8 Potentially Deadly Dog Diseases- How to Prevent?


Dogs often suffer in silence and are unable to tell us if their tummy or any other part of their body hurts. As pet owners, we try to take good care of our dogs, but this can be a difficult task if they are unable to communicate to us what problem they have.

This writing highlights potential dog health problems and their risk factors so that you are able to prevent them completely. We will review the most common and preventable dog diseases. For this we will have the advice of an expert: Dr. Nicole Eckholm Veterinary Medicine, Marin Center for Emergencies and Specialties for Pets in California.

1.Dog Disease Parvo Symptoms (Canine Parvo virus)

The parvovirus vaccine is one of the main vaccines that all puppies should receive. This means that most dogs should not actually get this preventable viral disease that causes heart and bowel problems.

Puppies in dog kennels or shelters are at the highest risk of coming into contact with the virus. Most dogs contract parvovirus by coming into direct contact with the feces of an infected dog.

The main symptoms of this virus include severe diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. Damage to the immune system and intestines can lead to septic shock. There is no great chance of survival: more than half of the dogs that contract parvovirus die.

"Puppies with parvovirus can survive, but this depends on the severity of the illness, the age of the puppy, and the speed of medical treatment," says Dr. Eckholm.

But as we've mentioned above, parvovirus is largely preventable with a vaccine, as are other highly deadly diseases that are part of basic vaccines: canine distemper, hepatitis, and rabies.

"It is very important that your dog receives basic vaccinations as soon as possible," says Dr. Eckholm. "By making sure your dog or puppy is vaccinated, you will help prevent widespread outbreaks."

2. Gastric Torsion or Bloating

Does your dog devour food in the blink of an eye? Then it is possible that he is at risk of bloating, which basically consists of an enlarged stomach. This can be further complicated if the stomach is also turned, preventing fluids and air from escaping from the stomach. In this way, the dog could not burp or vomit.

The symptoms are sudden but obvious:

    Nausea and inability to vomit

    Enlarged stomach area



Bloat can affect any dog of any age, but there are breeds more susceptible: typically large-breed, deep-chested dogs such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, Boxers, Labrador Retrievers, Bloodhounds, and Weimar Archers. Smaller and medium-sized dogs are not very at risk, except for basset hounds and dachshunds, which also have long and broad chests.

"Make sure your dog eats slowly," says Dr. Eckholm. “I recommend putting food in Kong toys so that the dog takes a while to find and eat it. This will prevent the food from being swallowed all at once and will reduce the risk of bloating.”'

There are also bowls that does the food and even a play ball that your dog must hit to remove the food. This stimulates your dog's mind and, at the same time, forces him to eat slowly. A win-win situation for both parties.

3. Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure

Kidney failure usually develops gradually and is more common in older dogs, but it can also arise as a complication from medications or infectious diseases (such as Lyme disease).

Unfortunately, in most cases, kidney failure is one of the dog diseases that can develop throughout the life of a pet, that is, chronic kidney failure, cannot be prevented.

However, there is a cause of kidney failure that can be detected and prevented: dental disease. In the advanced stages of dental disease, bacteria from the dog's gums can enter the bloodstream and damage vital organs, such as the kidneys.

Therefore, keep your dog's teeth clean! Brush his teeth regularly throughout his life, at least once a week, offer him ox sticks or other hard chewy toys to remove plaque, or go to your veterinary clinic for a professional dental cleaning, which requires anesthesia but it is quite effective.

On the other hand, acute kidney failure can be prevented in many cases. This disease has different causes: intoxication, an infection or a complication due to medications, among others. Symptoms are sudden and severe and can include fever, vomiting, and changes in water intake, appetite, and amount of urine.

To avoid acute kidney failure, you should keep human medications away from your dog, unless your vet tells you otherwise. You also need to make sure he doesn't have access to antifreeze - dogs like the taste of it but it's very toxic, even in low doses. They can come into contact with antifreeze in different ways, for example by licking it off the garage floor or in winterized pipes.

4. Lyme Disease

This disease can also be prevented in many cases. It is caused by bacteria transmitted by deer ticks that have been attached to the dog for at least 18 hours. It is the most common of the tick-related diseases.

The most common symptom is limb lameness, which can change from one leg to the other over time. Stiffness and a decreased appetite can also occur. If undetected, Lyme disease can cause kidney problems, and even kidney failure.

