Want to know what the 10 most common dog illnesses are and how to treat them? Read on and give your furry friend the proper care they deserve.
Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms if your dog is in pain. Whether you should give him medication, or if you need to call a veterinarian for help. Remember happy, healthy dogs means a happy and healthy people and communities.
10 Common Dog Illnesses and How to Treat Them
Dogs are our best friends and faithful companions and it is our duty to care for them and offer them all the conditions necessary so they can live a safe, joyful and healthy life. Unfortunately, our adorable pets can’t speak and can’t complain when something is troubling them. They cry and squeal, scratch, avoid food or become restless – these are just a few signs that your friend feels under the weather.
As responsible pet owners, we must observe and understand signs of common dog illnesses and make sure our buddies get the proper health treatment to get them back into shape. If you are a new dog owner and want to do your best for the wellbeing of your new friends, let’s review 10 common dog illnesses and how to treat them properly.
1. Ear Infections
Probably the most prevalent common dog illnesses are ear infections, as they affect both the apartment dogs and the backyard ones. Some of the most common causes are ear mites, yeast, bacteria, ear canal hair growth, allergies, colds and so on. Symptoms include:
- Vigorous ear scratching
- Head shaking
- Vulnerability and crying at ear touch
- Redness of the ear canal
- Swelling of the outer areas of the ear
If your dog shows such symptoms, you are in your right to suspect an ear infection. Use a cotton ball (but never a Q-Tip) and a gentle non-alcoholic cleansing solution to clean the ear. While it is better to prevent ear infections than to treat them, always go to the vet to assess the situation, as ear infections can lead to more serious health problems.
2. Digestive Problems Including Vomiting and Diarrhea
While an isolated case of vomiting or diarrhea shouldn’t worry you, recurrent such episodes should be supervised closely. If your dog vomits several times a day or presents diarrhea for more than a day, you should also consider the following symptoms:
- Black or dark diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Presence of blood in the vomit or stool
- Crying of pain
There are many causes of gastrointestinal diseases, including but not limited to, improper foods, pancreatitis, allergies, food poisoning, swallowed objects, a bacterial infection and so on. Before going to the vet, try a few home remedies:
- Give the dog plenty of water to combat dehydration
- Provide the dog rice water to drink – boil one cup of white rice in water, rinse and let the liquid cool, then give it to your dog.
- Give your dog a suspension of water and PeptoBismol
- A spoon of yogurt will help with the intestinal flora balance.
3. Skin Tags
A skin tag can look frightening for both people and pets. In dogs, they are usually benign, but this doesn’t mean you should completely ignore them. Skin tags in dogs are quite common, but their actual causes are still under research. Parasites, improper skin care, the environment, genetics or a poor diet are considered some of the main culprits.
Before you fear the worst, remember that cancerous tags usually look like lesions, leak liquid and change color and size. Skin tags are not painful and don’t make the dog suffer. There are plenty of home remedies for dogs’ skin tags, and you should try some of them without worrying. If the tag is painful or it looks more like a disease than a wart, take your buddy to the doctor.
4. Worms of All Kinds
Dogs and internal parasites are sworn enemies, but the truth is that almost all dogs deal with such a threat at least once in their lifetime. There are many kind of worms that dogs attract, and some of them (hookworms) can be fatal in puppies. If your dog suffers from a worm infestation, some of the symptoms include:
- Scooting on its bottom
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lethargy / or unexplained agitation
- Dryness of the coat
It is not recommended to treat worms on your own. Medicine that kills some of the worms may not kill the other species. There are, however, some remedies that will help the dog feel better until you take it to the vet.
- If your dog accepts some garlic in the food mix a crushed garlic clove in the food
- Introduce raw chopped/grated carrots in the food
- Mince pumpkin seeds in its food
5. Allergic Dermatitis
Your pet’s skin should not be flaky, reddish in color, itching, irritated, too dry or too oily or present hair loss patches. These are all signs of allergic dermatitis – caused by many factors including allergies, infections, hormonal imbalances or parasites. The best treatment is got at the vet, as he can diagnose the cause and prescribe an efficient treatment.
