Your dog deserves the same high-quality health care you would give to any other member of your family. Understanding the most common health issues in the canine world can help you to identify these ailments and address them quickly to ensure the safety and health of your beloved pet.
Dogs are vulnerable to a wide range of worm infestations, including the following:
- Tapeworm infestations occur when dogs accidentally ingest fleas or lice that serve as hosts for the eggs of this parasite. Dogs with tapeworms may exhibit scooting behaviors and may not derive full nutritional value from the food they consume.
- Roundworms are usually not dangerous to adult dogs. Young puppies, however, can sometimes suffer serious malnutrition or chronic diarrhea due to the presence of these worms in their digestive tract.
- Hookworms can cause lifelong problems for affected dogs and may result in weight loss, bloody stools and other serious side effects.
Prevention is the most effective tactic for dealing with these parasitic infestations. Eliminating lice and fleas from your pet’s environment and administering preventive medications can help to keep your dog safe from the damaging effects of worms.
Often caused by ear mites or allergies, ear infections can be painful for your dog and can potentially have serious implications for balance, hearing and overall health. Some of the most common signs of ear infection include the following:
- Vigorous head shaking
- Head tilting
- Swelling or redness of the inner ear
- Brownish or yellowish discharge from the ear
- Scratching of the ears, sometimes to the point of bleeding
Cleaning and applying antibiotics and other medications can usually provide quick relief for most ear infections.
Most dogs occasionally experience stomach upsets that can result in vomiting or diarrhea. If these issues become a chronic problem, however, a trip to the veterinary office is recommended to determine the cause of these gastrointestinal difficulties. Chronic or severe vomiting and diarrhea can be caused by a number of serious and minor ailments:
- Parvo virus infections
- Intestinal parasites
- Mild or serious food poisoning
- Heat stroke
If your dog runs a fever, refuses to eat or becomes dehydrated after an episode of diarrhea or vomiting, seek veterinary help immediately to rule out poisoning and to start treatment for the cause of these symptoms.
Older dogs frequently develop arthritis in hips and other joints. This can prove painful and may reduce mobility for some animals. Vitamin and mineral supplements can often provide some relief from these symptoms. Your veterinarian can often suggest safe and effective treatments for arthritis symptoms that can help to restore mobility and reduce the symptoms of canine arthritis.
Your veterinarian can provide you with added insights into your dog’s health and can allow you to make the right choices regarding diet, exercise and preventive treatments. By working together to provide your dog with the right veterinary care and vitamin supplements, you and your vet can ensure a longer and happier life for your beloved pet.