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Recognizing Health Issues in Canines.

Updated on April 4, 2017

Some of the most common Canine Ailments

Obesity: An overweight dog has trouble running and playing comfortably and may devop many obesity related health problems. Keeping your dog lean and thin is something you can do to help prevent your dog from getting some health problems down the road. Avoiding table scraps, walks, swimming, and games are both preventative measures, as well as a weight loss regiment. There's plenty of low calorie kibble and treats on the market.

Hip Dysplasia: This is an inherited disease in which the hip bones don't properly fit into the hip sockets, which causes arthritis in different degrees. Some canines may never show any symptoms, while others become crippled at a young age. Dysplasia is diagnosed by x-rays, usually after two years of age. Treatment can depend on the severity of the disease and their age. Treatments can range from painkillers to surgery, which can be rather expensive. You can try prevent hip dysplasia by asking about the parents of your new dog to be, to see if it runs in the family. You can also keep your dog at an appropriate weight to minimize strain on its joints.

Dental & Gum Disease: Gum disease can make it difficult for your dog to eat, leads to tooth loss, which in turn can allow an infection to enter its body and organs. Dental care if just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Doggie chew toys and dental treats, such as Greenies can help keep gum disease at bay as it massages the gums. Any pet store also has canine toothbrushes, and toothpaste on hand. It's important to remember human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs, and should never be used. Regular cleaning from a Veterinarian will also keep gum disease away.

Arthritis: This can happen in multiple places on the body; back, hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows. You may notice trouble getting up, limping, stiffness, and discomfort during high energy activities. Although arthritis is heredity, it can also develop from former injuries. There are many different anti-inflammatory medications, as well as supplements that you can get from your vet. Mild activity like walking, and swimming can also help. Keeping your dog at an appropriate weight for his size can help the severity of it's arthritis.

Flee Bite Dermatitis: This is one of the most common ailments found with canines. It is pretty common, but it is also easily preventable. There's many topical flea treatments, pills, shampoos, collars, and more available at your pet store. It's a lot easier to prevent fleas then it is to treat your house for fleas after you've found out they're everywhere! If a secondary infection develops, antibiotics may be needed.

Ear Infections: Dogs that frequently shake their head and scratches at is ears may have an infection. Infected ears get filled with dark brown, foul-smelling debris. All dogs are susceptible to ear infections, however, dogs that swim, and with floopy ears are more likely to get recurring infections. If untreated, an ear infection can become chronic. Large Hematomas can develop in the ear flaps, from constant head shaking, and often require surgery. Clean your dogs ears regularly to prevent infection.

Hot Spots: A rash that is irritated and possibly puss-filled. Often caused by fleabites, lack of grooming, or allergies. If infected your dog with need antibiotics from you vet, and they also have hot spot creams to use at the first sign on a hot spot at your local pet store.

Worms: These pests can be easily picked up from eating wild animals, or from contact with an infected animals feces. They can often be seen in your dogs stool, but often are not visible. Some puppies are born with worms. Prevent worms by keeping animal stools picked up off the yard, and visiting your veterinarian yearly to do a stool sample. The good thing, worms are easily treated with medication.

Tapeworms: Caused by eating fleas. You will often see small white rice-like pieces around your dog's rectum. Tapeworms require different treatment then other worms, a vet visit will be needed. Prevent tapeworms by preventing fleas.

Heartworm: A deadly disease, but easily preventable. Heartworms are carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. This is usually prevented by getting your dog in to see the vet, yearly. The vet will test your pooch, and then prescribe a monthly or daily pill. The test will have to be repeated yearly.

Cancer: Not only for humans, your dogs can get it too. Check your dog weekly for lumps and bumps. They could be fatty cysts, or cancer. Don't gamble with their life, and assume it's nothing serious. Dogs can get cancer at any age. Some cancers can be removed, while others require constant ongoing treatment. Spaying and neutering helps to prevent the two most common canine cancers: Testicular and mammary cancer.

Consult with your vet for:

Blood: Could be a sign of Parvo or an intestinal blockage. It might also be the only sign that your dog was hit by a car.

Swelling: Could be due to a broken bone, bee stings, snakebites, allergies, or an infection.

Bloat: Most often found in large dogs, it is a life threatening distension of the stomach that can be deadly. Surgery may be needed to save your dogs life.

Seizures: Could be a sign of poison, epilepsy, heat stroke, or an internal organ problem.

Open Wounds: If it is bleeding badly, additional care may be needed.


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