One pet that can outnumber any other pets humans keep, are dogs. No wonder they are called “man’s best friend”. Keeping your dog healthy and disease free is easy if you have an idea of some of the common diseases a dog can suffer from. As humans, dogs also need lots of care and love. A healthy dog is a happy dog and a happy dog means a happy owner. To understand about the common diseases of dogs, you need to dig deeper into this topic and gather vital information that will aid you.
Like humans, dogs can also get infected from bacteria, virus or fungi. Let’s look into some of the common viral diseases of dogs. Distemper is caused by a virus and a non vaccinated puppy is at a higher risk of getting infected. It’s an air born disease and the symptoms include fever, flu like symptoms (running nose and watery eyes), diarrhea, loss of appetite and inflammation in the brain. Untreated, this disease will turn fatal. Another common dog disease that needs mention is hepatitis. It’s also a viral infection and with no clear symptoms to define this disease, dogs are usually diagnosed late. The dog is usually lethargic and has aversion towards food. Death occurs due to hemorrhage in the liver and the brain. A parvo virus infected dog will show symptoms of vomiting, bleeding, diarrhea and ultimately collapse due to weakness. The most common viral disease of dogs is rabies. The virus is present in the dog’s saliva, so a potential bite from this animal can be dangerous for humans too. The disease affects the nervous system, causing paralysis and death. Vaccination is a must to prevent dogs from getting rabies.
A bacterium that tops the list as the most notorious in causing diseases in a dogs is spirochete. It causes leptospirosis in dogs and the symptoms include kidney and liver failure coupled with vasculitis. Lyme’s disease is transmitted by ticks and its causative agent is also a spirochete. The dog will be extremely lethargic due to painful joints, and will completely stop taking oral food. Fever may also be present. Kennel cough is another common dog disease which is caused by virus as well as bacteria. It’s common in dogs that are kept in kennels for a prolonged period of time. It’s a respiratory infection and usually not life-threatening.
Parasitic infections can be external as well as internal. Internal parasites include hookworm, tapeworm, round worm and echinococcus. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, pot-belly, and poor growth. Under external parasites are classified fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm, trichinellosis, and scabies. These common dog diseases presents with symptoms like itching, hair loss, inflammation, fever and small ball like swelling over the body. Fever may or may not be present.
Some common diseases that affect a dog’s skeletal and muscular system are osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, spondylosis, and osteochondritis. These conditions are painful, and the dog becomes inactive owing to this pain. Common diseases of dogs that affect the nervous symptom are epilepsy, facial nerve palsy, polyneuropathy and tick paralysis. The heart of a dog is as susceptible to diseases as a human heart and almost all diseases of dogs have a human counterpart. Valvular defects, conduction defects, congenital defects, stenotic lesions, hypertension are only some of these.
Tips and comments
The list of common diseases in dogs can be long and exhaustive. Some of the major players have been mentioned above. Knowledge is a blessing that will help you identify some of the common diseases in dogs, if ever one attacks your loved canine.