Some dogs have food allergies just as humans do; this is particular to the individual dog and not characteristic of the species as a whole. An example is a dog becoming physically ill from salmon; many humans likewise have seafood allergies.
Complications include dehydration, secondary infections, sepsis and a condition in which part of the intestine slips into the part below it (called intussusception). CPV also can damage the spleen. Dogs that have another health condition are at increased risk for developing severe complications and illness.
4. Parvovirus: Commonly called “parvo,” this virus is terribly common in parts of the country with low vaccination rates and can be seen in cats and dogs (although the disease cannot be spread cross-species). Parvo is most frequently seen in puppies and kittens who have not yet been vaccinated. The mortality rate depends on how quickly the symptomsare caught by the owner and addressed by a veterinarian and the strength of a pet’s immune system. Most survivors of parvovirus do not harbor long-term effects.
10. Kidney disease: Kidney disease is common in senior cats, but also seen in cats and dogs of all ages. It can be congenital or develop as the pet ages. While cats with kidney disease can be treated and kept healthy for several years in most cases, dogs typically deteriorate more quickly. Kidney health is typically evaluated with annual bloodwork at your veterinarian.
Coccidioidomycosis* is a fungal disease caused by Coccidioides immitis or Coccidioides posadasii that affects a variety of species, including dogs. In dogs signs of primary pulmonary disease include a cough, fever, weight loss, anorexia, and lethargy. Disseminated disease occurs when the fungus has spread outside of the lungs and may include clinical signs such as lameness, pain, seizures, anterior uveitis, and localized swelling. Diagnosis of Valley Fever may include multiple tests, including serology and radiology. According to a study performed in the Tucson and Phoenix area, 28% of dogs will test positive for exposure to the fungus by two years of age, but only 6% of the dogs will be ill with clinical disease. There is an increased risk of infection associated with amount of time spent outdoors, a larger roaming space accessed by the dog, and increasing age.
Ear infections are a common canine health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have with an ear infection include:
Canine parvovirus is caused by infection with CPV, most often, CPV-2a or CPV-2b. All dogs are at risk for developing canine parvovirus. Puppies less than 4 months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against the virus are at increased risk for infection.
There are no specific steps you can take to prevent your dog from contracting the disease, but there is some evidence of seasonal fluctuation, with most cases appearing between November and June. New advice suggests keeping your dog away from very muddy areas.
Horner’s syndrome* results from damage to the sympathetic innervation of the eye. Signs include enophthalmos (sunken eye), miosis (small pupil), elevated third eyelid, and ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid). Usually the syndrome in dogs is idiopathic, but it can also be caused by trauma, tumors, or ear infections.
Jump up ^ Meurs KM1, Lahmers S, Keene BW, White SN, Oyama MA, Mauceli E, Lindblad-Toh K. A splice site mutation in a gene encoding for PDK4, a mitochondrial protein, is associated with the development of dilated cardiomyopathy in the Doberman pinscher. Hum Genet. 2012 Aug;131(8):1319-25.
Certain breeds are more likely to develop particular tumors, larger ones especially. The Golden Retriever is especially susceptible to lymphoma, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 8. Boxers and Pugs are prone to multiple mast cell tumors. Scottish Terriers have eighteen times the risk of mixed breed dogs to develop transitional cell carcinoma, a type of urinary bladder cancer.
“If you think your dog is too skinny, it’s probably the right weight,” Case say. Dogs with excess weight are more prone to joint problems and diabetes, among other health issues (sounds familiar). How to tell if Fluffy is chubby? “It’s all about the feel,” she adds. “Ribs shouldn’t be visible, but easily felt.” Tip: Rub your hands up and down your dog’s flank. You should feel the ridges of its ribs without having to push in to find them.
Retinal detachment* is caused in dogs by genetic disorders such as retinal dysplasia or Collie eye anomaly, trauma, inflammation or cancer. Reattachment may occur spontaneously or with medical or surgical therapy.
