Common Illnesses in Dogs

are prone to a number of . But unlike people, aren't able to seek out treatment on their own. Because they rely on you for their well-being, it's important for you to be aware of the various potential ailments and how to recognize them. Quickly identifying that something is wrong could be what saves your dog's life.

The following is a list of some of the most types of diseases and that affect dogs, and how to identify them:

Heartworms. Heartworms are a type of parasite, which spread through mosquito bites. Dogs are commonly affected by these tiny roundworms, which reside primarily in the right ventricle of the heart. Unsurprisingly, these parasites can cause serious problems for the host. Fortunately, heartworms are both treatable and preventable. Make sure you have your dog checked frequently, and talk to your vet about prevention.
Canine diabetes. About 1 in 400 dogs has diabetes, which affects their ability to produce insulin. Just as in humans, diabetes can be a serious problem in animals, especially since they are unable to monitor their blood levels themselves. However, if detected early, vets can teach you how to care for your diabetic dog. The tell-tale symptoms include rapid weight gain or loss, excessive drinking followed by frequent urination, and fragility. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, it's important to act quickly and visit a vet as soon as possible.
Obesity. Just like people, dogs require a good diet and frequent exercise to stay healthy. However, as any dog owner knows, they are prone to overeating if given the opportunity, which can lead to obesity. Obesity can lead to myriad other illnesses, such as heart problems and bad joints. Dogs enjoy running and exercise, but it takes a conscientious owner to make sure that the animal is provided with the opportunity. Dogs can also be a good way to stay in shape yourself, as a dog can be a great encouragement and running partner. Make sure you take your dog on at least one substantial walk a day to prevent obesity.
. is a condition in which the femur does not fit properly into the hip socket, a condition that can be very painful and eventually cause lameness. Arthritis very commonly accompanies hip dysplasia. You can tell that your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia if it shows signs of soreness, stands with its hind legs close together, and has problems walking. You should consult with your vet about how to treat the condition.

For more information about illnesses that may affect your dog, visit

Joseph Devine

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