When you become a pet parent, you welcome the good times as well as the inevitable dog health problems that come up. Taking good care of your pup can decrease his or her chance of developing dog sicknesses, illnesses or diseases, but common dog health issues can still occur.
The best type of pet parent is an educated pet parent, though, so with your loving care and knowledge you can ensure your dog lives a happy and comfortable life.
As with people, dogs can suffer from arthritis as they age. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints in the body. Multiple forms of arthritis that affect dogs, and the most common type is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage that protects the bones of a joint is destroyed. The joint loses any lubricating protection, which causes friction between bones and results in significant pain.
General arthritis is caused by autoimmune disorders, genetic joint instability, injury or trauma to ligaments, joint infections, or abnormal cartilage growth. Osteoarthritis is a condition impacting older or elderly dogs due to ageing, hip or elbow dysplasia, obesity, high activity levels, and metabolic diseases.
The primary symptoms of arthritis are lameness, stiffness, reluctance to walk or climb up and down stairs, inactivity or sleeping more, unusual weight gain, or loss of appetite.
Your dog’s arthritis can be treated in multiple ways. A nutritious diet, weight control, non-steroidal pain medications, light exercise, massage and acupuncture, and physical rehabilitation (particularly water exercise) are all successful means by which to manage arthritis in dogs.
There are a variety of autoimmune diseases that are common dog health problems. Canine autoimmune diseases cause a dog’s immune system to attack the body’s tissues and cells as opposed to defending them from outside infections and illnesses. There are multiple autoimmune disorders that affect dogs, including:
Autoimmune issues can be fatal to dogs; therefore, your dog will need a veterinarian to perform an accurate diagnosis and design a treatment plan.
For more on the three top autoimmune diseases in dogs, read our article Autoimmune Diseases in Dogs: Common issues, Symptoms & Treatments
Canine autoimmune disorders and diseases have four primary causes: genetics, vaccine reactions, sulfa antibiotic medications, and disease-carrying ticks. It can be challenging to pinpoint an exact cause of a dog’s autoimmune disorder, and veterinarians must analyze blood samples, genetic histories, as well as perform X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds to diagnose a dog with this condition.
Although specific forms of autoimmune diseases have particular symptom associations, some symptoms appear in all types of canine autoimmune disorders. These symptoms are the most commonly found in dogs with this medical issue:
Autoimmune disorders are treated from multiple angles. Corticosteroid immunosuppressive drugs and topical ointments, surgery, blood transfusions, and prednisone are traditional medical options for treating these diseases. Alternative treatments include physical therapy and hydrotherapy, acupuncture and massage, supplements, and dietary changes to unprocessed foods without preservatives, dyes, and chemicals.
When a dog’s bone breaks, it results in significant pain and discomfort. It’s relatively easy for a dog to break a bone. A dog’s front and back legs have three bones that can break in many ways for different reasons. Here are the ways a dog can break a bone:
Your dog can break a bone quite suddenly. Generally, a broken bone occurs when there is some type of impact or sudden force to the dog’s legs or body. For example, your dog may have a fall or be struck by something large, like a vehicle. Smaller breeds may even break a leg by jumping up and down in the home. Other causes of bone breaks are sports injuries, genetic health issues, poor diet, inadequate calcium levels, age, exercise or play, and diseases.
Broken bones symptoms range from obvious to subtle. Obvious signs of a broken bone will be any type of open fracture accompanied by significant pain and bleeding. For closed fractures, a dog will favor one leg, limp, or refuse to walk at all. Other symptoms are twisted legs, legs at abnormal angles, bruising, swelling, and vocalizing (whining, howling, whimpering).
Broken bones need to be stabilized as fast as possible to prevent infection and further damage. A dog must be carefully transported to an animal hospital as internal injuries will not be evident to the naked eye. The veterinarian will sedate the dog, order blood work and IV fluids, a catheter, and X-rays to determine the extent of the internal and external injuries.
Severe breaks may require surgery, while extreme cases may call for amputation of a limb. Minor breaks and fractures may be placed in a splint or cast.
