There’s nothing that makes a dog owner more distraught than seeing their dog sick. Certain illnesses are common among dogs and continue to fester, and one must be aware of the illnesses as well as its probable cures. Some of them don’t necessary require medical aid, but it is always better to follow medical advice. It helps to know about these illnesses not just to prevent them from happening but also to ease them out of their suffering. Some illnesses are not evident right from the start. Therefore, one must always be on the constant lookout for signs and symptoms. Here is a lowdown on some of the most common ailments among dogs.
Fleas- extremely common among dogs and can fester just as easily. The one good thing about them is that they are easy to spot, as one gets suspicious when your dog starts scratching itself more than usual. The scratching proceeds to biting, hair loss and bleeding. These blood sucking creatures should preferably not be treated with synthetic or artificial repellents unless absolutely necessary. Frequent baths with lukewarm water and mild soap is the easiest way to combat fleas. Use of flea combs, flea collars and flea sprays is another effective way to deal with fleas. Flea combs physically remove fleas while flea sprays provide with a shine to your dogs coat too. Some natural repellents such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and lavender oil are just as good in getting rid of fleas.
Ear infections-are most common among dogs, especially breeds such as cocker spaniels and beagles that have hanging ears. This is owing to their smaller ear canals which are prone to ear infections. The tell tale signs include swelling of the ear, strange odor from the ear, redness and frequent vigorous scratching or head shaking. Thorough cleansing with a gentle cleanser, preferably vet prescribed is needed as the ear is a sensitive body part. One must not overdo, if frequent cleansing causes irritation or pain to the dog. Extra moisture aggravates the problem, so the dog should be kept out of water. Also, heredity, food and climate can be incompatible with your dog, which could be a probable cause of the infection.
Worms-tapeworms, roundworms and ringworms are common parasites in dogs. They are typically acquired from food or drinking something that contains worms or if bitten by mosquitoes and flies that carry them. What is troublesome is that they are difficult to spot and the symptoms become evident only after the situation worsens. Usually when your dog starts portraying symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, potbellies, low energy, change in appetite, itching, irritation, rapid weight loss and dull coat, it could mean that it is caused by worms. Fleas and ticks are common carriers of worms, so they should be prevented. Worms can only be treated by providing proper medical aid. Regular checkups every three to six months by your veterinarian doctor is absolutely essential to ensure your dog’s good health.
Arthritis- is fairly common among dogs but sadly is surprisingly hard to recognize. Owners tend to ignore limps as a result of physical activity, but limping along with favoring one leg over another while walking are sure signs of arthritis. An otherwise active dog suddenly starts showing reluctance to run or even walk, or if it tires too easily could also signify arthritis. Arthritis is difficult to heal completely. Moderate exercise can help in the healing process. At the same time one must make sure that it does not jump around too much or exert himself. Overweight dogs are especially prone to effects of arthritis. Hence weight loss and increased physical activity is especially important in such a case. Arthritis being a severe condition needs proper veterinarian help and guidance for treatment.
Typically dullness in an otherwise happy dog, decrease/loss of appetite, loss of hair, diarrhea, excessive sleeping, lethargy or whining are signs that one must not ignore. One must not shrug it off as just another bad day. Even if these symptoms subside after a few days, one must stick to precautionary measures as advised by the veterinary doctor to prevent future relapse. A sick dog can be allowed to go venture outside the confines of the house as long as relevant precautions are taken. Such as the weather conditions must be taken into consideration. If it is too cold, a soft coat is essential. Similarly in hot weather, the dog’s paws must be protected at all times.
A sick dog in the house does not bode well with the family members either. To aid in quicker recovery, the dog must be kept comfortable all the time. A warm cozy bed in a calm and quiet place is necessary. Its favorite toy, good nutrition and a constantly filled bowl of water by its side will ensure in a better recovery. One must take special care of elderly dogs as they are prone to greater side effects. Keeping a constant check in the progress of his recovery is essential so that in case of any relapse, the doctor can be referred to immediately, and necessary measures can be taken.