However, skin conditions in dogs can be controlled through nutrition. Make sure your dog receives proper quantities of protein, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids. Never forget about the preventative methods against fleas and ticks.
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6. Dental Diseases
If you heard many times that you should give your dog rawhide chews and teeth-cleaning toys and products, you heard this for all the good reasons. Dental diseases in dogs can also be linked to diabetes, heart diseases, kidney problems, and many more – so you really need to take care of your dog’s teeth. Common symptoms include:
- Smelly breath
- Eating and chewing difficulties
- Swollen face
- Head shaking
The treatment of a dog’s periodontitis should be performed by a specialist. However, you can try to brush your dog’s teeth (but WITHOUT human toothpaste as it is highly toxic to dogs; use dog toothpaste instead). You can also feed your dog hard foods: raw carrots if it likes them, chewable bones and toys with tooth cleaning properties.
7. Urinary Tract Infections
Such infections can be caused by many factors and diet is one of them. Among other culprits, doctors list bacteria, fungal infections, bladder stones or immune deficiencies. Common symptoms of such a urinary tract infection are:
- Frequent urinations
- Urination straining
- Blood in the urine
Have a talk with your vet about the use of antibiotics and other treatments, but the first step is to regulate your dog’s nutrition and lower the amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, protein and calcium your dog intakes. Also, you can feed your dog juniper berries, parsley leaves, Ulva Ursi leaf, cranberries and blueberries, marshmallow roots, raw fruits, vegetables, and yogurt, together with vitamin B supplements and natural antioxidants, natural anti-inflammatory and antibiotics.
8. Liver Diseases
A dog with an impaired liver is something to truly worry about. Liver diseases are many and may be caused by bacterial and viral infections, poor nutrition, toxic substances your dog may have ingested, genetics and a stressful environment among others. Symptoms include:
- Sudden weight and appetite loss
- Extreme lethargy or depression
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale gums
- Build-up of fluid in the abdomen – which should not be mistaken with sudden weight gain.
As treatment goes, your vet is the one to establish the correct diagnosis or course of treatment. You can control your pet’s diet, however, with proper foods and home remedies: liver support natural supplements, antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory herbs (parsley for instance), milk thistle and so on.
9. The Flu
Yes, dogs get the flu, and the symptoms will break your heart. In its mild form, moist or dry coughs, sneezing and runny noses will clearly tell you that you need to quickly take care of your pet. The more severe flu symptoms include fever, breathing problems, bloody coughs, anorexia, runny eyes, and ear infections and so on. In dogs, the flu runs its course even for 30 days in a row, so besides medical treatment, you can contribute to the dog’s well-being:
- Provide it with plenty of fresh water
- Keep it in a calm and peaceful, warm and cozy environment
- Avoid taking the dog out in crowded places like parks and kennels
- Introduce garlic in its diet if it supports it
- Offer it a nutritious diet rich in vegetables and herbs that have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. Supplement its diet with Vitamin C-rich veggies.
This reddish dog’s eye problem gives pet owners a lot of troubles. Your dog’s eyes may look pink, become itchy, dry or runny, swollen and irritated. You may see the dog blink spasmodically, shed tears or accumulate mucus. You can also notice follicle formation in the eye area. The causes of conjunctivitis can be ascribed to bacteria, viruses, allergies, environment pollutants, immune-mediated diseases, traumas (foreign bodies), dust, chemicals or medication.
- If you suspect a foreign body, clean your dog’s eye with lukewarm water
- Wash your dog’s eyes with cooled chamomile tea and a soft, clean cloth.
- Feed your dog a diet rich in vitamins B and C and zinc.
- Use green tea or aloe vera to clean the dog’s eyes as well.
There are plenty of other common dog illnesses dogs may contract during their lifetime. Some breeds are more vulnerable to some conditions than others, so before you bring a pet home, make sure you are aware of its special sensibilities. Feeding them correctly and offering them proper hygiene, peaceful environments, and clean life conditions are sometimes the best preventative measures you can take.
Want to learn more about the common dog illnesses and how to treat them? Let’s watch this video from : Veterinary Secrets:
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