Diabetes mellitus in dogs is type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes: a lack of insulin production due to destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Current research indicates no evidence of type 2 diabetes in dogs. Among the causes of diabetes mellitus in dogs are autoimmune disease or severe pancreatitis. Forms of diabetes which may not be permanent, depending on the amount of damage to the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas, are transient and secondary diabetes. Some causes of transient or secondary diabetes are Cushing’s syndrome, glucocorticoid, progestin or other steroid use, and the hormones of pregnancy or heat. In these cases, correcting the primary medical issue may mean a return to non-diabetic status. Common signs include weight loss, increased drinking and urination, and cataracts. Treatment involves insulin replacement therapy, and use of a diet high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Oral diabetes medications cannot be used for dogs because none repair or surmount the permanent damage to the beta cells of the pancreas.
Leukemias* are progressive proliferation of cancerous white blood cells within the bone marrow, resulting in destruction of the bone marrow and pancytopenia in many cases. Types of leukemia in dogs include acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myelocytic leukemia, acute monocytic leukemia, acute myelomonocytic leukemia, acute megakaryocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic basophilic leukemia, and chronic eosinophilic leukemia (or hypereosinophilic syndrome).
Jump up ^ Grooters, Amy M. (2003). “Pythiosis, lagenidiosis, and zygomycosis in small animals”. The Veterinary Clinics of North America. 33 (4): 695–720. doi:10.1016/S0195-5616(03)00034-2. PMID 12910739.
Rarely, Capnocytophaga can spread to people through bites, scratches, or close contact from a dog or cat and cause illness. Most people who have contact with a dog or cat do not become sick. People with weakened immune systems who have difficulty fighting off infections (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater risk of becoming ill.
Ringworm is a fungal skin disease that in dogs is caused by Microsporum canis (70%), Microsporum gypseum (20%), and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (10%). Typical signs in dogs include hair loss and scaly skin.
Jump up ^ Thrusfield, M. V; Aitken, C. G. G; Muirhead, R. H (1989). “A field investigation of kennel cough: Efficacy of vaccination”. J. Small Animal Pract. 30 (10): 550. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.1989.tb01471.x.
This tick-borne illness is another highly preventable disease. It is caused by a bacteria transmitted by slow-feeding deer ticks that have been attached to the dog for at least 18 hours. It’s the most common of the tick-related illnesses.
The frequency of bilateral glaucoma with a genetic base in purebred dogs is higher than in any species except humans. Cataracts in dogs either have a genetic base or can also be caused by diabetes. Nuclear sclerosis resembles a cataract but is actually a normal age-related change.
What to look for: Since kennel cough is a respiratory infection, it can be easily transmitted from one dog to another when they interact. Look for lethargy, coughing, leaky nose and eyes or loss of appetite as common signs that your dog might have kennel cough.
Blastomycosis* is a fungal disease caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis that affects both dogs and humans. Dogs are ten times more likely to be infected than humans. The disease in dogs can affect the eyes, brain, lungs, skin, or bones.
What to look for: No one wants to think about their dog getting cancer. It is one of the biggest killers in dogs and one of the most expensive diseases to treat. Look out for unusual odors, lumps, drastic weight loss, or long-lasting changes in behavior.
Note: Do not attempt to handle or capture a wild animal who is acting strangely (i.e., a nocturnal animal who is out during the day, an animal who acts unusually tame). Report the animal to local animal control officers as soon as possible.
My dog was having seizures quite regularly, I had been to vets and they did not have answers. This is my empty nest child. So we constantly were changing his diet, I prayed about his health constantly and one day my husband and I were talking about it and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. STOP THE DAIRY! I used to feed him cheese like it was good for him. We have stopped the dairy for over a month and he hasn’t had a seizure since. I know this probably isn’t the answer for all fur babies but it was for mine and it changed his life.
