Common Canine Health Concerns: Prevention, Treatment, and More


Being a pet parent is a big responsibility, and with that comes many health concerns. Are you at a healthy weight? Are you prone to dental disease?

This guide looks at some of the most common dog health issues and how you can avoid or prevent them from keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. We’ll also give you tips on what you can do to treat them and when it’s time to see a vet.

So without further ado, let’s find out what health issues your dog might be prone to and how you can minimize the concerns of both you and your dog.

obesity

Dogs need a balanced diet and regular exercise to stay healthy and lean.

Finding the right balance can be difficult, and many pet owners worry about overfeeding or underfeeding their dog. Overfeeding is the number one cause of weight gain in dogs. And over time, weight gain and obesity can cause serious health risks for your pet, such as: B. heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and determining the ideal body weight for your pet can be difficult. Your veterinarian can help you weigh your pet and assess their general body condition. And when it comes to exercise, it depends on your pet’s breed, size, and age. But all dogs need a good off-leash exercise at least once a day.

We love to reward and treat our pets, but this is where the problems often start when all those extras add up. Only About 10% of your dog’s daily food intake should include treats. Commercial dog food manufacturers display handy instructions on the packaging or on their websites that are easy to use and can be followed if you are unsure of how much food to feed your dog. Your vet can also help if you are unsure.

If your pet has gained a few pounds, Your veterinarian can help you create a diet and exercise plan to ensure your dog is still getting all the nutrients they need while also burning some extra calories and regaining a healthy weight. You can also consider a weight control dog food.

dental disease

Licking dog with dirty teeth
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems faced by pet owners.

Most people are probably familiar with that smell of dog breath. But how do you know if your dog has gum disease, and when should you be concerned?

Your vet should check your dog’s teeth every year at their annual exam. Bad breath can be one of the earliest signs of dental disease and a sign that you should have your dog’s teeth checked. Other signs to look out for include difficulty eating dried/hard foods, bleeding gums, tooth loss, excessive drooling, scratching at mouth/face, and blood on toys or saliva. Left untreated, gum disease can be painful and may require your pet to have some teeth removed under anesthesia.

How can I prevent dental disease?

Preventing gum disease is the same for our four-legged friends as it is for us – good oral hygiene. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly to remove the bacteria that can lead to plaque build-up will help prevent gum disease from developing. Brushing their dogs’ teeth daily is not easy for most pet parents, and many dogs do not tolerate it well. However, there are a number of different types of toothbrushes and supplements available so there is something for every dog.

Diet is also an essential part of your dog’s oral care – Dry food like kibble will help remove plaque or tartar that may build up on your dog’s teeth.

Your veterinarian may offer in-clinic dental treatment to prevent further problems if your dog has significant plaque buildup or shows signs of gum disease. This is one General anesthesia so that the vet can properly assess the teeth and then clean and scale before polishing She.

ear infection

Small white and tan dog being examined by a veterinarian
Ear infections are a common problem that most dogs experience over the course of their lives.

The first sign that pet owners usually worry about a possible ear infection is shaking his head. Common signs that your dog might have an ear infection include shaking his head, scratching his ears more than expected, an unpleasant odor coming from his ears, and redness or discharge around the ear.

If you notice any of these symptoms, a visit to the vet is essential as ear infections are uncomfortable and uncomfortable for your pet can be difficult to treat if left on for too long. The vet will look inside your dog’s ears and may want to take a sample under a microscope to identify the type of infection.

Usually, ear infections are easily treated antibiotic ear drops from your vet. The vet too thoroughly cleans your dog’s ear and recommends that you have the ear checked again and cleaned again after the end of the treatment. Some severe or recurring ear infections occasionally require further treatment.

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?

Dogs with long hairy ears, like spaniels and retrievers, are often prone to ear infections because their ears are warm and humid—a perfect place for bacteria and yeast to grow. Allergies can also be a common cause of canine ear infections and parasites (ear mites), conditions that weaken your dog’s immune system and spend a lot of time in the water.

