1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Dog Care
  4. Guide to common dog illnesses

Guide to common dog illnesses

Here is a list of a few dog illness that you hopefully will never come across. It’s important to know the dangers of these diseases and how best to avoid them if possible. Keeping your dog up-to-date with regular vet checks can help early detection of any potential health issues.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs of any age, breed, or size. It occurs when the ball and socket joint in the hip doesn’t fit together properly, causing pain and arthritis. Hip dysplasia can be mild or severe, and it often gets worse as the dog ages. There are several things that can cause hip dysplasia, including genetics, diet, and exercise.

Some dogs are born with it, while others develop it later in life. If you think your dog may have hip dysplasia, talk to your vet about treatment options. There is no cure for hip dysplasia, but there are ways to manage the pain and keep your dog comfortable.

Von Willebrand disease

Von Willebrand disease is a blood clotting disorder that occurs when there is a deficiency of von Willebrand factor (VWF). VWF is a protein that helps blood to clot. Dogs with von Willebrand disease may have prolonged bleeding from minor cuts or trauma, and may also experience nosebleeds, bloody stools, or blood in the urine. There are two types of von Willebrand disease: type I and type II.

Type I von Willebrand disease is the most common form of the disorder, and occurs when there is a partial deficiency of VWF.

Type II von Willebrand disease occurs when there is a complete lack of VWF. Both types can be mild, moderate, or severe. Treatment for von Willebrand disease typically involves administration of VWF concentrates or desmopressin (DDAVP), which can help to raise levels of VWF in the blood and reduce bleeding episodes.

short-coated black puppy

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle in which the heart chamber becomes dilated and doesn’t contract as well. It is a progressive disease that can lead to congestive heart failure and death. DCM is most common in large breed dogs, but can be seen in any breed or mixed-breed dog. There is no known cure for DCM, but treatment options are available to help manage the disease and extend your dog’s life. The cause of DCM is unknown, but there are several theories about what may contribute to the development of the disease.

Some believe that it could be genetic, while others think that it could be caused by an underlying viral infection or autoimmune disorder. Regardless of the cause, DCM is a serious condition that requires prompt veterinary care. If you think your dog may have DCM, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will likely recommend some tests, including a chest x-ray and echocardiogram, to confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, there is no cure for DCM, but there are treatments available to help manage the disease and extend your dog’s life.

Treatment options include medications to improve heart function and control arrhythmias, as well as diet changes and exercise restrictions.

Genetic deafness

There are a number of different genetic deafness diseases that can affect dogs. The most common form of deafness in dogs is congenital sensorineural deafness, which is caused by an abnormality in the development of the inner ear. This type of deafness is usually permanent and cannot be cured. Another form of genetic deafness disease is acquired sensorineural deafness, which occurs when the nerve pathways between the inner ear and the brain are damaged. This type of deafness can often be temporary and may improve over time.

Cystinuria

Cystinuria is an inherited disease that affects the transport of cystine in the kidney and intestine. This results in an increased excretion of cystine in the urine, which can lead to stone formation. Dogs with this disease are at risk for developing stones made of cystine, which can cause obstruction of the urinary tract and potentially lead to renal failure.

Treatment involves a special diet and medication to help prevent stone formation.

Kennel cough

Kennel cough is a disease that can affect dogs of all ages, but it is most commonly seen in puppies. The disease is caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza virus, and adenovirus type 2. These viruses and bacteria can cause a dog to develop a dry, hacking cough that may be accompanied by sneezing or gagging. In some cases, the cough may be so severe that it leads to vomiting. Kennel cough is highly contagious and can spread quickly through areas where there are large numbers of dogs, such as kennels, shelters, and dog parks. Treatment for kennel cough typically involves antibiotics and rest. In severe cases, hospitalisation may be necessary.

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs of all ages, though puppies and unvaccinated dogs are most susceptible. The disease is spread through contact with contaminated bodily fluids, such as saliva, urine or blood, and can quickly lead to severe respiratory illness, gastrointestinal problems and neurological damage. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to the success of treatment, but even with prompt medical care, canine distemper can be fatal in some cases.

There is no specific cure for canine distemper, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting the dog’s immune system as it fights the virus. Treatment options include hospitalisation for intensive supportive care, administration of antiviral medications and aggressive hydration therapy. In some cases, dogs may also require oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation to assist with breathing.

Prevention of canine distemper is through vaccination of puppies and adult dogs according to your veterinarian’s recommendations. Puppies should receive their first vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age followed by booster shots every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Adult dogs should be vaccinated every 1-3 years depending on their risk factors for exposure to the virus.

Canine parvovirus

Canine parvovirus disease is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs of all ages, but is most often seen in puppies. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and death. Treatment for canine parvovirus disease requires aggressive supportive care and typically includes hospitalisation. Canine parvovirus disease is caused by a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptom of the disease is severe vomiting and diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and death.

Puppies are most susceptible to the virus, but it can affect dogs of all ages. Treatment for canine parvovirus disease requires aggressive supportive care and typically includes hospitalisation. Canine parvovirus disease is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs of all ages, but is most often seen in puppies. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and death. Treatment for canine parvovirus disease requires aggressive supportive care.

Degenerative myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a disease of the spinal cord in dogs that results in progressive paralysis. The cause is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. There is no cure for DM, but treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for affected dogs.

Symptoms of DM usually begin when a dog is between 8 and 14 years old. They may include weakness in the hind legs, knuckling over of the paws, and difficulty rising from a lying or sitting position. As the disease progresses, the weakness will spread to the front legs and eventually lead to paralysis. Dogs with DM typically live 2-3 years after diagnosis, but some may live much longer with proper care and management.

There are several things that can be done to help manage DM and make your dog more comfortable. These include providing assistance with mobility, modifying your home to make it easier for your dog to get around, and working with a veterinarian on a nutrition plan that meets your dog’s needs.

Bloat

Bloat disease is a medical condition that can affect dogs of any age, breed or size. It occurs when the stomach twists on itself, trapping gas and causing bloating. Bloat disease is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated immediately. Early signs of bloat disease include restlessness, drooling, pacing and panting. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Progressive retinal atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disease that affects the retina of the eye and can eventually lead to blindness. It is a degenerative condition that usually affects both eyes, although one may be worse than the other. PRA typically progresses slowly over months or years, and there is currently no cure. However, dogs with PRA can still enjoy a good quality of life with proper management.

There are several different types of PRA that have been identified in dogs, but they all share some common symptoms. These include night blindness, which is often the first sign noticed by owners; gradual loss of vision during the daytime; and eventual complete blindness. Some dogs also develop an abnormal pupil size or shape as the disease progresses.

While there is no cure for PRA, there are ways to help your dog adjust and cope with vision loss. For example, you can provide them with plenty of opportunities to exercise their senses of smell and hearing, and create a safe environment at home so they can navigate easily. If your dog does become blind, special care will be needed to keep them healthy and happy – but it’s important to remember that they can still enjoy a great quality of life despite their visual impairment.

Allergies & food intolerances

Another one that’s often overlooked are allergies and food intolerances. Just like humans, dogs too can be allergic to certain foods, pollens, fabrics, etc. Allergies can develop at any age, and can get worse as your dog ages. Certain breeds are more known for allergies, like, Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters and West Highland Terriers. Signs of allegiances include coughing, wheezing, flatulence, skin irritation, hair loss, etc.

What’s the difference between an allergy and an intolerance ? A true food allergy affects the immune system. A food allergy is an immune reaction to a food protein. A food intolerance is a reaction that does not involve the immune system.

Updated on August 1, 2022

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave a Comment