Canine Diseases & Prevention

Keeping your dog healthy and happy is priority number one for great dog owners like you. But even well-cared for pets sometimes get sick. Here are a few of the most common canine diseases and the warning signs to watch for to make sure you catch them early

Fortunately, many of the once common canine diseases have been greatly reduced by vaccinations. Finding a great vet and keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date is paramount for disease prevention.

Your dog should receive vaccinations for each of the following diseases:
- Rabies – all mammals are susceptible to this viral infection that attacks the central nervous system.
- Parvo – this virus infects the gastrointestinal system with symptoms that include chronic vomiting, diarrhea, fever and dehydration.
- Distemper – this contagious airborne virus attacks multiple systems, with early symptoms appearing like a cold, and later symptoms being twitching, seizures and paralysis.
- Kennel Cough – respiratory disease that causes a dry cough but can lead to pneumonia.
- Leptospirosis – a bacterial infection that can lead to permanent kidney damage.
- Hepatitis – a serious viral disease that attacks the liver, kidneys and blood vessels.
- Corona – this virus attacks the gastrointestinal system much like Parvo, but less severe.

Again, all of the above diseases can be prevented by keeping your dog’s vaccinations updated.

Those Pesky Parasites

Parasites include bugs such as ticks and fleas, but there are also internal parasites that can affect your dog's health:

- Heartworms – prevention medication is the key here, which can be administered in daily or monthly doses. Infection is transmitted through mosquitos that have already bitten an infected dog.
- Roundworms – intestinal worms that can be seen in a dog’s stool. Deworming treatment should resolve the problem, but should be tested by a veterinarian following the treatment to ensure reinfection has not occurred.
- Tapeworms – passed on to dogs through fleas and ingestion of raw meat. Deworming is necessary.

Under the Weather

Like humans, dogs too can become sick with common illnesses, such as ear infections. Dogs with earflaps are the most susceptible, but ear infections are common in all types of dogs. Watch for constant head shaking, pawing at the ears, redness inside the ear, and even an unpleasant smell from the ear. Once diagnosed, ear infections are treated with medication and oftentimes, a daily ear wash.

Finally, the most common diseases in all dogs are dental-related issues. Great advances have been made in recent years for canine dental care, including dog toothbrushes and dog toothpaste. Not only will regular maintenance of your dog’s teeth prevent dental disease, it will keep his breath fresh as an added bonus.

Remember, the most important thing you can do for your dog to prevent diseases is make sure he’s taking regular trips to the veterinarian and keeping vaccinations up to date. It’s the best way to ensure you get the best out of your dog for the longest time possible