The exact cause of diabetes is unknown. Autoimmune disease, genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, certain medications and abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas can play a major role in the development of the disease.
6. Rabies: Rabies is the disease made famous in the hearbreaking scene in Old Yeller. Thankfully, the widespread use of the rabies vaccine in recent years has made its occurrence in pets in the U.S. quite rare. However, it is still present in wild animal populations, and because rabies is always fatal, it’s critical to make sure that your pets are current on their rabies vaccination.
Plasmacytomas* are common skin tumors in dogs that derive from B lymphocytes. Most are benign. Tumors of B lymphocyte origin that affect the bone marrow and are diffuse throughout the body are malignant and are called multiple myeloma*.
Although the name suggests otherwise, ringworm isn’t caused by a worm at all—but a fungus that can infect the skin, hair and nails. This highly contagious disease can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog and can spread to other animals—and to humans, too.
There are some bacteria that are contagious from dog to dog. The most notable of these are Bordetella bronchiseptica, one of the causes of kennel cough, Leptospira sp, which cause leptospirosis, and Brucella canis, cause of brucellosis in dogs. There are also common tick-borne bacterial diseases, including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs  (see also grape and raisin toxicity in dogs). The exact mechanism is not known, nor is there any means to determine the susceptibility of an individual dog. While as little as one raisin can be toxic to a susceptible 10 pounds (4.5 kg) dog, some other dogs have eaten as much as a pound of grapes or raisins at a time without ill effects. The affected dog usually vomits a few hours after consumption and begins showing signs of renal failure three to five days later. A mycotoxin is suspected to be involved, but one has not been found in grapes or raisins ingested by affected dogs. The reason some dogs develop renal failure following ingestion of grapes and raisins is not known. The most common pathological finding is proximal renal tubular necrosis.
Sarcoptic mange is a parasitic skin disease that is caused by a tiny mite. Mange is transmitted between animals through close contact. In dogs, the mite causes severe itching and self-inflicted wounds from scratching.
Rabies is a viral disease that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs and humans. This preventable disease has been reported in every state except Hawaii. There’s good reason that the very word “rabies” evokes fear in people—once symptoms appear, rabies is close to 100% fatal.
Elbow dysplasia is a condition found more commonly in large breeds. It incorporates several different hereditary conditions of the elbow, including osteochondritis of the medial condyle of the humerus, fragmentation of the medial coronoid process of the ulna, and ununited anconeal process of the ulna.
Perianal gland tumor (also called hepatoid tumor) is a type of tumor found near the anus in dogs that arises from specialized glandular tissue found in the perineum. They are most common in intact (not neutered) male dogs.
Renal failure (kidney failure) * is common in dogs and may be found in acute or chronic forms. It is defined by a loss of function of about 75 percent of the filtration system of the kidney and characterized by azotemia and low specific gravity of the urine. Acute renal failure can be caused by loss of blood supply, hypercalcemia, or toxins such as ethylene glycol (antifreeze) or aminoglycoside antibiotics (see: ethylene glycol poisoning). Chronic renal failure can be congenital and/or inherited or caused by cancer, infection, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, amyloidosis, progressive interstitial fibrosis, or any of the causes of acute renal failure.
Dog treats are often given to pets as a reward for something they did or just to let them chew on a bone, which works their jaw muscles and helps keep their teeth clean. Although dog treats carry high benefits for dogs’ teeth, they can also be a source of problems when given excessively. The human food treats are usually the ones that cause the most trouble for dogs.
Parasites, particularly intestinal worms such as hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms, can be transmitted in a dog’s feces. Some tapeworms have fleas as intermediate hosts: the worm egg must be consumed by a flea to hatch, then the infected flea must be ingested (usually by the dog while grooming itself, but occasionally by a human through various means) for the adult worm to establish itself in the intestines. The worm’s eggs then pass through the intestines and adhere to the nether regions of the dog, and the cycle begins again.