No one plans to bring a dog home only for it to become sick. But a responsible dog parent should be aware of their pet’s potential health problems. Although some conditions are difficult to detect, you shouldn’t wait till it is too late to act. Access to a vet is essential. Read on to discover the commonest health problems in dogs.
Common Symptoms of a Sick Dog
Because dogs cannot tell you how they feel, you should observe them closely to know whether they are sick or in good health. Some common symptoms of a sick dog include:
- Lack of appetite
- Drastic weight loss
- Dry or itchy skin
- Thirst or excessive salivation
- Difficulty in running or walking
- Changes in the color or frequency of stool or urine
- Sudden change in personality, behavior, or daily habits
- Lack of energy
Generally, if a dog behaves unusually, it is best to see a vet for proper examination. The faster you discover the problem, the sooner your dog can commence treatment. Ensure you administer vet recommended cbd oil for dogs if you prefer giving your dog cannabidiol to ease the symptoms.
Dog Health Problems by Breed
Most popular breeds will likely have genetic disorders and other illnesses because the affected genes are passed down through the process of breeding. Dogs are bred strategically to achieve certain physical features. But when they mate with a similar breed, they restrict the gene pool of the future offspring thereby leading to breed-specific illnesses.
This explains why purebred dogs have inherited diseases. Also, their body shapes and frames predispose them to more health issues such as kneecap dislocation in miniature and toy breeds. Large breeds such as St. Bernard and German shepherd experience hip dysplasia. Below are some popular breeds and the health conditions that are passed down from one generation to another.
They are more prone to epilepsy than other dogs, a neurological issue resulting in a burst of electric energy within the dog’s brain. It causes the body to malfunction or seize.
They are susceptible to cherry eye, which is an ophthalmological issue in which the eye tissues protrude from their sockets and swell. The breed is also prone to Cushing’s disease, an endocrine disorder.
English and French bulldogs are susceptible to various health problems such as cherry eye, hip dysplasia, respiratory infection, and heart conditions.
American and English Cocker Spaniels are more prone to orthopedic issues compared to other breeds. They are also prone to infections in the ear because of the ear’s floppy nature that traps moisture in the hairy ear canal.
They have short legs and long bodies, which makes them prone to conditions that affect their skeletal systems such as loose knees (patella luxation) and intervertebral disc issues.
Large breeds like German Shepherd and Golden Retriever are highly affected by hip dysplasia.
They are more prone to EIC (exercise intolerance and collapse). This condition occurs among Labradors that are physically fit. They tend to collapse or suffer weakness after five to fifteen minutes of intense exercise. You can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise-induced_collapse to know more about EIC.
They suffer from Addison’s disease, a condition involving insufficient adrenal hormone production. They are also prone to patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and bloat.
They suffer a skin disease known as pemphigus foliaceous. It causes the skin to form crusts and loss of hair on the footpads and nose.
In some cases, they have malformed or weak cartilage rings inside their windpipes. This can lead to tracheal collapse when the windpipe or trachea becomes very narrow. Common symptoms of this problem are difficulty in breathing and coughing.
Dog Health Problems by Size
Some dogs are susceptible to illnesses due to their size. Hence, some health issues are predominant in large breeds than in small breeds.
Health Issues in Small Dogs
Some health issues that small dogs experience are as follows:
- Tracheal collapse
- Patellar luxation
- Mitral valve malfunction
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Ectropion – the eyelid turns outward
- Brachycephalic airway syndrome – an abnormality in the upper airway
Health Issues in Large Breeds
Some common health problems that large dogs experience include:
- Wobbler syndrome
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Gastric torsion
- Dilated cardiomyopathy – weakness of the heart
- Aortic stenosis
Tips for Raising a Healthy Dog
Regardless of the breed, many dogs experience some health issues in their lifetime. However, you can decrease your dog’s chances of developing health problems by establishing a routine for preventative care and wellness. Below are a few tips for raising a healthy dog.
Routine Vet Checkup
You should take your pet to see a vet once every year. The vet will examine your dog and check for illnesses. They will also run some tests to find out whether there are preventative measures to take. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of injury or illness, do not hesitate to bring them to a veterinarian.
Teeth Cleaning and Grooming
Although most dog parents bathe their pets regularly, they do not pay so much attention to their teeth. You should brush your pet’s teeth at least 3 times each week. This will help to prevent periodontal disease. Not sure about what to do? You can watch this video to get started.
Dogs should eat two times daily, and the quantity of food should vary by size. If you overfeed them, they may become obese particularly if they’re not active. Additionally, you should consider your pet’s health needs and allergies when feeding them. A vet can help you with a meal plan if you are not sure about what to feed your dog.
Your pet requires consistent exercise to ensure the muscles, joints, and bones are healthy. Exercise also prevents them from becoming overweight. Walking for thirty minutes five times weekly will keep your pet healthy.
Pets tend to follow the family routine. They wake you up for breakfast and go for a walk with you. As you study their behavior, you will understand their regular habits and temperament. Whenever you notice a deviation in their normal behavior, quickly take them to a vet.