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The 10 Most Common Canine Health Problems (and How to Fix Them)

A recent study revealed that 7 out of 10 people care more about the health of their pets than their own health. Let’s consider ten common dog health problems and how to treat them.

Heart Worms 

As the name suggests, heart worms are worms that develop in the heart. This disease is transmitted through mosquito bites, so any dog can catch it. Yet, it might be years before your dog shows any clinical signs that worms are forming inside the heart. If you notice your dog is suffering from coughing, fatigue, collapsing, or depression, seek the advice of your veterinarian. They have products that will be able to treat the condition.

Ticks and Lyme Disease

Ticks are parasites that attach themselves to your dog, cat, or even to you. They feed on the host’s blood and transmit infections such as Lyme disease. This can lead to generally not feeling well, fever, limping, and neurological diseases. It could eventually kill your dog. To keep your dog tick free, use a topical treatment. Apply it every month on your dog. Heart Disease  Just like their owners, dogs are at risk of developing abnormal enlargement of their hearts. The most common reason your dog might develop heart disease is aging. Heart worms and other health issues can also play a part. If your dog is coughing and wheezing, and having difficulty with aerobic activity, consult your veterinarian.

Cancer

As in people, cancer is becoming more prevalent in dogs. While it can affect young pups, it mostly presents itself in older animals. You may notice a lump, swelling, lesions, or sudden change in your animal’s behavior. Whatever the case, it’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. There are treatments available for dogs, including chemotherapy.

Arthritis

As dogs age, they can develop arthritis. Most of the time it occurs in dogs that were born with an abnormality, such as hip dysplasia. It is a treatable condition, so it pays to get an early diagnosis from your vet. Try to keep your dog within a healthy weight range, and give him plenty of exercise such as running and swimming.

Kennel Cough

This type of bronchitis is easily transmitted between dogs. It affects the dog’s breathing and voice box. It can present itself as a harsh cough, sneezing, gagging, or even vomiting. If left untreated, kennel cough can progress to pneumonia, so it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible. A twice yearly vaccination will keep your dog safe from kennel cough.

Vomiting

Many things can cause vomiting in dogs. A viral infection, bacteria, parasites, or even inflammation of the pancreas might be to blame. Younger dogs sometimes swallow foreign objects they should not ingest. These can get stuck in the stomach and GI tract, causing inflammation. Your dog may also vomit if he eats inappropriate foods like grapes, which can cause renal disease. Keep your dog well hydrated if he vomits. If the vomiting persists, take him to the vet.

Ear Infection

Most dogs will have an ear infection during their lives. Moisture in the air leads to the growth of bacteria. However, ear infections can be caused by anything from bathing, to grooming, to swimming. Summer is a common time for this infection to turn up. That’s when you might notice redness in the ear or a really strong smell. As soon as you notice the problem, you should treat it with ear drops. You want to treat the condition before it makes its way deep into the ear canal.

Obesity

Obesity isn’t just a people problem. Your dog’s health can also be negatively affected if he’s overweight. Keep your pets as lean, healthy, and in-shape as possible to help avoid problems such as diabetes and joint disease. Work with your vet to create a meal and exercise plan to fit with your dog’s and your lifestyle. Active dogs require a different amount and type of sustenance than more sedentary ones.

Dental Disease

Affecting 80% of dogs by age two, gum disease is a common and potentially serious canine health problem. If you notice your dog has stinky breath, the disease has already progressed further than is healthy. Tartar is a bacteria. As it accumulates, it can enter the body through the gums. Without proper attention, this can lead to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and other serious issues. Animals need to have their teeth brushed just like humans. Once a day you should brush your dog’s teeth with a special toothpaste for dogs.

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