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Because infection can potentially spread over a dog’s body and infect other animals and people, it is important that you see your vet for an accurate diagnosis if your pet is showing any signs of a skin problem.
“Some will get secondary infections with bacteria. Some dogs can die but it’s pretty uncommon. That’s more likely in dogs that already have other diseases: respiratory disease, heart disease or other things that make them more likely to get a serious illness,” he said.
What to look for: Since there are so many kinds of allergies dogs can have (from food to flea/tick bites and a wide range of other possibilities), it’s important to look for any change in behavior when exposed to something new. If your dog goes a few days showing lack of energy, has a consistent cough or sneeze, or if anything else seems out-of-place, you might be dealing with allergies.
Being familiar with these common dog health issues should help you know which ones you can treat yourself, and when it’s time to see a vet. If you find yourself visiting the vet often perhaps pet insurance is something you should consider. It can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket cost when visiting your veterinarian. Check out our Pet Insurance Comparison to see which pet insurance providers might be a good fit for your family.
There are all types of canine cancers, and they seem to be on the rise. A staggering 50 percent of dogs aged ten and older will develop some form of cancer, and it’s the leading cause of death of dogs in this age group.
Ringworm is a condition caused by a fungus that can infect skin, hair, and nails of both people and animals. Ringworm is transmitted from animals to people through direct contact with an infected animal’s skin or hair. Puppies are most commonly affected and can have circular areas of hair loss anywhere on the body.
Back pain* in dogs, particularly in long-backed breeds, such as Basset Hounds and Dachshunds, is usually caused by intervertebral disk disease. It is caused by degeneration and protrusion of the disk and compression of the spinal cord. It occurs most commonly in the cervical and thoracolumbar regions. Signs include back pain, hind limb weakness, and paralysis.[39]
Prostate cancer* is rare in dogs and occurs in both intact and neutered animals. It is malignant. The most common type is adenocarcinoma. Signs include blood in the urine and straining to urinate or defecate. It most commonly spreads to bone and the lungs.[161]
Jump up ^ Carmichael, L. (2004). “Neonatal Viral Infections of Pups: Canine Herpesvirus and Minute Virus of Canines (Canine Parvovirus-1)”. Recent Advances in Canine Infectious Diseases. Archived from the original on 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2006-06-25.
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.[71]
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*.[161]
Jump up ^ . Certain preparation methods of chocolate with other food items may increase the resultant theobromine levels. Such common prepared items include chocolate-coated accessory-fruits such as strawberries and combinations including caster sugars such as chocolate cookies. Carson, Delbert G.; Griffin, James M. (1992). Dog Owner’s Home Veteniary Handbook,. MacMillan General Reference. p. 19. ISBN 0-87605-537-4.
Urinary tract infection*, specifically cystitis or bladder infection, is common in dogs and usually caused by bacteria. Signs include blood in the urine (hematuria), difficulty urinating (dysuria), and frequent urination (polyuria).[154] The most common types of bacteria cultured from the urine of dogs with cystitis are E. coli, Staphylococcus spp., Proteus mirabilis, Streptococcus spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter spp.[155]
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in southwestern Ontario announced this week it has confirmed infections in two dogs brought to Canada from South Korea by a U.S.-based dog rescue group. Both dogs have the H3N2 strain and their new owners have placed each of them into quarantine, away from other pets.
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is a bone disease in rapidly growing large breed dogs. Signs include swelling of the metaphysis (the part of the bone adjacent to the joint), pain, depression, loss of appetite, and fever. The disease is usually bilateral in the limb bones.[41]
Degenerative (myxomatous) mitral valve disease* is a common cause of congestive heart failure in dogs, especially small, older dogs.[48] The leaflets of the valve become thickened and nodular, leading to mitral valve regurgitation and volume overload of the left side of the heart. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Dachshunds have an inherited form of this disease.[49]
If your dog is showing any abnormal clinical signs as listed above, make an appointment to see your veterinarian immediately. If a diabetic dog is not treated, he can develop secondary health problems like cataracts and severe urinary tract problems. Ultimately, untreated diabetes can cause coma and death.
Tick-borne diseases are common in dogs. Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and spread by Ixodes pacificus on the West coast of the United States and by I. scapularis (deer tick) in the rest of the U.S. Signs and symptoms include fever, joint swelling and pain, lameness, and swelling of the lymph nodes. It has been diagnosed in dogs in all 48 states of the continental U.S.[7] Ehrlichia canis, which causes canine ehrlichiosis, and Rickettsia rickettsii, which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are both spread by the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineous.[8]
It is not yet clear whether or not vitamins and supplements should be administered in dogs—opinions among veterinarians vary widely. While some think that vitamins and supplements are necessary and can improve the health of a dog, others believe that they are unnecessary and may harm the dog. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dogs receive a complete and balanced diet from the commercially processed dog food alone. Pet owners who give their dogs homemade diets may incorporate extra vitamins and supplements.
