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5 Most Common Medical Problems in Dogs

5 Most Common Medical Problems in Dogs

  • by Rufus and Coco

They can be energetic, full of vigour, and seem to have indestructible health, but just like all living things, dogs can fall victim to a variety of illnesses, ranging from parasites to bacterial or viral infections.

We’re going to go with the assumption that you take your dog to the vet regularly for check ups, and that they are vaccinated or will have received all of their shots soon. But besides the diseases that these shots protect against, here are five common medical issues you should be on the lookout for.

 

Common Medical Problems in Dogs You Should Watch Out For

Ear infections

Ear infections can develop differently depending on several factors - the part of the ear that is affected (the inner, middle, or external ear), the dog’s anatomy (those with floppy ears develop otitis more commonly), how regularly you clean your dog’s ears, and more.

With minimal prevention and hygiene, you are actually able to make a huge amount of difference, especially if your pet has floppy ears. We recommend using the Ear & Wound Care cleaner for removing ear wax, decreasing local inflammation, and treating wounds that might have been caused by foreign bodies or could have been self-inflicted.

Parasites

Internal and external parasites are extraordinarily common in dogs, and the worst thing about them is that you have little to no control when it comes to how and when your pet will become infested.

A dog can pick up eggs or larvae of either internal or external parasites from the park, from other animals, or even from your own clothes or shoes. The best way to deal with parasites is to prevent them rather than having them treated, so talk to your vet about what OTC dewormer you can use on a regular basis.

As for external parasites, we recommend using our Flea Flee shampoo for killing lice and fleas and an Itch Relief shampoo for minimising skin irritation. Do keep in mind that fleas, ticks, and other external parasites are more active from spring to fall rather than in the winter, but that your dog can still pick them up from other animals regardless of the weather or season.

Digestive distress

This is yet another common medical problem that dogs can experience every now and then. More often than not, it is caused by people who choose to give their dogs table scraps, whether they are their owners or not.

If you have an event coming up and you and your dog will be there, make sure you tell everyone not to give them food scraps - some of them can not only cause indigestion, but can actually be life-threatening, too. 

Digestive distress can be caused by intestinal parasites, but also by bacteria such as Enterococcus, Escherichia, or Campylobacter. Vomiting and diarrhoea are the most common symptoms that pet parents should watch out for.

Dental disease

Dental disease affects humans and animals alike, but the latter do not have the luxury of caring for their teeth every single morning and evening like we do.

Unfortunately, because it is such an uncomfortable experience, a lot of pet owners avoid brushing their dog's teeth or using mouthwash to prevent bacterial plaque and tartar from forming. In time, this can lead to periodontal disease, so if you don’t care for your dog’s teeth, they could end up losing them before they reach their senior years.

To support healthy gums and teeth, as well as promote fresh breath, we recommend you use our dental water additive Breath Buddy.

 

Besides brushing your pet’s teeth, we also recommend using accessories such as Football: Treat Me Toy, which can clean your dog’s teeth surface and massage their gums, not to mention that you can also fill it with dental sticks and chews.

Skin disease

Many dogs end up developing one type of dermatitis or the other as a result of an allergy that they get from being infested with fleas. It leads them to experience intense itchiness to the point that they can engage in self-harm.

Unfortunately, even if you treat your dog’s flea infestation and kill all the fleas, your pet will experience symptoms of an allergy for a while - fleas release a sort of substance when they pierce a dog’s skin and that’s what most dogs are actually allergic to, not only the action itself.

Once you’ve solved the primary issue, we suggest using a 2 in 1 Oatmeal & Aloe Wash to calm and soothe your dog’s itchiness. Since it is hypoallergenic and safe, this one can even be used on puppies.

 

Final thoughts

There are other common health problems that dogs end up suffering from throughout their life. They range from obesity to diabetes and respiratory infections.

Your veterinarian can advise you on how you can prevent some of these, but the most important thing to remember is that you should generally keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour. The faster you get help when you notice something different, the better.

 

References:

Disorders of the Stomach and Intestines in Dogs, Alice Defarges et al, MSD Veterinary Manual, 2022: https://www.msdvetmanual.com/dog-owners/digestive-disorders-of-dogs/disorders-of-the-stomach-and-intestines-in-dogs

Canine Atopic Dermatitis: Detailed Guidelines for Diagnosis and Allergen Identification, Patrick Hansel et al, 2015: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4531508/

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