friend resistant to this contagious liver inflammation in his future life. However, if symptoms do occur, they are usually fever, diarrhea, jaundice, or vomiting. Furthermore, apathy can also occur in animals.

If you have these symptoms and suspect such a contagious liver infection, please consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Especially in young animals, hepatitis can be very severe and even end in the death of the animals. Your veterinarian can now administer the drug treatment so that your dog gets better quickly.

Disease number ten: diabetes in dogs

Diabetes can also become a problem in animals, so it is not just us humans that can be affected. As with us, this disease occurs more often, especially in older animals. The affected animals lack insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, among other things. This has the job of lowering blood sugar levels, so if left untreated, the disease can have really bad consequences.

Many affected dogs show this disease with an intense thirst. So you drink a lot more than usual and therefore have to urinate more often. In addition, sick dogs also lose weight and become thinner as a result. They are exhausted and also have poorer wound healing.

Diabetes in dogs requires urgent treatment, so it’s important that you take the slightest suspicion to a veterinarian. If the animal suffers from this disease, it is important that it is given a regular supply of insulin, which usually has to be done with injections. But don’t worry, practice makes perfect. Soon you will no longer have any problems with injecting. Dogs that are optimally adjusted can also have a long life. You may also need to change your diet, with some dog food manufacturers offering special products for dogs with diabetes.

Conclusion: A visit to the vet is usually inevitable

As soon as your dog stops eating, feels weak and tired, or shows other changes and you are unsure or suspect an illness, you should always visit the veterinarian. In the event of illnesses, this is the only way to intervene quickly enough and initiate treatment. It is therefore better to go to the vet once too many times than not enough.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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