There is a wide range of health issues that plague dogs, fortunately, the field of veterinary medicine has become more proactive towards predicting these problems before they become too complicated to handle. It is important for owners of dogs to be aware of these common problems, for the purpose of preventing them. It is equally important for dog owners to recognize the early symptoms of these challenges so that they can be treated as early as possible.

Many dogs are genetically predisposed to certain health challenges; Arthritis and Dysplasia are two of such. The 7 commonest known health challenges most dogs face are;

Skin-related health problems

More than 85% of dogs in the world will have to cope with one skin challenge or the other at different times. There are more than 150 different skin problems known to affect dogs today, but the symptoms are quite similar. Common skin issue symptoms include; continuous scratching, reddish appearance, inflammation, licking of the skin, and scaly skin.

Allergic reactions and parasitic attacks are known to cause most skin problems in dogs. Regularly bathing your dog with recommended shampoo is the surest way to stop skin-related problems.

Prevention and treatment:

There are medicated shampoos that are powerful enough to kill parasitic vectors like mites and fleas. Food allergies can be prevented by examining your pet’s dietary profile at the veterinary and providing your dog with balanced dog food. You should consider applying topic creams, and ointments recommended by your veterinary doctor to affected skin part, for treatment. Skin problems must be handled as soon as they are detected to prevent the spread of infections. Part of the treatment step is to go for disease diagnosis, where the veterinary doctor conduct medical examinations on the dog poop or urine.

Infections of the Ear

Ear infections are as common as skin infections in dogs. The commonest symptom of ear infection is continuous shaking of the head by the dog. Another common symptom of ear infection is ear discharge. Most ear infections in dogs are caused by bacteria, parasite, and moisture lodged inside the dog’s ear canal after the dog has spent much time in water especially during swimming.

Prevention/treatment:

The only way to avoid ear infection in your dog is to check the dog’s ear for the unusual presence of debris, or discharge and make use of recommended cleaner to clean her ears regularly. Ear infections can be treated by dipping a cotton ball inside a dog ear cleaning solution to wipe the affected ear regularly. Alcoholic solutions can cause inflammation of the ear hence they must be avoided.

 

Intestinal parasitic infections

Internal worms such as heartworms, roundworms, and tapeworms can cause a number of health problems in dogs. The severity of the effect of parasitic infections will vary from one dog to another depending on age, nutritional profile and breed of the dog.

Prevention/solution:

Application of dog dewormer on a prescribed basis is the best possible way of preventing this problem. It is equally important that dog owners clean dog crates, snails and slugs from the dog poo can mix with dog’s food and toys and increase chances of parasitic infections. The best possible way to treat parasitic infections is to take your infected dog to the veterinary doctor for medication treatment.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Gastrointestinal disorders occur in the stomach and especially in the intestines. Gastrointestinal problems can cause pain and discomfort. Diarrhea, constipation, and the passing of gas are the main symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. Constant vomiting, regurgitation, and weakness are the advance symptoms of gastrointestinal issues. You need to attend to this problem in order to avoid dehydration.

Prevention / treatment:

To avoid Gastrointestinal disorders, you need to give your dog a well-balanced diet. Avoid giving your dog human food, and make sure you add approved probiotics to the dog’s meal and water to increase beneficial bacteria in the gut. To treat the gastrointestinal disorder, you need to have your dog undergo proper diagnosis, especially on nutrient absorption. In most cases, dietary changes and application of certain supplements will be recommended.

Dental problems

Dental problems are some of the most prominent problems affecting dogs worldwide. Loose teeth, gum problems, and broken teeth are the commonest dental problems. Periodontal Dental issues are characterized by inflamed gum, swollen jaws, bad breath, and plague.

Prevention/treatment:

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best possible way to prevent dental problems in your dog. Make sure you take the dog to remove any plaque or tartar once they are detected. It is also important you buy an ideal chewing toy in addition to regular brushing. Professional dental cleaning is one of the best possible ways of dealing with dental issues in dogs.

Urinary Tract Infection

Most Urinary Tract Infections don’t get noticed by dog owners. Most Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), are caused by Fungi, Bacteria, and Parasites located inside the urinary tract. Some of the commonest symptoms of UTIs are bloody urination, increased in urgency and frequencies of urination. Painful urges to urinate can cause your dog to whip and whine even more frequently.

Prevention/solution:

To avoid UTI in dogs, you need to ensure that you clean her feeding and drinking containers more often and feed her with clean water. Application of antibiotics is known to be the best option to treat UTIs.

                                                   Obesity

Obesity has become the fastest growing health problem in dogs worldwide. In 2017 alone, more than 47% of adult dogs in the US were found to be obese. Obesity can lead to several other health issues such as orthopedic problems, obesity, heart diseases, and arthritis.

Prevention/solution:

Prevention of Obesity is quite easy especially when the dog is fed with balanced, and nutritious diets with moderate calories. It is equally important that you exercise your dog regularly. It is important to increase the protein and fiber content of the dog’s food.

Conclusion

Dogs require special attention and care just like humans and that is the best possible way to keep your dog healthy at all times. It is equally important to take your dog for a routine checkup to detect health problems ahead before they become more complicated. Taking your dog for regular health check-up will ensure that there is a regular record of your dog’s health and that will make follow-up treatment a lot easier at the veterinary hospital.

 

 


 

 

Common Dog Health Problems and their Symptoms

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