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Dog Health Problems

Every dog owner wishes his pet a long and vibrant existence, but it seems that health issues are an inevitable fact of life. The appearance of sudden health conditions is sometimes associated with specific breeds of dog.

Age, diet, and lifestyle can also have an effect on a dog’s health. Not all dog health problems are life-threatening. Some of the most common issues are listed below.

Deafness:

A puppy can carry genes that cause deafness or this condition can arise later in life. Hereditary deafness is caused by the degeneration of nerves inside the ear. Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, English Setters, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Dalmatians are breeds susceptible to hereditary deafness.

Teaching a dog to obey hand signals, as opposed to verbal commands is the most effective way around deafness in a dog.

Arthritis:

An inflammation of the joints is what causes arthritis. This inflammation can be caused by overuse of joints, an injury, or an infection. Symptoms generally include swelling or stiffness of the affected area, as well as limping, yelping when movement occurs, or the lack of desire for physical activity due to extreme pain.

Heavier dogs and canines that are either a working breed or extremely active show signs of arthritis more often than smaller breeds. Lyme disease and Hip Dysplasia are two additional causes for canine arthritis. A variety of treatments are available today, ranging from changing a dog’s diet to administering anti-inflammatory drugs.

Constipation:

Many dogs have this common issue and it isn’t associated with any certain breed of dog. Constipation can occur because of diet, lack of adequate water intake, medications, or because the dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have. Liquid paraffin is a first aid remedy that alleviates constipation in dogs.

Parasites:

A number of parasites plague the world of canines. Fleas, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and ticks are parasites that affect the health of dogs. Most deworming medicines get rid of multiple types of worms, without the need for a different med for each worm.

Ticks and fleas can also be controlled with a single type of repellent designed for dogs. Preventative measures should be taken to reduce the risk of infection from any of these parasites, since all dogs are prone to being affected by them at any time.

Viruses:

Canine Parvo virus is an extremely contagious disease that is passed between dogs through contact with feces or even by playing with infected toys.

The sudden onset of bloody diarrhea is an initial sign of Parvo. This disease can cause death in a dog within 72 hours or less. Current vaccinations have greatly reduced the onset of this disease, but they haven’t completely eliminated its existence.

Distemper is another disease that is controlled through vaccines. This disease generally kills 80 percent of the puppies that contract it and 50 percent of adult canines. Keeping vaccines current will protect your dog against most viral diseases.

Hip Dysplasia:

When the ball and socket joint no longer function together, hip dysplasia is often the result. This is often a genetic condition, so chances are if the parents begin showing signs of hip dysplasia, their offspring will have it as well.

The signs of hip dysplasia are the same as those seen with arthritis, but they are accompanied by a bunny-hop instead of running and a swinging gait when attempting to walk normally.

Some dogs have had successful surgery to repair the loose ball and socket, while others rely on a controlled diet and/or medication. Most of these dog health problems are able to be quickly identified by a veterinarian and the dog is able to continue to lead a long and fruitful life.

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