No matter how well you look after them, dogs will get sick. But if you know the most common ailments and conditions that affect dogs, you’ll be in a better position to know when to take your pup to the vet.
PetMD shares the top 10 medical conditions for dogs:
Has your dog suddenly become lame? Does it show tenderness or pain around a certain body part? It may be a sprain. Sprains can range from mild to severe and can deform a dog’s joint(s) if left untreated.
Bring your dog to the vet so that the sprain may be assessed. Then, depending on the type of sprain, your vet will treat the injury with simple wraps, hot and cold therapy, splints, or in severe cases, surgery. Your vet will also suggest that you make sure your dog gets plenty of rest to speed up the recovery process.
If your dog gains weight suddenly but isn’t eating more than usual, it could be hypothyroidism. A problem commonly seen in purebred dogs, hypothyroidism is caused when the thyroid gland stops producing the thyroid hormone, which is needed to regulate a dog’s metabolism.
Other common symptoms of hypothyroidism include a lack of appetite, baldness, flaky skin, dull coat, droopy eyelids, and stiff joints. Some dogs will also have an awful stench, regardless of how much you bathe them. To treat the condition, your vet will prescribe a thyroid supplement for your dog, which it will require for the rest of his life.
Arthritis is a painful condition that occurs when the space between two or more bones, simply referred to as joints, becomes inflamed. This can make movement significantly more difficult for your dog. If your dog suddenly begins to limp, becomes lethargic, is stiff after getting up from a rest, or stops letting you touch him or her, you will want to consult a vet.
Two common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by old age, poor nutrition and chronic joint trauma, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes a dog’s immune system to attack the joint tissues. Your vet’s course of treatment will depend on your dog’s specific type of arthritis, but it commonly includes the use of steroid therapy and surgery when joint damage is severe. Some vets like to combine traditional treatments with holistic ones, so make sure you explore your options.
No one enjoys eye infections and your pooch is no different. Some signs of infection include eye redness, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, and frequent scratching or rubbing at the eyes. Causes include conjunctivitis, jaundice, allergies and fungal infections.
Treatment will vary, depending on the underlying cause, but may include eye drops, steroids, creams and antibiotics. Eye infections can quickly become severe, leading to permanent vision problems, so why wait? Take him or her to a vet at the first sign of infection.
Like people, dogs are susceptible to bladder issues. If your doggy seems listless, strains when peeing, pees where it shouldn’t, or dribbles urine around the home, take her to the vet. Bacterial infections, stones, tumors, bladder wall inflammation and bladder defects are just some of the more common causes of bladder disease.
Treating the bladder disease will depend on the underlying cause, but may include antibiotics, flushing out stones, or even surgery, and in the case of advanced tumors, chemotherapy. A blocked bladder is serious; so make sure you bring your dog to the vet if she has trouble peeing.