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Caring for your dog

Updated on October 21, 2015
melaine profile image

The writer has been an English teacher for the past twenty-three years and likes to write during her free time.

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Caring For Your Dog

A dog is man’s best friend! Anyone who owns a dog will agree that life would be quite incomplete without one. They make the best companions one could think of having. However, looking after a dog is not that simple. They need the utmost care. You must be able to watch for signs of something going wrong. You must be able to nip the disease or injury in the bud.

By instinct a dog will try her best to hide all signs of illness. The reason for this is that in the wild a sick animal is as good as dead. Watch her carefully and you will know exactly what is wrong. For instance, she may seem to have suddenly put on weight but doesn’t seem to be eating much or she may have suddenly lost weight. One of the most common signs that something may be wrong is that she may turn up her nose at the food in front of her. A dog’s increased intake of water may be a sign of something more serious like diabetes or kidney stones. Also, a healthy dog will always have a thick, beautiful and shiny coat. If her coat appears lustre less and dull or develops patches in places, you must realise that something is wrong. A flea allergy might be the cause. It might also be a skin infection. Another subtle sign of illness may be a lethargic dog. If she is suddenly very inactive and dull, a trip to the vet may be what she needs. Of course, sometimes a very hot day may be the reason for your dog’s inactivity but if this lethargy continues for more than two days, it is definitely a cause for concern. If your dog is vomiting frequently or forcefully, the vet must be contacted immediately. It may be a stomach infection but it could also be something as serious as Parvovirus.

Canine Parvovirus is a contagious disease that mainly attacks dogs. This is a deadly disease and can be spread through direct contact or through the faeces of dogs. It can be very severe in puppies that are not yet vaccinated. There can be the cardiac form or the intestinal form. The cardiac form is very severe and can cause cardiac arrest while the intestinal form causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Treatment often involves hospitalisation.

How do you know if your dog has parvovirus? They will show symptoms of the illness within five to ten days. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and fever. Sometimes the symptoms are so severe that dehydration may take place and therefore the dog will need to be put on drip and hospitalised. Prevention is the best way to ensure that your dog does not suffer. Since the virus survives in faeces and soil throughout a whole year, make sure that your surroundings are clean. Do not let your dog sniff in garbage or other dirty areas. Give your puppy the vaccination. It is given in three doses three or four weeks apart. This can save your pet’s life.

© 2011 Melaine

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