Our pets rely on us to make sure they are healthy and happy. Having knowledge of some of the most common dog health problems is important so that you can be aware of which conditions are easily treated and ones that need veterinary care. You should always pay attention to the behavior of your dog. If it changes, then this should be explored further, and if the problems continue, you should definitely pay a visit to a veterinarian. With that being said, this post will cover the most common health issues in dogs and hopefully answer some of your most pressing dog health questions.
Arthritis – This is one of the most common dog health issues, typically affecting middle-aged to senior dogs. It can have a detrimental impact on their quality of life by causing chronic pain. There are many signs that your dog may be suffering from arthritis. The most obvious is if they have a limp, but other signs include longer recovery time after playing, or needing more time to get up from a lying or seated position. To help treat arthritis, you need to keep your pet at a healthy weight and ensure their nutritional levels are where they should be. If the pain is severe, talk to your veterinarian about pain medication.
Obesity – Being overweight can lead to reduce quality of life and a shorter lifespan. Body condition scoring is one way to determine if your dog is obese, and it is performed by simply feeling over an animal’s ribs and backbone. The ratings are as follows:
One – This score is for dogs that have no fat; their ribs are visible, sticking out, and they are very thin.
Three – This score is for a normal and healthy pet. If you can feel your dog’s ribs but you can’t see them, three is the score.
Five – This is for dogs that are very overweight. Apply gentle pressure; can you feel their ribs? If not, five is the score for your dog.
If the conclusion is that your dog is overweight, you must begin by taking a look at the amount of food eat. Are they eating a diet that is healthy and high-quality in relation to their breed and age? Are they eating the right amount of food? Most packets will have a feeding guide, helping you judge how much they require. Remember to include everything your dog eats, including commercial dog food, natural food, snacks, treats, and tidbits off the table.
Internal Parasites – There are numerous internal parasites that can cause problems in dogs, such as heartworm and intestinal roundworm. Heartworm, in particular, can be life threatening, and typical signs of a heartworm infection include poor physical condition, coughing, and fatigue. Roundworms can cause severe harm to growing puppies, resulting in serious digestive upset and stunted growth. You need to contact a veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has been infected by internal parasites.
Stomach and Intestinal Problems – There is no need to rush to the emergency room imminently if you see that your dog is refusing to eat or has diarrhea. However, you should see a specialist immediately if your dog has sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal bloating, or blood in their stool. Stomach issues will often clear themselves, but if your dog is vomiting frequently and is very lethargic, you need to take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be given medication and anti-inflammatories or antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Skin Problems – Skin allergies are one of the most common ailments of dogs and cats, especially in Hong Kong’s warm, humid climate. The constant itching and irritation of a skin allergy can cause significant distress to a pet, affecting their overall demeanor and quality of life. There are numerous supplements and medications that can assist in reducing skin inflammation. Anti-histamine will be sufficient in most mild cases, yet if your dog’s skin is flaring up badly, cortisone-based tablets, such as Prednil, may be required. Another option is Cyclosporine, which stops allergic responses before they even get started.
Fleas & Ticks – It only takes one flea three weeks to turn into an infestation! Signs include excessive biting of the skin, licking, scratching, hair loss, hot spots, allergic dermatitis, and flea dirt. To treat your dog, begin with a very thorough bath, after which use a flea comb to groom the animal and trap any live fleas that are left. Do this outdoors if possible, if not, vacuum the area immediately after combing. Finally, use oral medications, as these will kill the insects on the animals shortly after the dosage.
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