Healthbeat

Most common dog sicknesses

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dogs often appear as if they have an endless amount of energy, but they are susceptible to all sorts of illnesses; some can even be life threatening. But when should you call the vet?

A sick dog is every pet owner's nightmare. As owner, you are your dog's first line of defense against serious illness. (Source: petside.com)

MOST COMMON CANINE DISEASES: There are seven common and potentially fatal canine diseases you should protect your dog against with regular vaccinations:

  • Canine Cough: This is a respiratory infection common to any situation where many dogs are kept together, such as kennels (giving rise to the name "kennel cough"), animal shelters, and pet stores.
  • Coronavirus: A usually mild disease, coronavirus is spread when a dog comes in contact with the stool or other excretions of infected dogs.
  • Distemper: More dogs die from distemper than any other infectious disease. This highly contagious virus is spread by direct contact or through the air.
  • Canine infectious hepatitis: This is a viral disease spread by direct contact.
  • Leptospirosis: This bacterial disease is passed in the urine of infected animals and enters a dog's body through an open wound in the skin or when they eat or drink something contaminated by infectious urine.
  • Parvovirus: A highly contagious disease, parvovirus can be spread on an infected dog's paws, fur, saliva, and stool.
  • Rabies: The rabies virus enters the body through an open wound, usually in the saliva delivered during a bite. It can infect -- and kill -- any warm-blooded animal, including human beings. (Source: animal.discovery.com/pets/

WHEN TO CALL THE VET: Sometimes, the wait-and-see approach is best. Other times treatment just can't wait -- your dog's life may hang in the balance. There are times when a call to the vet -- or a trip straight to the animal hospital -- are a right-this-minute priority. Emergency situations include:

Heavy bleeding, including any open wound or bleeding from nose, mouth, ears, or any other body opening.

Difficulty breathing, swallowing, standing, or walking, including prolonged or frequent panting, staggering, or an uncoordinated gait. (Source:animal.discovery.com/pets/)

TREATMENT: Modern veterinary medicine has made many advances. New vaccinations, medications, diagnostic aids, and surgical techniques that were once undreamed of are realities, helping pets live longer, healthier lives. Some vets have even used alternative therapies, such as homeopathic remedies, or physical manipulations like massage, chiropractic, or acupuncture to treat dogs. Of course, an accurate diagnosis must be made before you begin any type of treatment, but many dogs can benefit from a skilled and sensible combination of traditional and alternative therapies. (Source: animal.discovery.com/pets/)

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