If dog is mans best friend, then it is up to us to provide them with the best care possible. They can’t tell us if they are feeling under the weather, which also means they can’t tell us exactly what is wrong.
Since it is up to us to do our best to pay attention to our dogs health, here are the 6 most common health problems to look for in dogs:
Dogs and Ear Infections – Ear infections are a common canine health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have with an ear infection include:
- Head shaking or head tilting
- Ear odor
- Vigorous scratching
- Lack of balance
- Unusual back-and-forth eye movements
- Redness of the ear canal
- Swelling of the outer portion of the ear
- Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
Always take your dog to the veterinarian if you think he has an ear infection. In most cases, cleaning and medicating the ear canal will quickly clear up an infection.
Dogs and Worms – Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are common internal parasites in dogs. And although any worm infestation can make your pooch uncomfortable, some, like hookworms, can be fatal in puppies. Signs your dog may have worms include:
- Diarrhea (may be bloody)
- Weight loss
- A change in appetite
- A rough, dry coat
- Scooting on his bottom
- An overall poor appearance
The best way to diagnose a worm problem is with a visit to the vet. Treatment depends on which type of worm your dog has, but generally includes an oral medication and may require follow-up. Don’t try treating worms yourself: A medication that kills roundworms, for example, doesn’t kill tapeworms.
When Fleas Find Your Dog – It takes just three weeks for one flea to turn into an infestation of 1,000 biting bugs. A very common canine health problem, fleas are easy for your dog to pick up, but they’re also easy to treat. Signs your dog may have fleas include:
- Excessive scratching, licking, or biting at the skin
- Hair loss
- Hot spots
- Allergic dermatitis
- Tapeworms (which are carried by fleas)
- Flea dirt (looks like small black dots) against your dog’s skin
Untreated, fleas not only make your dog intensely uncomfortable, they can also cause allergic reactions, infections, and even lead to anemia from blood loss.
How to Help Hot Spots in Your Dog – They’re commonly known as hot spots, but the medical term for those bare, inflamed, red areas you often see on dogs is acute moist dermatitis — a bacterial skin infection. Anything that irritates your dog’s skin enough to make him scratch or chew can lead to the pain and itch of hot spots, which, if left untreated, can quickly grow larger.
Common Dog Health Problem: Vomiting – Vomiting is a common dog health problem, with dozens of possible causes, from infection or intestinal parasites to pancreatitis, kidney failure, heatstroke, or poisoning. Symptoms are basic: abdominal heaving and drooling caused by nausea. If your dog also has diarrhea, blood in the vomit, seems lethargic, continues vomiting, or can’t hold down liquids, contact your vet right away to prevent life-threatening dehydration.
Doggy Diarrhea – Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvo virus, intestinal parasites, and food problems.
Some of these symptoms cause dehydration which can in turn lead to other problems. It is important to not delay and just take your dog to the vet. I know most of us want to try and save money by delaying the inevitable, but this is your baby we are talking about and if delaying a visit caused any complications, it would be a lot worse then paying just a vet bill.
Do you know of any other common health problems to watch for in dogs?