One of the most common and insidious diseases that dogs may develop is cancer. It is the primary cause of death in dogs over 10 years old and affects 50% of senior dogs. Cancer causes the growth of abnormal cells that typically form tumors or masses and may spread to multiple organs. This list of dog sicknesses and cancer are as follows:
The causes of cancer in dogs are still under investigation. Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find the connection between older dogs and higher cancer rates. One theory is that ageing causes the canine immune system to weaken, making the cells more susceptible to mutation. Other probable causes include dietary, environmental, and hereditary factors.
The signs of cancer may vary in dogs depending on the type of cancer they have. However, some symptoms that appear generally in most cancer cases:
Treating a dog’s cancer is dependent upon the aggressiveness of the cancer itself, as some cancers are more dangerous than others. Dogs with cancer should see a veterinary oncologist who can provide specific treatment for your pup, particularly in diagnosing cancer through ultrasound, biopsy, and urinalysis amongst other procedures. Other treatment therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that severely affects a puppy or dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. This virus spreads through the air when infected canines cough or sneeze (nasal discharge), through shared food and water bowls, and through the bloodstream from mother dogs to their puppies. Puppies younger than four months old and unvaccinated dogs are more likely to acquire this disease.
The cause of this illness is the distemper virus itself. Some places where the distemper virus may spread quickly are public parks, animal shelters, or in unregulated breeding operations and puppy mills.
Canine distemper symptoms vary depending on the stage of the illness. Here are the symptoms based on virus progression:
There is no cure for canine distemper virus; however, it can be prevented entirely by having your dog vaccinated yearly to remain immune to the virus.
Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the most contagious respiratory illnesses in dogs. First identified in 2004 as an infectious disease in racing greyhounds in Florida, this form of flu spread quickly from infected dogs to healthy dogs.
The causes of canine influenza are two Type A viruses: H328 and H2N2. These viruses are of avian origin and differ from virus H3N2, which is the seasonal influenza virus. The canine influenza virus spreads through respiratory secretions such as nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing. Because the virus can live for 12 hours on people’s skin, 24 hours on clothing, and 48 hours on surfaces, dogs can also develop CIV if they come in contact with contaminated collars and leashes, kennel walls, food and water bowls, and human clothing and skin.
CIV symptoms are varied, but most signs appear in different parts of the respiratory system. The most common CIV symptoms are:
It is worth noting that some dogs have asymptomatic CIV where they show no signs of illness.
The treatment for CIV is supportive. Dogs with CIV should be quarantined in a warm, dry location away from other dogs. They need a quality diet and plenty of water to let the virus run its course. Most dogs recover from CIV within a few weeks; dogs with more severe cases who develop pneumonia may require hospitalization, medications, antibiotics, and intravenous fluids.
Canine parvovirus (CPV) is an extremely contagious viral illness that can impact the stomach and small intestines (common cases) or the cardiovascular system (less common). Most cases of parvovirus happen in puppies between six weeks and six months of age. It takes 3 - 10 days after exposure for a dog to show symptoms of this illness.
CPV is caused by a genetic alteration of the original canine parvovirus type 2b. The virus damages intestinal cells, and in puppies, the heart muscle. CPV spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or through direct or indirect contact with a dog’s feces. Simply sniffing infected feces or being exposed to traces of CPV brought into the house by shoes that have been in contact with infected stool.
The earlier your puppy’s symptoms are diagnosed, the better her chances of surviving a potentially deadly disease. In puppies, the mortality rate from CPV is 91% compared to 10% in adult dogs. The symptoms of canine parvovirus are:
There is no cure for canine parvovirus. Supportive treatment is provided by veterinarians who work to prevent secondary infections, control diarrhea and vomiting, and replacing fluids and electrolytes. Fecal transplants are a new CPV treatment procedure where healthy microbiomes replace infected ones.
Periodontal (dental) disease is a bacterial infection of the mouth. It has four stages ranging from the existence of plaque to severe disease resulting in tooth and bone loss. Nearly 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease by the age of two. Untreated dental disease can lead to other dog health issues.
Dental disease begins with the development of plaque on a dog’s teeth which causes gum disease and bad breath. Plaque growth leads to gingivitis, accompanied by redness, swelling, and inflammation of the gums. Left untreated, an infection can set in and lead to severe pain, damage to tissue and gums, and tooth loss. Dogs with periodontal disease are more likely to develop heart disease and organ damage from bacteria constantly entering the bloodstream and traveling to the heart.
