The way life works can be rough, sometimes. There are curve balls thrown at us (and our dogs) that none of us can see coming. We are, of course, talking about dog diseases. While it could be said that there are some very specific diseases and afflictions that affect certain breeds more than others (example, deafness in dalmatians), there are certain dog diseases that can affect your dog, no matter the breed. Though it can be daunting and harrowing to talk about, we would rather you all be informed about these dog diseases in the slight chance you may ever need to deal with it. Here are ten dog diseases common to all breeds.
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Actually named the Bordatella virus, kennel cough is a highly infectious dog disease that affects the lungs and respiratory systems of canines. It got it’s side name of kennel cough because that seemed to be where the syndrome originated. A good warning sign for kennel cough would obviously be if your dog is coughing abnormally or more often than normal. Also, if that cough seems to be causing your dog pain, you may have a greater issue on your hands.
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Giardia has some messy warning signs that can at least clue you in to the fact that there might be a problem. This disease comes from a water-born parasite and can cause abdominal and intestinal pain in your dog, as well as diarrhea. Another big warning sign about this dog disease is if your dog is steadily losing weight without warning. Relax, though. Something as simple as monthly heart worm pills can keep this at bay.
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Before we talk about rabies we feel the need to point out that the movie Cujo is not fully accurate. Yes, your dog may go insane from rabies, but not all dogs get violent or vicious. The way rabies works usually is, the dog will act opposite of how it normally acts. A normally mellow dog will suddenly be spazzy and hyper. While dog that is usually hyper will seem more lethargic. And as wide spread as people think it is, the reality is, it is another one of those dog diseases that can be easily prevented with some timely shots.
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This is another dog disease that is carried by wild animals, so be aware of that. More often than not, it is acquired through drink some source of tainted or bacteria laden water. Jaundice’s appearance and high fever are just two of the signs of Leptospirosis. But symptoms only get worse from there. But again, breathe a sigh of relief. Modern veterinary medicine has come quite far, and this dog disease can be a non-issue if you just get your dog the right vaccinations regularly.
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People know of this dog disease as a result of the common canine distemper shots they get their dogs during check ups. Distemper can be a real problem, otherwise. Affecting your dog’s central nervous system, as well as their respiratory tract, distemper is nothing to ignore. Ignore the signs, and your dog may have seizures (or worse). Trust me, you do not want your dog going through that (or the horror of you having to witness it).
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So sad, yet so common. The problem with this, as you know, lies with ticks. They find their way into your dog’s coat, bury themselves, and it can be serious. The problem here runs a little deeper than some of the others on the list in the sense that once this happens, there is no cure. With Lyme Disease, it is all about prevention. Luckily, from dips to powders and pills, there are many ways you can keep ticks from messing with your dog, which greatly reduces that chance of your canine ending up with this terrible dog disease.
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Heart Disease (and Diabetes)
I am actually lumping this two together for a very specific reason. They both can be prevented 99% of the time by not over feeding your dog bad food and not giving it enough exercise. What people do not understand is just how much of an epidemic this is. While maybe we can blame the other dog diseases on the list on various variables (like ticks and such), these two fall squarely on the shoulders of us. As cute as the above pic of the obese dog may be, that is not cute. That is a dog that is running a huge risk of diabetes and of potentially fatal heart disease. Stop feeding your dogs your table scraps. The end results can be deadly.
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This one tends to surprise people when they hear about it. What? My dog can get hepatitis? Isn’t that normally a human affliction? HOnestly, you would be surprised to know how many diseases dogs and humans can both get. But with hepatitis, it does not matter the breed of dog. It is a universal health problem among dogs. But, just like with us and our own bodies, a simple vaccination shot when needed can prevent you from having to worry about this with your dog.
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This might be the “big one” if we had to dub one of these on the list the most common. Parvo can be a big problem, especially for puppies. It is usually born from contaminated feces that a puppy (or dog) may have been exposed to unknowingly. Parvo symptoms can range from diarrhea to vomiting (at times, so severely it can lead to death). Alas, take another deep breath in knowing modern animal sciences has invented a vaccination shot. Vets are truly angels in disguise. Why do you think they wear so much white?
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We know there are some breeds more naturally predisposed to get depressed than other breeds. But the sad reality is that depression can affect all dogs (just like it can affect all of us). The good thing about this one is we can do quite a bit on our end to help prevent depression in dogs. From plenty of exercise to plenty of love and affection (as well as regular food and water) can make the difference between a dog feeling hopeless and a dog feeling hopeful. Sadly, there is no shot for this one. But you have the cure for it. The cure is love.
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