How can I prevent a dog ear infection?

Stay out of water, keep up with your pet’s parasite treatment, and identify underlying allergies to prevent your dog from getting an ear infection. You can also use ear cleaners and cotton balls to remove excess earwax from your dog’s ear, but remember that every dog ​​is different and some dogs need to do this more regularly than others. You should always check with your veterinarian before using any ear cleaning product to make sure it’s right for your pet.

Impaction of the anal gland

Vet fixing a problem with a dog
If left untreated, your dog can become quite uncomfortable.

They’re a bit of a stinky topic, but many pet owners worry about whether or not their dog’s anal glands are causing them problems.

If you have ever noticed a unpleasant fishy smell coming from your dog’s rear end, It’s probably coming from his anal glands. Other signs of problems in this area are: Scooting and excessive licking. If they get too full, it’s uncomfortable, though it can also lead to infections and abscesses in the glands.

Anal glands are tiny sacs that sit just under the skin on either side of a dog’s anus and are filled with a thick, smelly fluid. It might sound gross, but they use these glands to identify each other and mark their territory. Typically, the glands empty when your dog defecates, as the pressure on the glands forces the fluid out. But you can also empty when your dog is very stressed or anxious.

What can cause anal gland impaction?

There are many reasons your dog may not be expressing their anal glands naturally and may need to do so at the veterinary clinic. Diarrhea can mean that your dog is not emptying its glands naturally. Your dog may also have a food or environmental allergy that can cause him to withdraw.

Some dogs have slightly abnormally positioned glands, meaning they’re less likely to defecate when he goes to the bathroom. Some breeds might also be more susceptibleincluding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, Spaniel-Poodle crossbreeds, Shih Tzus and Bichons Frises.

Adding a high-fiber food or natural fibers like pure pumpkin puree to your dog’s diet can help bulk up and firm up their poop, meaning the glands are more likely to express themselves naturally when they go to the bathroom. Regular visits to the vet to have your dog’s glands pumped will also help keep them from getting too full.

If they do become infected, they can easily be treated with a course of antibiotics from the vet.

Overgrown claws

Fluffy brown dog that has clipped its claws
Dog claws are constantly growing, just like our human nails.

The wild ancestors of our dogs would have worn down their claws by running, hunting and scratching trees, but of course our modern domestic dogs don’t wear them down enough.

Not only can long claws be uncomfortable for your pet, but they are more prone to cracking, fissuring, and becoming infected. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on your pets’ nails and trim them regularly.

Every dog ​​is different, and some will need their nails clipped every few months, while others only need clipping a few times a year. Walking your dog on hard surfaces like streets and sidewalks can help wear them down naturally.

fleas

Dog scratches nails because of fleas and ticks
The first signs of a flea infestation are excessive itching and scratching.

Dogs often catch fleas from other dogs through close contact, since fleas can jump from one host to another. Adult fleas can quickly lay large numbers of eggs (hundreds), hatch into larvae, and then develop into adults. These eggs can fall from your pet’s fur into the environment, e.g. B. in his bedding, making it difficult to get rid of the infestation.

How do you know if your dog has fleas?

You may notice this often in your dog stops for a scratch and even pulls out clumps of fur. Sometimes the skin can become red and sore, and you’ll often see adult fleas on your dog’s coat.

What should you do if your dog has fleas?

If you think your dog has fleas, you should do so treat it with a suitable flea treatment. This will kill adult fleas, and many products will also destroy the eggs and larvae. There are different types of flea treatments so there is something for every dog ​​and your vet can help you determine which one is best for you.

Final Thoughts

Many different health issues can rear their ugly heads over the course of your dog’s life. But remember, your veterinarian is always available if you have any questions or concerns. Check out our various other guides for more information on how to keep your pup feeling their happiest and healthiest self.

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