Sick sinus syndrome* is most commonly seen in female Miniature Schnauzers. It is characterized by sinoatrial node dysfunction and may include atrioventricular node disease and bundle branch block. Electrocardiogram findings include sinus bradycardia, sinus arrest, sinoatrial heart block, and atrial tachycardia. The major clinical sign is fainting (syncope).[49]
Laryngeal paralysis is unilateral or bilateral paralysis of the larynx. In dogs it can be congenital, seen in the Bouvier des Flandres, Bull Terrier, Dalmatian, Rottweiler and Huskies, or an acquired, idiopathic disease, seen in older Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, St. Bernards, and Irish Setters. Signs include change in voice and difficulty breathing.[61]
Blastomycosis is another very serious fungal disease that affects dogs near the Great Lakes region and other Eastern U.S. river basins. The fungus lives in soil sheltered from the sun, mainly along riverbanks, lakes, and swamps. Most dogs who get it live within 400 meters of a body of water. Large breed male dogs are most at risk and symptoms typically include difficulty breathing, skin lesions, and loss of appetite.
Treat your dog to prevent fleas, ticks, heart worm, and other ickies from making your dog their home, says Kerns. The health effects of infestation are far worse than pesticide side effects. That said, don’t overdo it, she warns. “Use what’s absolutely necessary for your environment,” rather than mindlessly dosing your dog every month against pests it’s not like to encounter. Tip: You can check the prevalence of pests in your area at capcvet.org.
Jump up ^ Schütt, T; Toft, N; Berendt, M (2015). “Cognitive function, progression of age-related behavioral changes, biomarkers, and survival in dogs more than 8 years old”. Journal of veterinary internal medicine. 29 (6): 1569–77. doi:10.1111/jvim.13633. PMC 4895687 . PMID 26463980.
Spondylosis*, known as spondylosis deformans in dogs, is growth of osteophytes on the ventral and lateral surfaces of the vertebral bodies. It is usually an incidental finding on radiographs and rarely causes symptoms.[39]
What to look for: The signs of obesity might seem obvious, but having regular weight checks is important in order to keep records of your dog’s weight over time. It is important to recognize your dog’s weight gain early to give him the best chance possible for recourse.
Jump up ^ Mordecai, Adam L.; Bain, Perry J.; Latimer, Kenneth S. “Blastomycosis In Dogs and Cats”. College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Archived from the original on 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
Thrombocytosis* is a condition characterized by an excess of platelets. Most cases are physiologic (caused by exercise) or reactive (secondary to some cancers, blood loss, or certain drugs). Rarely the condition is caused by a primary bone marrow disorder. In this last case, the platelets may not function normally, causing the blood to not clot properly.[44]
3. Dental disease: While everyone dreads “dog breath,” a stinky mouth is no joke. Both cats and dogs can develop tartar, gum disease, and cavities that require a professional dental cleaning. Dental disease is the perfect example of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” because bad oral health can also lead to dangerous heart and kidney conditions in pets. Teach your kittens and puppies that brushing their teeth is a normal part of your grooming routine and save your pet a dental procedure down the line.
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.[148] Acute renal failure can be caused by loss of blood supply, hypercalcemia, or toxins such as ethylene glycol (antifreeze) or aminoglycoside antibiotics[149] (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.[150]
Genetic conditions are a problem in some dogs, particularly purebreeds. For this reason many of the national kennel clubs require that dogs with certain genetic illnesses or who are deemed to be carriers cannot be registered. Some of the most common conditions include hip dysplasia, seen in large breed dogs, von Willebrand disease, a disease that affects platelets that is inherited in Doberman Pinschers, entropion, a curling in of the eyelid seen in Shar Peis and many other breeds, progressive retinal atrophy, inherited in many breeds, deafness, and epilepsy, known to be inherited in Belgian Shepherd Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Cocker Spaniels, and St. Bernards.[14]
Nutritious mass-market food abounds, says Linda Case, author of Dog Food Logic, but some of the best products come from smaller companies that make food in their own US facilities. Sure, you can feed your dog on 15 cents a day, but making the investment in higher-priced food, say at a few dollars a day, can mean the difference between giving your dog chicken and serving it ground chicken heads (yes, gross!). Tip: Grain should not be one of the first two ingredients on the label, and the protein source should be named (“trout” not “fish,” for example). Bonus: Worried about pet-food recalls? Follow the American Veterinary Medical Association on Twitter @AVMARecallWatch or its Facebook page to stay informed.
Treating hot spots may involve shaving and cleaning the irritated area, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), steroids, or topical medications, depending on how bad the hot spots are, and how much pain your pooch is in.
Ringworm infections in people can appear on almost any area of the body. These infections are usually itchy. Redness, scaling, cracking of the skin, or a ring-shaped rash may occur. If the infection involves the scalp or beard, hair may fall out. Infected nails become discolored or thick and may possibly crumble.
Jump up ^ Washabau, Robert J. (2005). “Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders of Dogs and Cats”. Proceedings of the 30th World Congress of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Retrieved 2007-01-14.

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:

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