Health Issues in Dogs You Should Look Out For

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Health Issues in Dogs

Having a dog means a lot of responsibility and requires plenty of time. You need to make sure your pet is in good health as it is important for your well-being and theirs. No one wants to see their pet sad or sick and so taking care of it is very important. A pet is part of your family. If it gets sick, it affects the overall mood in your home. Find about the Health Issues in Dogs that you should look out for.

Even though a dog craves much attention and care, in return it gives back a lot of love and makes a devoted and loyal friend for life. We want to take care of our four-legged friends as best as we can and therefore it is good to be prepared and have knowledge of how to act if your friend should become ill. 

Dogs can get many different diseases, and in the article below we list certain health issues in dogs that you should know about.

Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease is caused by abnormally high levels of the hormone cortisol, an active substance formed by the adrenal glands. Spontaneous onset of Cushing’s disease in dogs is usually due to changes in the pituitary gland. More rarely, it can be caused by excessive activity in the adrenal glands. In both types, the cause is usually a tumor.

To be able to treat a dog with Cushing’s, the pet owner must understand that it means proper medication and special care of the dog.

Although frequent vet visits are a must and usually medication is prescribed, other natural remedies can help you maintain your dog’s health. Melatonin is a sedative hormone supplement used to treat Cushing’s and many types of anxiety, hyperactivity, and other conditions. Combined with melatonin for dogs, supplements like lignans are also good for easing the symptoms of this disease in dogs. Many herbs like dandelion and ginkgo biloba can be of effective use in controlling Cushing’s symptoms. 

Hypoglycemia

Low blood sugar can affect puppies much more often than adult dogs, even when the puppy is healthy, so it is important to learn about low blood sugar symptoms and what to do. The medical term is hypoglycemia and most often occurs in adult pets suffering from diabetes. Sugar moves into the cells with the help of insulin, and excess insulin can cause hypoglycemia.

Signs of low blood sugar can be vague. And this is precisely why it is so important to watch out for them, especially if your puppy is a small breed that is most susceptible. Without enough sugar, the puppy’s heart rate and respiration are slowly lowered and this leads to a cascading effect of other symptoms. Pay attention to any or a combination of the following signs: weakness, sleepiness, disorientation, shaking, seizures, or unconsciousness.

Most adult dogs have no problem with hypoglycemia. But playing and running too hard without rest can cause low blood sugar even in adults. It is up to the dog owners to be vigilant and make sure that the puppy and the adult dog eat right and maintain healthy eating habits.

Kennel cough

Kennel cough is not in itself a life-threatening disease, but in small puppies, older, impaired, or newly-operated animals, the disease should be taken seriously and treated.

The infection is transmitted by airborne droplets from coughing dogs, the risk of infection is greater at times when many dogs from different environments gather. The incubation period is usually 4-10 days.

Symptoms of infectious kennel cough in dogs are characterized by sudden bouts of severe cough, often followed by vomiting. Cough attacks are often triggered by a jerk in the collar, excitement, or inhalation of cold air. It may sound like the dog has got something in its throat. Fever and poor appetite sometimes occur.

Viral infections are not treated and symptoms usually disappear after 1-2 weeks. Bacterial infections such as bordetella may sometimes need to be treated with antibiotics.

Otitis

Otitis is an ear inflammation caused mainly by bacteria and yeasts. In many breeds, the triggering factor can be due to heavy drooping ears that trap the air in the ear canal and create a warm, humid environment where bacteria and fungi multiply easily.

Typical symptoms of otitis media can manifest as the dog scratching its ear and shaking its head frequently.

With recurring problems, one should consider whether there may be another disease that is behind, for example, thyroid hormone deficiency or allergy.

Simple otitis can be treated with proper and repeated cleaning of the ear with an ear cleaner. The ear cleaner creates an environment where bacteria and fungi do not thrive and dissolve dirt so that you can wipe it out of the ear canal. Sometimes cortisone drops are also needed to reduce swelling and itching.

In case of more severe inflammation, prescription eardrops containing antibiotics and fungicides are used. Cortisone is also included to relieve itching and discomfort.

Wet Eczema

Wet eczema is a rapidly flaring infection in the skin of dogs. It is caused by staphylococci that are part of the skin’s normal flora. Wet eczema or “hot spot” as it is also called usually begins as a small sore change, which quickly, sometimes only after a few days, has developed into a larger area with sticky, tangled fur and blushing skin. The changes are often seen on the dog’s head, neck and chest but can occur elsewhere on the body as well.

In summer, an increased frequency of wet eczema is seen as heat optimizes the growth of bacteria in the skin. Dog breeds that suffer from wet eczema more frequently than others seem to be Retriever breeds, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Cocker Spaniels.

The treatment of wet eczema varies depending on the depth of the infection. The wound is washed clean and the veterinarian assesses the type of treatment required and prescribes antibiotics if necessary. It is important to prevent the dog from licking or tearing the wound. 

To avoid recurring problems relapse, you should be careful about how you take care of the dog’s fur. Dry the dog thoroughly after each bath. Also, brush through the dog’s fur regularly, this will remove the dead undercoat and make the coat airier.

Final Thoughts

You must be able to detect when your dog is not feeling well and is not its normal self. Whether it is a matter of Cushing’s disease or the kennel cough, you need to be educated on Health Issues in Dogs to properly care for your dog.

We listed a few Health Issues in Dogs in the article above, some serious and some more common in dogs, and we are sure that by learning about them, you will succeed in maintaining normal health and a happy environment for your dog and your family as well.

See also  5 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Dog Breed

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