Treatment is with antibiotics and, although symptoms usually resolve within four weeks, they do not always disappear completely.

Keeping your dog out of tick-prone areas and checking to see if one of these parasites has attached itself to your pet are always good ideas, but preventative medications are the most effective way to avoid Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

There are topical medications to apply directly to your dog's skin that repel and kill ticks, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix. There are also pills, like Capstar, and even antiparasitic collars that your dog can wear. You just have to keep in mind that the effectiveness of topical medicines decreases as the month progresses, especially if your dog goes swimming or you gives him a bath. The most convenient is annual prevention.

5. Heart Worm Disease

Would you rather pay for heartworm medications now, or expensive and painful treatment later? Unfortunately, most people choose the second option, even though preventive drugs are quite inexpensive.

All it takes your dog to get heartworm is a single bite from an infected mosquito.

"If you live in heartworm endemic areas, which are areas where mosquitoes abound, heartworm prevention is a must," says Dr. Eckholm. "In areas where mosquitoes are not prevalent, heartworm prevention is not used as often."

Dry climates used to be considered safe for heartworms, but heartworms can also be detected in them. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially considering the treatment required.

"Heartworm disease can be treated with an intramuscular (arsenic-based) injection given multiple Roboto," says Dr. Eckholm. "It is a painful treatment, but effective in most cases."

What is a serious case? Imagine up to 250 worms living in your dog for several years! Better to turn to heartworm drugs, which are much more profitable; there are pills, topical products, and injections, some of which prevent other types of worms as well. Consult your vet to find out what is best for your dog. Also, he will test him before you can give him the preventative medications to make sure he no longer has the heartworm.

Dogs and cats are susceptible to heartworms, so if you have a cat, this is all the more reason to give your dog preventative medications. There is no treatment for cats with heartworms, and your dog can get it from other infected animals.

6. Chocolate Poisoning

Almost everyone knows that dogs cannot eat chocolate. But surprisingly, a good number of dogs still manage to put this food in their mouths, which is still one of the most common causes of poisoning in pets.

The amount and type of chocolate your dog eats are the two main factors.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, pacing, gasping, and shaking. More severe cases could cause an irregular heartbeat, seizures, a heart attack, or even death. If you think your dog has eaten some chocolate, take him to the vet immediately. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can be last up to 72 hours.

"Your dog should receive immediate veterinary treatment," says Dr. Eckholm. "Don't try to induce vomiting at home."

7. Cancer

There are all kinds of canine cancers, and they seem to be on the rise. An alarming 50% of dogs aged ten and over will develop some form of cancer, and it is the leading cause of death among dogs in this age group.

The earlier the cancer is found and treated, the better the chances of survival. If you notice a change in your dog's behavior or habits, tell your vet right away.

"You need to know what is normal and what is not normal in your pet so that the cancer diagnosis is as quick as possible," says Dr. Eckholm.

Some signs of cancer include unusual odors, hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, lumps on the skin, weight loss, a change in appetite, and lethargy.

So what is the most treatable cancer?

"Lymphoma, a low-grade mast cell tumor of the skin, is very treatable," says Dr. Eckholm.

Lymphoma is also one of the most common forms of cancer in dogs, so you need to make sure your pet undergoes regular check-ups to prevent it, especially as he gets older.

Genetics and environmental factors also influence cancer development. Some attribute the increased rates of canine cancer to dogs simply living longer and having better healthcare options. Other people blame the rise in “junk” dog food and accuse food brands of using ingredients believed to cause cancer. Check labels and avoid BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin.

8. Kennel Cough

Photo Credited to Top10HomeRemedies.com

For dogs that frequent places with lots of dogs, such as parks or pet homes, kennel cough is a real threat. It is a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted through the air or by touch. Any dog ​​can get kennel cough, but puppies are especially susceptible, as their immune systems are not yet very strong. Symptoms include:

    Loud cough with a distinctive “horn” sound

    Runny nose



    Loss of appetite

    Low fever

Although kennel cough is not fatal, its symptoms are very similar to those of other more serious dog diseases such as distemper, so it is important that you alert your vet as soon as you notice any signs.

Kennel cough can be prevented with a vaccine. Dogs that are regularly exposed to large groups of dogs are the most at risk for the disease and would benefit the most from the vaccine.

In summary

There are numerous dangers lurking for your dog out there, but having information about dog diseases and their symptoms can help make your pet safer.

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