Common Dog Illnesses

Here is a list of a few dog illnesses, how you can spot them, and how they are treated. As always, no information can replace a visit to the veterinarian. Never take a chance with your pets health. Visit the vet.

Asthma
Asthma is relatively rare in dogs, but it does occasionally occur. Sometimes known as allergic bronchitis, asthma is an allergic reaction that where the bronchi become filled with mucous and start going into a spasm. This makes it hard for the dog to breath.

A dog with asthma may be symptom free much of the time. When symptoms do become present, they will usually take the form of coughing, wheezing, and a general “unable to catch breath” sound.

Antihistamines are the most common treatment for dog asthma, along with steroids and bronchodilators. If your dog needs to use medication that must be inhaled, ask your veterinarian how to administer it. Your vet will give you a mask that you should put over your pets mouth and nose, then you’ll squeeze the medication into your dogs lungs.

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Fleas
Fleas cause an allergic reaction when they bite. The reaction is caused by sensitivity to the saliva of fleas. The dogs reaction to this allergy is a dog constantly scratching the infected area.

Symptoms can include itching, red bumps, hair loss, and dry skin.

An easy way to check for fleas is to put your dog on a piece of white paper or cardboard and to brush the dogs coat. If you see tiny white and black specks that look like grains of sand, that is most likely flea eggs and feces.

You can find over the counter flea remedies at many department stores. A veterinarian can also treat fleas with creams or types of antibiotics. A thin-wire brush or comb will also help to remove the fleas manually.

You must be sure to treat not only your dog, but also fleas in your home. Fleas can easily jump from your dog to your furniture, and eggs can fall off of your dog anywhere any the house. These fleas will simply jump right back onto your dog. There are many sprays and powders that will eliminate fleas residing in your house.

Dog Teeth
Just like it is important to take care of our teeth, it is important for dog’s teeth to be taken care of as well. Dogs can suffer the same problems with teeth that humans can, including gingivitis, cavities, and bad breath.

Brush your dogs teeth. There are special brushes specifically designed for dogs. They also have toothpaste targeted towards pets as well.

Using dry dog food helps to promote dental health as well. The abrasion caused by chewing dry food helps to remove plaque.

Hard dog chews helps to remove plaque and keeps the dogs jaw muscles strong. Some dog chews are formulated to help with your dogs breath also.

There are some natural supplements that can help with all forms of your dogs dental hygiene. Ask your veterinarian what is right for you.

Worms
Dogs can be infected with many different types of worms, from ringworms to heartworms, to roundworms to taperworms, and more.

Some of these worms can be seen in a dog’s stool. Roundworms and sometimes tapeworms can be seen with the naked eye. Other worms like flatworms and hookworms can leave behind eggs ina dog’s stool that can be seen under a microscope.

Your dog can get worms in several different ways. Worms can be passed down from their mother when they are born. Dogs can also catch worms by coming in contact with feces from another infected dog. Worms are also spread by insects, such as mosquitos.

There are several treatments for worms. Some are preventative and some are cures. Some treatments offer both. Preventative heartworm treatment also cures some forms of instestinal worms. Be careful not to administer preventative heartworm treatment again if your dog has already had it, as this can be harmful to the dog. Ask your veterinarian about the best course of action.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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