Common Health Problems In Dogs

english Jul 14, 2021

If you are a dog parent, you know how beautiful the experience of having a dog as a pet is. These furry canine friends bring positivity in your attitude with their cute cuddles and keep you healthy and active. Going with your pet for a walk or daily exercise keeps both of you in a physical state of well-being. But have you ever wondered what if your dog becomes ill? What are the common diseases in dogs? What are the possible outcomes of these diseases? What should you do for their treatment? Worry not; in this blog, we will tell you all the common heath problems your dog can suffer and their possible solutions. So scroll below to read more;

Common Health Problems in Dogs

There are many ailments and conditions which your dog can suffer from. Some of them do not pose a great deal of trouble to your canine fellow, while some can lead to a poor prognosis if not treated in time. Sometimes even a mild infection or cleanliness problem can lead to severe outcomes if not taken seriously. For that, if you see a slight change in the normal condition of your furry fellow, start taking him seriously right from the beginning. Here are some of the common health conditions which your furry friends frequently suffer. Let’s go through one by one.

 

1. Skin problems
Skin infections are one of the most common health issues most dog owners observe in their furry fellows. Out of the many symptoms your dog exhibits with skin problems, irritation and discomfort are the most significant. Itching is quite normal in dogs, similar to humans, but a tell-tale that something is going on is the prolonged duration of itching. When your dog feels discomfort due to excessive itching, he may rub his body with a hard object or even use his paws to scratch. Other possible signs of skin infection in your dogs are;

  • Redness
  • Bumps
  • Rashes
  • Skin sores
  • Hair loss
  • Dandruff
  • Itching

As you have developed an understanding of the common signs of skin problems in your dog, let's go into the details of what common health issues are associated with your dogs' skin.

Allergies
There are two types of allergies among dogs; Environmental allergy and food allergy.

Your dog may have sudden itching on feet, stomach area, chest, and face in environmental allergies. This particular type of allergy occurs when your dog comes in contact with the allergen or the cause. It is somewhat similar to hay fever in humans,with the difference in signs only where the dog starts itching and rubbing, in contrast to sneezing and watery eyes in humans.

Food allergies often result from a food ingredient. For example, dogs are sometimes allergic to certain types of proteins in their diet from any source like chicken, beef, dairy, or eggs. Moreover, dogs can have allergies to even vegetables or wheat.

In treating your dog's food allergies, you can keep him on an elimination diet to exclude those possible ingredients from his food that can pose him to these allergies. During the elimination process, make sure you do not even accidentally include the suspected allergen into your dog's diet to make it successful.

Ringworm
People may confuse ringworm as a worm infestation because of its name. However, it is a fungal infection common in dogs. It is a highly contagious infection and primarily affects your dog's front legs, paws, ears, and head. The affected area appears red and inflamed, and it contains crust, bald circular patches. Immediately ask your vet about your pet's condition if you observe any signs of irritation. It is imperative to control the infection in time because it is highly contagious and may affect other pets and humans.

Mange
Mange is a severe skin condition caused by a tiny crawling monster that resides on your dog's skin and hair. It has two types; Sarcoptic mange and Demodectic mange, mainly causing severe irritation on the ears. Affected dogs show loss of hair around the legs and face, redness, and severe itching of affected areas.

Dogs with mange should be treated immediately for the presence of mites. First of all, wash the bled areas of the skin, use medicated shampoos to ease the inflammation, and kill the mites.

Other common skin conditions of dogs, to name a few, are;

  • Lupus
  • Dandruff
  • Fleas and ticks
  • Yeast infections
  • Impetigo
  • Folliculitis

 

2. Ear infections

Ear infection in dogs may occur due to the lack of provision of hygienic measures by some pet parents.  When there is a buildup of earwax, moisture, hair, sebum, and debris in the ear canal, it's a perfect blend to favor the growth of yeast and bacteria in your dog's ear. Otitis Externa is an ear infection that occurs when your dog's external ear canal becomes inflamed due to harmful bacteria and yeast growth. 