There are a variety of signs that may indicate your dog has oral health problems, and may already have some dental disease. Look for these symptoms of dental disease in your dog:
Treatment of periodontal disease starts with prevention. Annual oral exams by a veterinarian can prevent or catch dental disease in its earliest stage. Regular cleanings, while the dog is under standard anesthesia, can correct and reverse dental disease if it is still in early stages. Brushing your dog’s teeth weekly and feeding your dog a specially-formulated, nutritious pet food are other types of treatment for periodontal disease.
Diabetes mellitus is a growing epidemic, especially amongst older dogs. This condition occurs when a dog’s body creates too little insulin, making it impossible for control of the sugar levels in the bloodstream or has an abnormal response to insulin. This metabolic disease can also impact a dog’s eyesight and affect her overall quality of life.
It’s not certain what causes diabetes in dogs, although researchers believe that some dogs are genetically predisposed. Obesity also increases a dog’s chance of developing diabetes.
The signs of diabetes are relatively easy to identify. Here are the symptoms to look for if you suspect your dog has this disease:
While there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed with careful ongoing treatment so that your dog can live a full, happy life. Treatment involves these steps:
A common condition in dogs, diarrhea happens when unabsorbed nutrients draw water or retain water in the intestines. Abnormal and loose stools are the result, and sometimes they include blood or mucus. There are two kinds of diarrhea: acute (occurs suddenly) and chronic (happens over weeks to months).
There are multiple causes of both acute and chronic diarrhea. Here are the causes of this condition:
Diarrhea ranges from mild to severe, and severe cases can be fatal. Signs of diarrhea are as follows:
Diarrhea can be treated with a series of steps. First, continue to feed your dog according to your veterinarian’s instructions. Nutrition is an important step in letting your dog’s intestines begin to heal. Next, change your dog’s diet by switching to a low fat, bland diet with limited ingredients. Feed multiple small meals to your dog during this time. Finally, speak with a
veterinarian about probiotics and prebiotics to give your dog to repopulate her gut’s healthy bacteria levels.
Canine ear infections in the outer ear indicate an inflammation of the external ear canal. Infections can also occur in the inner or middle ear. The infection causes significant pain and discomfort, and in severe situations, loss of hearing.
Ear infections have many causes. Most ear infections being with bacteria and yeast trapped inside the ear. Other causes of infection include allergies to the environment or diet, ear mites, wax buildup, or hypothyroid disease. Dogs who have floppy ears or who are prone to allergies are at the highest risk of developing ear infections.
Dogs with ear infections are typically in pain and discomfort. Those feelings often manifest in the signs of infection, including:
Veterinarians treat canine ear infections with approved medications like gentamycin and tobramycin. In cases of severe infection, your dog may need sedation for a thorough ear cleaning. Periodic cleanings with an ear cleaner can help prevent infections from developing in a dog’s ears.
External parasites, such as ticks, mites, lice and fleas, are more than just irritations to a dog. They are organisms that live on a host and feed on that host. These parasites can carry diseases like dermatitis and anemia; they may also carry internal parasites like tapeworms as well. Additionally, external parasites can trigger allergies in dogs.
Parasites are caused by a healthy dog’s exposure to a dog or animal infected by external parasites or an environment where the parasites exist.
Aside from seeing parasites on your dog’s skin and fur, there are other signs of these organisms’ effect on your pup. Here are symptoms to look for:
Your veterinarian can give your dog medical treatment to eliminate the parasites. To prevent further infection, dogs should receive preventative medicine, receive regular testing during yearly exams, and their living areas should be as clean as possible.
Fleas are six-legged wingless external parasites that live on a dog’s skin and feed off its blood. They are roughly 1 1/16th of an inch, brown in color, with flattened bodies. Fleas crawl and jump from one host to another. They have four growth stages: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult.
Fleas are natural parasites that hop onto hosts to live and feed. They transfer themselves from an old host to a new one by jumping or crawling, and they may use the same methods to jump from the ground or grass onto a host.
When a flea bites a dog, it leaves behind saliva that can cause reactions in a dog. These signs of flea infestation include:
Application of spot-on flea and tick treatment or a prescription for an oral flea preventative given by a veterinarian are two ways to combat fleas.
