“Anytime you’re out with your dog,” says Pat Miller, author of The Power of Positive Dog Training, “one of you is training the other.” Better for it to be you. Begin as early as 8 weeks, before it picks up bad behaviors, and continue even into old age to keep your dog sharp. Make training about reward, not punishment. (Old-school devices like choke collars injure and instill fear, Miller says, “the most common cause of canine aggression.”) When housebreaking, “keep your puppy under close supervision and take it outside more often than he needs to go,” says Miller. “Reward it when it goes to the bathroom so it learns that this is the right way to do it.” Tip: “A well-trained dog has more opportunities to improve its physical health,” Miller adds. Walks, fetch, and agility training are more fun for you both if your dog will come when called, wait when asked, and greet other people and pups politely.
Yes, puppies are a bundle of energy, but even they need disciplined exercise like leash walks. However, don’t start running and hiking with your pooch until your larger-breed dog is at least 1.5 years old. This will help avoid injuries while the growth plates in the legs and other long bones are still knitting closed. Tip: Be sure to build up your dog’s endurance, just as you did your own, if you’re hoping to take it with you on those marathon-training runs.
Certain types of dog or puppy adoptions, like international pet adoption, might not be suitable for your family because of the risk for disease. This is particularly true if young children, pregnant women, or persons with weak immune systems are living in the household. Persons with weak immune systems may include the elderly or people with an illness such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS, or those undergoing chemotherapy.
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).
Infected people will typically have a red “bull’s eye” rash at the site of the tick bite that appears about 7 days after being bitten. Flu-like symptoms quickly follow the rash. If not treated, this disease can spread to other parts of the body and cause symptoms such as arthritis and loss of facial muscle tone (Bell’s palsy). Lyme disease can be fatal.
The dog tapeworm is a parasite spread to dogs, cats, and people through the ingestion of infected fleas. This parasite is common but rarely causes illness in pets or people. Infections with Dipylidium caninum can sometimes be detected by finding rice-like segments of the tapeworm crawling near the anus or in fresh bowel movements. In severe infections, pets can lose weight and have mild diarrhea.
Atopy* is an allergy to a substance with which the dog is not necessarily in direct contact. It is a type I hypersensitivity to a substance that is inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Up to 10 percent of dogs are affected. It is common in dogs, especially seen in breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Shih Tzus. The most common symptom is itching. Affected areas include the underside, the face, the feet, and the ears.
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).
Jump up ^ “17 Products With Xylitol Which Could Kill Your Dog & Marketing Phrases Indicating Xylitol As A Possible Ingredient, Dog, Cat and other Pet Friendly Travel Articles”. www.petswelcome.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
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.
Liver failure* is common. Signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and jaundice. Causes include bacterial or viral infection, toxic insult, cancer, copper storage diseases, or it may be idiopathic.
People start showing signs 2-14 days after exposure; these may include fever, rash, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and muscle pain. RMSF can develop into a serious illness if not promptly treated.
How to treat: Prevention is your best option. It starts with getting your dog shots every year. You should also monitor your dog’s activity to make sure he isn’t interacting with rabies infected animals in the wild. If you suspect that your dog has rabies, call Animal Control immediately and avoid your dog as much as possible.
Ventricular septal defect* is a hole in the division between the heart ventricles (interventricular septum). It is a congenital heart disease in dogs. There usually are no signs in dogs except for a heart murmur. However, a large defect can result in heart failure or in pulmonary hypertension leading to a right-to-left shunt.
Dental disease is very common. Calculus is the most obvious sign, but gingivitis progressing to periodontitis is what results in tooth loss. Treatment involves scaling and polishing of the teeth under general anesthesia and treatment of any periodontal disease. Prevention is very important and can be accomplished through the use of special diets or treats, brushing, and plaque prevention gels.
9. Diabetes: Just like with humans, pets can develop diabetes as part of the aging process. While diabetes in cats and dogs can often be controlled by a plan of diet and exercise, some pets will require regular insulin shots.
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.
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 ^ Heuter, Kerry J.; Langston, Cathy E. (2003). “Leptospirosis: A re-emerging zoonotic disease”. The Veterinary Clinics of North America. 33 (4): 791–807. doi:10.1016/S0195-5616(03)00026-3. PMID 12910744.
Visit a veterinarian for routine evaluation and care to keep your dog healthy and prevent infectious diseases. Keeping your dog on a monthly preventative for fleas, heartworms, and other parasites, and up to date on vaccinations can help prevent certain diseases.
It is suspected the disease spreads from muddy and wooded areas – dog owners who do walk their dogs in these places are advised to wash off any mud as soon as possible, and of course, keep close control of their dogs at all times to monitor where they go.
Jump up ^ Daminet, Sylvie (2010). “Canine Hypothyroidism: Update on Diagnosis and Treatment”. Proceedings of the 35th World Congress of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
You need a heads-up on potential health problems and their risk factors, so you can prevent them altogether. Well, here it is: the most common yet preventable dog diseases, along with expert advice from California veterinarian Dr. Nicole Eckholm of the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin.
It’s not uncommon to find your dog eating feces. Some consume their own or other dogs’ feces; others seem to prefer cat feces (which, due to the feline digestive system, are high in protein and consumed by many animals in the wild) This can be harmful if the feces has any pathogens or parasites or contain excreted drugs.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog shows any of the clinical signs mentioned on the list above. Should your dog receive a diagnosis of cancer, you may wish to consult a veterinary oncologist, often employed by specialty veterinary practices and teaching hospitals.
Jump up ^ Arnold S (1997). “[Urinary incontinence in castrated bitches. Part 1: Significance, clinical aspects and etiopathogenesis]”. Schweiz. Arch. Tierheilkd. (in German). 139 (6): 271–6. PMID 9411733.
Veterinary parasitology studies both external and internal parasites in animals. External parasites, such as fleas, mites, ticks and mosquitoes can cause skin irritation and are often carriers of other diseases or of internal parasites.
Lyme disease is a bacterial disease of people and animals transmitted by ticks. In dogs the most common signs of illness of Lyme disease are lameness, fever, reluctance to eat, lack of energy, and enlarged lymph nodes, with or without swollen, painful joints.
How to treat: Early detection gives your dog the best chance for recovery. Surgery can remove the tumor in some cases, depending on the type and location of the cancer. In others, medications can be prescribed to allow your dog to tolerate the pain better. See your vet immediately if you suspect your dog might have cancer.
Jump up ^ Authement JM, Boudrieau RJ, Kaplan PM (1989). “Transient, Traumatically Induced, Central Diabetes Insipidus in a Dog”. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
Facial nerve paralysis* is most commonly caused in dogs by trauma, otitis media, or as an idiopathic condition. Signs include an inability to blink, drooping of the ear, and drooping of the lips on the affected side, although in chronic conditions fibrosis occurs and the ear and lips may appear to be in an abnormal position.
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.