No one likes the fact that pets age, just like people do. There are 7 health conditions that hit dogs that I’ve listed below. Some are more commonly seen in certain breeds. It’s helpful to be aware of these health conditions, so that you may be better prepared for them if they arrive. If you have a purebred dog, then you might want to check to see what health concerns there might be for your specific breed, in case you don’t already know.
Canines affected by the virus or viruses that cause kennel cough are usually able to kick the cough all on their own. However, they can be made more comfortable with cough suppressants and the healing process can be hastened with antibiotics. A majority of the canine population gets some form of kennel cough in their lifetime. The actual coughing observed in dogs is probably more stressful for their humans to watch than it is for the dog to deal with.
These threadlike worms are parasitic and eventually fill a dog’s heart to the point where it proves fatal. A dog can be infected up to 6 months before there is ever any sign of heartworm infection. Late signs include rapid weight loss, coughing up blood, and fainting, which all lead up to congestive heart failure. Thankfully there is a monthly medication that can be given to dogs to prevent the chance of heartworms ever developing.
Anemia is the same in dogs as it is in humans. It is the reduction in hemoglobin or red blood cells or both of these. Blood tests are usually performed in order to diagnose anemia, but there are some early warning signs as well. Two main signs are lethargy and the fading of color in the gums. While anemia in humans is usually caused from a lack of iron, this isn’t the case in canines. Dogs generally become anemic after a loss of blood. Severe cases of anemia require blood transfusions.
Larger dogs are more susceptible to diabetes than smaller ones. The development of diabetes in dogs also has to do with how old the dog is and if diabetes runs in his family. Type I diabetes can be easily managed with a strict diet, while Type II requires this as well as insulin injections. Common signs of diabetes include extreme thirst, lethargy, an increase in urination, and unexplained changes in weight.
PRA is a blinding disorder that is usually hereditary and often associated with specific breeds of dog. The rods inside the eye are affected first and then the cones are affected as PRA advances. When the rods become affected, dogs have a difficult time maneuvering in dim light. Once the cones are affected, they can no longer see in bright light either. Some breeds of dog show signs of PRA when they are puppies, while other breeds don’t begin to display symptoms until they reach adulthood.
Dogs can be allergic to a number of things; fleas, foods, or surroundings. Not only flea bites can cause allergic reactions, but sometimes the flea medication themselves are a source of irritation to a dog’s skin. There are certain products in dog food that some canines are sensitive to, such as wheat, corn, eggs, and soy. Thankfully only about 10 percent of the canine population shows signs of food allergies. It is even possible for dogs to be allergic to the type of detergent used to wash their bedding. Be on the lookout for skin rashes and constant itching.
Large dogs have more issues with hip dysplasia that small dogs do. This disease eventually causes dogs to become crippled, due to the abnormal formation of the hip socket. Arthritis in the hips is generally caused by hip dysplasia. Dogs will try to compensate for hip dysplasia by resorting to bunny hopping when trying to get around or standing with their hind legs closer together. There is no cure for this condition, but there are medications that can ease the pain and inflammation. Some owners go so far as to put their dogs through a hip replacement surgery.
It’s hard to watch a dog grow old, but it’s even harder to know that there are so many health conditions that can affect them when they are young too. These 7 health conditions that hit dogs aren’t easy to read about. Have you every had a beloved canine companion with any of the conditions listed above?
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