Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Dogs Vets
5 Dog Health Issues And What To Do If You Suspect Them
Dogs make wonderful companions and quickly become part of a family. Unfortunately, though, just like their owners, dogs can suffer from health problems that can seriously impact their lives. Thankfully,
many of these issues can be resolved or even prevented.
Read on for five of the most common dog health issues and our advice on what to do if you suspect them.
1. Skin problems
Skin complaints are common in dogs and can be caused by a whole host of reasons from allergies to infections.
Your dog’s skin might appear inflamed, red, scaly, or flaky and might be causing him to over-scratch or even bite at the affected area.
While many skin issues clear up on their own within hours and don’t need further treatment, if your dog is visibly distressed or if the problem gets worse or it doesn’t improve, then seek the advice of a professional.
Most skin problems can be treated with creams provided by your vet. Long-term skin conditions are common in canines, however, so it’s always a good idea to consider pet insurance when you first get a dog.
2. Gum disease
Gum disease is a serious concern for dogs and can lead to major issues elsewhere in the body if left untreated. Be aware of signs such as problems chewing or foul breath and if you suspect gum disease, then take your dog to the vet.
The plaque and tartar associated with gum disease contains dangerous bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and cause problems in the heart and kidneys.
It’s therefore vital that you seek veterinary treatment as soon as you can if you suspect your dog has gum disease. Regular brushing with a specially designed toothbrush for dogs is the best preventative measure against gum problems.
You can also give your dog dental chews and supplement their food or water with dental additives.
3. Ear infections
If your dog keeps shaking its head or trying to scratch its ears, it’s likely that they have an ear infection. Other signs of infected ears include discharge, bad odours, or redness and inflammation.
If these symptoms continue for more than a day, you should contact your vet. They should be able to prescribe antibiotics or cream for your dog’s ears.
Just like humans, obesity in dogs can lead to serious health problems, such as heart issues and diabetes. Of course, prevention is better than cure, so you must do everything you can to make sure your dog doesn’t become overweight.
Those big puppy eyes might seem impossible to resist, but you really mustn’t feed your dog scraps from your dinner.
Minimise snacks and make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, and ensure they always have access to fresh water.
If, however, your dog is already overweight, you need to take action now before the problem gets worse. If you’re worried, seek advice from your vet.
Arthritis is a long-lasting, inflammatory condition that affects joint health. The disease is caused when the cartilage between the joints gets damaged and rubs against the bone.
Arthritis is common in dogs, particularly as they age, but thankfully it can usually be managed.
Typical signs can include limping, reluctance to move, changes in behaviour, sluggishness, yelping when touched or lifted, slowness, irritability, and signs of pain or discomfort when walking, standing or sitting.
If you suspect your dog might be suffering from arthritis, then you’re best to have them assessed by your vet, who will be able to discuss the best treatment options.
You want your dog to live a long and healthy life. Follow our advice so that you’re aware of the common health complaints and you know what to do if they occur.
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