The most common diseases in dogs

The prevention and education are the best tools that the owners have on hand to take care of their pets. When you know how to recognize the symptoms of a disease , you can intervene directly or go to the vet immediately. This means significantly increasing the chances of your four-legged friend ‘s recovery . Precisely for this reason, in the following article we will tell you everything you need to know about the eight most common diseases in dogs.

More common diseases in dogs that you need to know

It is essential to pay attention to changes in  your pet’s habits and behaviors , as many times these signs indicate that something is wrong. Symptoms are not always visible, as in the case of vomiting or diarrhea. Sometimes you will notice exhaustion, fatigue in movement, apathy or even little hunger and thirst. So let’s get to know more about the most frequent diseases in dogs:

1. Otitis

This ear infection is more common in those breeds that possess long, drooping ears. We are talking, for example, of dogs such as the Cocker spaniel or hounds such as the Dog of St. Hubert , although it can appear in all those specimens that have come into contact with water or have been exposed to environments with a lot of humidity .

If your pet is scratching his ears and shakes his head to the side, hard, or if you notice a foul odor coming from the ears, along with the secretion of a yellowish liquid, is likely to have otitis.

2. Distemper

Fortunately, a vaccine already exists for this disease that will allow you to prevent it. The problem, if anything, is that it is highly contagious and becomes lethal in animals that are not vaccinated or that are only a few weeks old.

Distemper is not always diagnosed with success, which is why it is known as ” the pathology of a thousand symptoms “: cough, sneezing, secretions, fever , diarrhea and nervous tics are just some of them.

3. Scabies

It is a serious skin condition that can appear in cats and also affect people. Scabies is caused by microscopic parasites called mites that pierce the dermis and infect it.

There are two types of scabies most common in dogs: sarcoptic – contagious when in contact with an infected animal – and demodectic . The latter is linked to immune or genetic problems.

4. Internal parasites

The most common group of “worms” that affects dogs is tapeworms . Flat in shape and housed in the intestine, it feeds on the food eaten by the animal. The infection occurs through the infected dog’s faeces or from the ingestion of raw or undercooked food .

It is essential to deworm your pet through the treatment indicated by the veterinarian. Both puppies and adult dogs should be checked, as parasites can affect older dogs as well. Sometimes, these parasites can be detected simply by looking at the stool.

5. Osteoarthritis

This is one of the most common diseases in older dogs and of some breeds in particular, such as the German Shepherd or the Doberman. Osteoarthritis is due to inflammation and degeneration of the joints, mainly of the hip and elbow.

The risk of suffering from this problem increases if the animal is obese or not given enough physical activity.

6. Parvovirus

This disease primarily affects the pet’s digestive system , but it also causes the number of red blood cells in the blood to decrease and prevents the heart and intestines from functioning properly.

Symptoms of canine parvovirus include vomiting, lack of appetite, blood in the stool, fatigue, diarrhea, depression, lack of energy and dehydration. The good news is that it can be prevented with a vaccine .

7. Gastritis

It is more common than you think, since it is not always properly diagnosed . Gastritis is inflammation or irritation of the gastric mucosa and is caused by poor nutrition: inadequate food, excessively large portions or rapid swallowing of food.

The main symptoms are vomiting and abdominal distension (bloated belly), but canine gastritis can also include loss of appetite or weight, lack of energy and excessive saliva production.

8. Leishmaniasis

This disease is transmitted by a mosquito and is frequent in some areas of Italy (mainly in Sicily, Sardinia and Elba Island) and Europe. The symptoms of Leishmaniasis are very different and the best way to avoid contagion is to eliminate the causative agent. This means using insecticides and DDT especially during the hot season (May to October), in the evening hours and during the night.

Don’t leave water containers out in the open (where mosquitoes may lay their eggs), use spray repellents and stickers on doors and windows so they don’t get into your home, and apply a mosquito-repellent pipette to your pet.

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