Fungal infections and diseases are incredibly common in dogs. Fungi are parasitic organisms that produce spores. When those spores enter a dog’s respiratory tract or skin, an infection can occur. Fungal infections can happen on the body’s surface, or they can be systemic and spread throughout the internal body systems.
Fungal infections can affect younger, large breed dogs, dogs with compromised immune systems, and dogs who are taking cyclosporine. These infections are caused when a dog inhales the fungal spores from the soil, ingests the spores, or if the spores enter an open wound.
Different types of fungal infections have specific symptoms associated with them. Here are the most common fungal infections and their symptoms:
The best chance of your dog overcoming a fungal infection or disease is the administration of nasal or oral antifungal drugs by a veterinarian.
Heatstroke (hypothermia) is the high elevation of a dog’s temperature not caused by fever. Dogs cannot release heat as easily as humans can, and that makes them far more prone to experiencing heat stroke. Hypothermia can happen quickly, especially in locations where high temperatures are accompanied by high humidity or areas that are not well ventilated, such as a vehicle. Heatstroke is a serious medical condition and can be fatal; there is a 50% mortality rate for heat stroke in dogs.
There are two kinds of heatstroke: exertional and nonexertional. Exertional heatstroke happens when a dog becomes overheated during exercise, usually because the dog has not had the chance to acclimate her body to the higher temperatures. A notable rise in temperatures causes nonexertional heatstroke while the dog is in an unventilated area without access to drinking water to stay cool.
Heatstroke symptoms happen rapidly and require quick action to cool a dog down and potentially save her life. Watch out for these signs of heat stroke:
The treatment required for heatstroke involves an immediate trip to the emergency veterinarian. But there are steps that you can take before you get to the vet that can increase your dog’s chances of survival:
The veterinarian will continue the controlled cooling process, replace your dog’s fluid and electrolyte levels, and manage any secondary complications (clotting, organ failure, or inflammatory responses) that may occur.
Hookworms are internal parasites that live in a dog’s digestive system. Their hook-like shape allows them to attach to the lining of the intestinal wall to feed on a dog’s blood. Hookworms lay their eggs in the digestive tract and pass through to the environment through defecation. This parasite can be passed to unborn puppies through their mother’s milk. Humans are also susceptible to hookworm infections.
Hookworm larvae hatch once they’ve been passed through feces and onto the soil. From there, they can infect a dog through contact or skin penetration. Dogs can even ingest hookworms when they are licking themselves or swallowing dirt.
Hookworms can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs. These are the signs most associated with these parasites:
Hookworms can be treated by administering medication to end the parasitic infestation. Your veterinarian can select the right medication for your dog. Medication only affects the hookworms inside the intestine; thus, treatment should repeatedly occur until all larvae have matured and died. The number of treatments will depend on your dog’s age and extent of the infestation.
Pregnant dogs will need particular deworming protocols that a veterinarian can determine and provide to prevent or stop hookworms from spreading to the unborn puppies.
One of the most common superficial skin disorders in dogs are hot spots or acute moist dermatitis. These raw, red, itchy and inflamed lesions often appear suddenly on a dog’s body. Hot spots can become moist, oozing sores, especially if your dog frequently licks, gnaws, or bites at them; they can spread rapidly, and infection may develop without treatment.
Hot spots are caused by anything that irritates a dog’s skin to the point where she scratches, licks, or bites at the skin repeatedly, causing a lesion to develop. Hot spots can be the result of multiple culprits, including:
Hot spots can be easy to identify once you’ve combed through your dog’s fur to find them. These are the signs of hot spots on your dog:
You can treat your dog’s hot spots at home if you catch them early. Medicated anti-itch shampoos can kill bacteria and soothe inflamed skin. This treatment should prevent scratching and let the skin heal.
Veterinarian assistance is necessary for severe hot spot cases. A vet will clip away matted fur, apply a gentle antiseptic solution to the wounds, and prescribe oral or topical steroids to decrease itching and address secondary infections.
Kennel cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection where a virus and bacteria affect a dog’s windpipe, lungs, and voice box. Kennel cough is only fatal to puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with compromised immune systems.
