Dogs are wonderful, loyal companions. They love us unconditionally and soothe our worries with their cuddles and kisses. They also bring us joy, laughter, and companionship. But that unconditional love comes with a price. Dogs are susceptible to many of the same diseases as humans, which can be deadly if left untreated.
According to Statista, 69 million houses have at least one dog as a pet. Dogs are the most widely owned type of pet In the U.S.
Dogs can also fall prey to illness and disease. And when it comes to your pets, an early diagnosis of a disease is key to preventing further complications and ensuring that your pet gets the best treatment possible.
You cannot determine if your dog might be sick by looking at them or observing their behavior. However, there are some common diseases in dogs that can be easily prevented and even cured with routine care:
Heartworm is a parasitic infection that can be transmitted through mosquito bites. Heartworm larvae can migrate to the heart and lungs, where they grow into adulthood and reproduce. Once they have matured, heartworms can cause heart failure, anemia, and death if left untreated. Heartworm medications are available in pills or chewable forms that prevent the larvae from maturing into adults.
Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic drug. Coupled with other drugs, it can prevent heartworm, hookworm, and roundworm in dogs. This drug is available in chewable tablets, which can be easily given to dogs.
A prevalent brand the veterinarian recommends and prescribes is Heartgard Plus Chewables for dogs. These chewable tablets contain Ivermectin and Pyrantel Pamoate for treating heartworm. The chewable tablets are made of beef, so the dogs love eating them. It’s like a treat for them. This medicine needs a veterinary prescription and is given once a month.
Parvovirus is a highly contagious, life-threatening virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. It’s one of only two viruses that can cause disease in puppies and adult dogs. A parvovirus infection can be fatal, but if your dog does contract the virus, it’ll likely survive with treatment.
For example, puppies younger than six months old generally don’t have enough immunity to fight off parvo. They need antibiotics and intravenous fluids to stay alive until they’re old enough for their immune systems to kick into gear. The good news is that vaccination is the best way to prevent parvo from even making its way into your pup’s system.
According to APPA National Pet Owners Survey, the average annual expenditure on a dog for surgical and routine vet visits is $458 and $242, respectively. Timely vaccination and diagnosis of any disease helps to control this amount further.
3. Lyme disease
Lyme disease symptoms in dogs are fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. A vet will need to determine whether or not your dog has the disease using tests such as an ELISA or Western Blot test. If you suspect your dog may have been exposed to ticks, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Preventing Lyme disease is simple:
Check your pet for ticks daily, especially if they frequently travel through wooded areas where tick populations tend to be higher. If you find a tick on your pet’s body, they are usually black.
Remove it with tweezers immediately.
Do not use chemicals like gasoline or alcohol to try and kill them off because these can cause severe burning pain or tissue damage if applied directly onto the skin.
After removing the tick, wash your hands before handling any other pets to disinfect everything that comes into contact with it.
Finally, monitor their behavior throughout the day so that you can spot any early warning signs like lethargy and fever. It may indicate a potential infection developing inside them.
4. Parainfluenza or Bordetella
Parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can cause mild to severe illness in dogs, especially puppies. The virus spreads through the air and is primarily airborne. It targets the lining of your dog’s upper respiratory tract and lungs, causing fever, nasal discharge, coughing, and wheezing.
Many kennels have an outbreak of this disease at some point during the year because it’s easily spread through infected dogs entering or leaving a boarding facility or park. You can help prevent parainfluenza by keeping your pet away from other dogs you suspect have been exposed to it until they are fully recovered.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect dogs and humans. The disease is spread through the urine of infected animals, making it more likely for dogs to contract it than humans.
Dogs are most at risk because they spend time outside, where they may come into contact with infected wildlife, such as rabbits or mice, which carry leptospirosis bacteria in their urine.
Rabies is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system. It is almost always fatal and can spread through the saliva of an infected animal, including dogs, cats, and bats. The virus can be spread by a bite or through contact with mucous membranes if you are exposed to the saliva of an infected animal.
If you suspect that another animal has bitten your pet, it’s important not to touch it yourself, even if it seems like a small injury. Instead, call your veterinarian immediately so they can assess the situation and recommend treatment options based on their findings.
7. Canine Distemper
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs or animals. It causes coughing, fever, and diarrhea in dogs. The virus that causes canine distemper is spread through the air by respiratory secretions, like coughing and sneezing of infected dogs. An infected dog can also shed the virus in its urine or feces.
Canine distemper vaccinations are safe and effective in preventing this deadly disease if given before exposure to the virus occurs. Because puppies are especially susceptible to contracting canine distemper when they are born, they must get their first series of vaccines as early as four weeks old.
After that, they will have protection from birth onward through adulthood. It’s also important for their mothers to receive their vaccination against canine distemper during pregnancy if possible.
Don’t Forget Pet Insurance
Don’t forget to get your dog insured. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the pet health insurance market has increased by 27.7 percent over the last year. By the end of 2021, 4.41 million pets were insured. You also can get insurance for your dog. It will help you in an emergency.
If you have a dog, you should know that they are susceptible to many different diseases. Some of these illnesses can be treated with medication, and others may require surgery. Therefore, it is important to keep your pet healthy, so they do not get sick or cause other people around them to get sick.
Vaccinations are an essential part of health care for dogs and cats. They help prevent diseases like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and more. Vaccines can also reduce the risk of heartworm disease that affects cats and dogs by preventing them from contracting the disease from mosquitos and other means.