While dog health issues are the last thing you wish to think about upon adopting a dog, educating yourself about them is part of what makes you a responsible pet parent. Note that some health issues aren’t easy to detect, and late detection can be fatal. Learning about the various canine health issues your pet is likely to suffer, plus the symptoms they might show, enables you to catch illnesses and get them treated early. Discussed below are four common health problems for dogs.
1. Digestive system disorders
Digestive system disorders may be caused by food intolerances, viral infections, and more. Signs that your dog has a digestive problem include:
- Excessive drooling
- Abdominal pain
The disease’s nature is often determined by the symptoms your dog shows. For instance, vomiting is normally because of inflammation of the intestine or stomach lining resulting from an irritation or infection. Nonetheless, vomiting can also be due to a non-digestive issue. A professional vet examination can help determine the underlying cause. Prioritizing gut health for dogs and keeping up with parasite prevention, vaccinations, and recommended vet checkups can help keep digestive system disorders at bay.
Statistics suggest that 53% of adult dogs in the United States are obese. Pet obesity can lead to severe health issues while worsening the existing ones, lowering the quality and length of your dog’s life. This health issue increases the risk of conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory distress
- High blood pressure
Obesity in dogs may be due to excessive eating or lack of exercise. Specific breeds are also at a higher obesity risk. If you suspect that your canine friend is obese, get them examined by a veterinarian and a treatment plan for them. Maintaining a healthy diet while ensuring your pet gets enough exercise can help prevent obesity.
3. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
UTIs are infections of the urinary tract. Dogs with urinary tract infections usually urinate frequently. Also, they might strain, whine, or cry when urinating because of the pain the disease brings. Common signs of UTI in dogs include:
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Licking the area around the urinary opening
- Strong odor in the urine
If not treated early enough, urinary tract infections can result in the:
- Lower urinary tract dysfunction
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Blood poisoning
You can prevent or reduce the risk of your dog contracting UTI by:
- Providing clean, fresh drinking water to flush out bacteria buildup in the urinary tract
- Giving probiotic supplements to your pet to promote healthy bacteria growth
- Routine grooming, particularly around the urinary opening, and frequent bathing to keep bacteria from going into the urinary system
4. Ear infections
Around 20% of dogs have some ear disease affecting one or both ears. Otitis externa (a middle ear infection) is the most common ear infection. Interna and media are other infections dogs may get. Yeast and bacteria can cause ear infections in dogs or a blend of both. Your pup may have an ear infection if they show the following signs:
- Dark discharge
- Head shaking
- Swelling and redness of the ear canal
- Scratching the infected ear
Keeping moisture from entering your dog’s ears and cleaning them at home can help prevent ear infections.
Every responsible pet parent should learn about the possible illnesses their pets may catch. Understand the common health problems for dogs and how to prevent them to ensure your furry friend’s sound health.