Dogs are always there for us as faithful companions. Every dog owner should return the favor by keeping an eye out for common canine health problems. This way, we can give our furry friends the medical attention that they deserve. Let’s take a look at the most common health challenges that dogs face.
Dogs can experience all sorts of worms like tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. These are actual parasites that can make dogs very uncomfortable. In puppies, they can be deadly. Symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, an overly dry coat, and drastic weight loss. To prevent worms, clean your dog’s bed on a regular basis, pick up stool in the yard and try to stop your dog from eating carrion as it might contain parasites. You can also provide your vet with a fecal sample from your puppy to test for parasites.
2. Ear Infections
Ear infections can be caused for a number of reasons like ear mites, allergies, yeast and even hair that grows too deeply into the ear canal. You’ll be able to tell if your dog has an ear infection if he has smelly ears, constantly scratches at them, tilts his head often, suffers from poor balance, has a red ear canal or discharge from the ears. Be on the lookout for brown or bloody discharges and ear swelling.
3. Vomiting and Diarrhea
When dogs eat things they aren’t supposed to, they often get sick. The result is vomit and diarrhea. To prevent your dog from going through these pains, keep him on a strict diet that does not contain human food. Don’t leave your food items around the house in areas that he can access. Also, if you have kids, be sure to clean up their toys and candy wrappers so that your dog doesn’t mistakenly eat things like legos, micro machines and gum wrappers.
4. Acute Moist Dermatitis
Also called hot spots, acute moist dermatitis is a bacterial infection on the skin. These are red areas of inflammation that become quite itchy. You can tell that your dog has hot spots if he is constantly scratching. He might also have red spots or he might go as far as chewing on his fur and skin. If your dog has hot spots or very itchy skin, you should have him/her examined by your veterinarian.
A single flea needs only three weeks to turn into a full blown infestation with thousands of bugs. Fleas may cause persistent licking and scratching. He also might have tiny black dots (flea dirt) on his skin or suffer from hair loss. There are several good prescription medications used monthly to prevent fleas and ticks. We use NexGard and Frontline Plus most often in our practice.