Preventative care, vaccines, and regular trips to an experienced veterinarian will help you keep your dog happy and healthy, but serious medical problems can develop at any time. Since a dog cannot articulate that something is wrong, it is up to the owner to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms that they are ill and in need of professional help.
Pup Feeling Blue? Check Him for These 4 Common Illnesses
Worms are internal parasites that generally cause discomfort in adult dogs but can be deadly in puppies. Luckily, when worms are caught early on they can be passed with nothing more than a battery of oral medication. A rough coat, changes to your dog’s eating habits, diarrhea, scooting on their bottom, and weight loss are all common signs of parasitic worms.
2. Ear Infections
Ear infections are one of the most common problems for dogs and are generally caused by mites, bacteria, ingrown hairs, hairs deep in the ear canal, yeast, and allergies. Professionally cleaning and medicating the ear canal will almost always get rid of these infections within just a few days. Dogs with ear infections often have unusual ear odors, a lack of balance, swelling around the ear, and discharge.
3. Parvovirus (Parvo)
Parvo has a survival rate of well over 85 percent when it is caught and treated soon after the dog is exposed to the virus. Pet owners should know that parvo is essentially dysentery for animals and most fatalities occur because of severe dehydration and malnourishment. Parvo generally causes diarrhea, vomiting, and general lethargy. The vaccine for parvo has a success rate of over 90 percent in adult dogs.
4. Dental Disease
Owners often joke about their dog having bad breath, but unusual odors coming from a pet’s mouth could be a sign that they have dental disease. Much like gum disease in humans, this condition takes place when plaque clings to a dog’s teeth, creates bacteria, and infects their mouth. Professional teeth cleaning by experts at Chester Valley Veterinary Hospital or a vet clinic near you, along with the use of doggy toothbrushes at home, are two simple ways to prevent dental disease. Once gum disease has developed, it can typically be cured with oral medication and topical cream for their mouth.
Our dogs depend on us for good care, and part of this care means catching medical problems in their earliest stages. If you have noticed any of these signs or symptoms in your pet, then it is time to make a call to the vet for a checkup.