Most Common Diseases in Dogs

Our pets depend on us when it comes to taking care of their physical well-being. Unable to talk and tell us directly, they often suffer silently. Hence, it’s important to know the common diseases and health problems dogs may suffer from and the associated symptoms.

  1. Ear Infections

One of the most common disease dogs suffer from is ear infection. It may be caused by bacteria, ear mites, yeast, allergies or even hair growth in the deeper areas of ear canal. Typical symptoms are mentioned below –

  • Brisk scratching of ears
  • Ear odor
  • Shaking head or tilting head
  • Redness in ear canal
  • Lack of balance
  • Back and forth eye movements which are unusual
  • Swelling in outer part of ear
  • Discharge from ear which may be brown, yellow or has blood

Usually, cleaning of the ear canal by your vet and applying medicine to affected area will heal the disease. In some cases, surgery may be needed if the infection has become chronic in nature.

  1. Worms

Considering the love that dogs have for licking or eating almost anything they come across, worms are a common threat to your dog’s well-being. The usual suspects include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms. Some of them, e.g. hookworms, can be fatal for a puppy. Typical symptoms are mentioned below –

  • Loss of weight
  • A dry or rough coat
  • Scooting on her bottom
  • Diarrhea (can be bloody at times)
  • Vomiting

Treating worms usually includes oral medication but may involve administering injections in some cases. Bear in mind that a medicine for roundworms may not kill hookworms. Hence, don’t try treating your pet yourself. Instead, visit your vet if you suspect a worm infection.

  1. Fleas

Fleas are a common occurrence on most dogs who are not taken care of. They can multiply at an alarming rate, from 1 to 1,000 in just 3 weeks. Typical symptoms are mentioned below-

  • Hair loss
  • A lot of scratching, biting or licking of skin
  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Hot spots
  • Flea dirt on your dog’s skin (It appears as small black dots)

Fortunately, fleas are easy to treat. Sprays, powders, topical liquids and oral medicines are some of the ways in which fleas can be treated. Talk to your vet to to get the exact prescription. It is best to treat fleas the first time you observe them on your pet. If left untreated, fleas can cause allergies, infections and, in extreme cases, even anemia due to blood loss.

  1. Hot Spots

Hot spots are inflamed, bare, red areas formed on a dog’s skin. It is a bacterial infection and is medically known as Acute Moist Dermatitis. The bacterial infection causes irritation in the dog’s skin which leads her to scratch or chew the affected portion. As a result, redness develops and area becomes inflamed. It can become large quickly, if left untreated.

A vet will be able to decide the treatment course, often based on the location of hotspot. For instance, a hot spot on hip may be caused by fleas while one at the ear may point to ear relates issues. Treatment usually involves shaving off the affected area accompanies by antibiotics, steroids, anti-inflammatory medicine or topical medicines.

  1. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is caused due to infections such as parvo virus, food related problems, intestinal parasites or even stress. Symptoms are quite obvious – loose, liquid or watery stool. Diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration. Hence, rehydration of body is very critical. Ample clean water should be available to your dog. Contact your vet if the problem persists for more than a day. In case, diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, bloody or dark stools, fever, lethargy or appetite loss, it is advisable to contact your vet immediately.

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