Some dogs produce more sebum and ear wax and have more hair inside their ears, which creates a favorable environment for infection growth. Moreover, some dog breeds like Cocker Spaniels and Basset hounds have floppy ears and are more prone to ears infections.

Symptoms of ear infections in dogs
Some specific signs and symptoms that dogs with ear infections usually exhibit are;

  • Ear scratching
  • Bad odor from ears
  • Painful, irritated, red ears
  • Head shaking
  • Loss of hair around the ears
  • Tilted ears, especially if the ear drum have some rupture

For the treatment of ear infections, your vet may prescribe liquid medications to infuse into the ears. Moreover, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are effective. You need to remove the excess debris and hair for the proper penetration of liquid medications.

 

3. Obesity

Obesity is one of the major concerns for canine pet owners.Your dog can become obese quickly, inviting other health issues to come through. Heart problems, diabetes, and orthopedic problems are common to dogs with obesity. Fortunately, you can reverse obesity in your pet by adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. Make sure you take your dog for a walk daily.

 

4. Dental diseases
Dental diseases among dogs are often overlooked. Dogs usually suffer from the disease of tooth attachments and gums, which is called Periodontal disease. One of the apparent signs of a dog suffering from a dental problem is its mouth's foul odor. Dogs typically do not smell bad, so a foul odor is a tell-tale case. 

The teeth and gums damage also happens when your dog harbors dangerous bacteria and plaque, and tartar. This harmful bacteria can reach your dog's bloodstream causing even worse health issues like kidney failure and heart diseases. Prevention is the only thing that can help you to avoid facing this problem.

 

5. Pain and stiffness

If your dog is more than six years old, and you observe he is facing difficulty lying down and getting up,stiffness and pain can be suspected. This is a problem that most aging dogs face in their lives. Overweight, in addition to age, is another contributory factor. Though age is inevitable, weight is not. You should have a proper diet plan for your pet to follow to maintain a healthy weight.

Moreover, consider using joint supplements. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are beneficial. Use them with the recommendation from a vet.

 

6. Muscle problems

Disorders that commonly affect your dog's muscles are called myopathies. These myopathies and other muscular problems interfere with your dog's ability to move. Musculoskeletal problems in dogs can indicate the following;

  • Diseases of muscles
  • Toxins in the body
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Poor nutrition
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Neurologic problems

Symptoms of muscle problems in canines

Different neuromuscular problems may share a similar types of symptoms.Some of them are;

  • Muscles weakness
  • Degeneration of muscles
  • Regurgitation
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Difficulty to stand, sit, run, or walk.

Treatment depends on the type of problem. For example, Polymyositis in dogs is a muscle disease that is treated by using corticosteroids. Moreover, in some cases, physical therapy can help relieve your dog from muscular pain and stiffness.

 

7. Joint problems

Among the joint issues, arthritis has the most occurrence. Arthritis is when your dogs have one or more joints that have inflammation. Dogs with Degenerative joint disease suffer from a common form of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis mostly happens to old-aged dogs, or it may occur in those canines which have some old injuries or hip dysplasia which is a congenital issue. Luckily this condition can be well managed if properly asked by a vet about its treatment.   

 

It is always better to be on the safe side rather than being sorry. The same is the case with your pets' health concerns. You should closely observe your dog's physical health status and any changes in its behavior. Being vigilant can help you identify the possible underlying existing problem in time to get a better prognosis for your pet. Make wise decisions and always get advice for your pet from a veterinarian.

 

References:

https://www.animaltrust.org.uk/blog/dog-skin-allergies/

https://www.thesprucepets.com/ear-infections-in-dogs-1117390

https://wagwalking.com/condition/nerve-and-muscle-disorders

https://www.msdvetmanual.com/dog-owners/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders-of-dogs/overview-of-musculoskeletal-disorders-and-diseases-in-dogs

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