Kennel cough is caused by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus. These pathogens combine to attack the cilia which line the lungs, inflaming the upper airway. This irritation causes dogs to experience a persistent, repetitive dry cough. Dogs get kennel cough by breathing in the air after an infected dog has coughed, sharing contaminated objects, or coming into contact with an infected dog.
Kennel cough can impact any dog unvaccinated against this infection. Here are the symptoms of kennel cough in dogs:
Kennel cough treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Dogs with mild cases of kennel cough will not receive specialized treatment as the disease will run its course. Severe cases of kennel cough require cough suppressants and oral antibiotics and should be resolved within 7 - 14 days.
Leptospirosis (“Lepto”) is a highly contagious bacterial infection which impacts dogs and mammals including rodents, wildlife, other dogs, and humans. Lepto exists around the world and is often found in wet, moist areas after rainfall.
Lepto is caused by multiple strains of the bacteria Leptospira spp. Dogs can become infected by this bacteria if they swim in or drink contaminated water, eat infected meat, or come in direct contact with another infected animal.
The signs associated with leptospirosis are often non-specific and vague. The following symptoms are linked to lepto and vary in intensity:
Some dogs with lepto are asymptomatic and will show no signs of having the disease.
Dogs with lepto are treated with antibiotics. For severe cases, dogs may also need to hospitalization and care for any damage done to the liver or kidney.
Excessive weight, or obesity, is a medical issue that is common to many dogs; between one-third and 40 percent of dogs are obese or overweight. Obesity leads to several health complications for dogs, especially as they grow older. Dogs who are obese are more likely to develop cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses, as well as experience a higher overall mortality rate.
There are a variety of reasons why dogs may become overweight to the point of obesity. Here are the most common causes of obesity:
Signs of obesity include both symptoms that occur sooner and those that occur later:
Obesity is a reversible condition. Treatment includes switching your dog to a light dog food under your veterinarian’s supervision as well as feeding your dog on a strict schedule. Stop feeding treats, snacks, and table food to your dog. Your dog will begin to lose weight with light to moderate exercise and play in the backyard or at a local dog park.
The prostate is a gland of the reproductive system, and male dogs are prone to various issues with it. The primary types of prostate problems are prostate enlargement, bacterial infection, cysts, and cancer.
These are the causes of the main types of prostate issues:
The signs of prostate problems are linked to the type of prostate illness your dog suffers from, but there are general symptoms that all four kinds share:
For prostate enlargement, there is no specific treatment; however, if the enlarged prostate makes the dog’s quality of life uncomfortable, you may need to have your dog neutered.
Bacterial prostate infections are treated with hospitalization and antibiotics via IV; in some cases, surgery may be necessary. You can eliminate your dog’s cysts by having him castrated. There is no cure for prostate cancer, and treatment is limited to radiation and medical therapy for short-term hospice care.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes brain inflammation and affects the central nervous system. Once the symptoms of rabies appear, fatality will soon follow; thus, dogs with rabies are euthanized.
Rabies spreads through contact with the saliva of an infected animal; the wildlife most likely to carry rabies are raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. The infection spreads from a bite wound, but it may also spread through an open wound or scratch.
Although the incubation period for rabies varies by case, generally within 3 to 8 weeks, these symptoms will appear:
There is no cure or treatment for rabies. You can prevent your dog from contracting rabies by getting her vaccinated against this disease.
Ringworm is a fungus that produces infective spores that live off the dead hair and skin tissues on a dog. These spores then infect broken skin, causing hair loss in round patchy lesions. Ringworm most frequently affects young dogs, long-haired dogs, and elderly dogs.
A collection of pathogenic fungi causes ringworm. These fungi grow on the surface of the skin, in the hair follicles, and sometimes in the dog’s nails.
Although not life-threatening, ringworm is contagious and may require treatment from a veterinarian. These are the signs associated with ringworm in dogs:
Your dog’s veterinarian will administer oral medication to get rid of the ringworm. In severe cases, you may also need to use a topical medicated shampoo or lotion on the skin.
Roundworms (ascarids) are the most common parasite in dogs. The canine roundworm species are Toxocara canis and Toxocara leonine. Roundworms live in the stomach and intestines; they can grow to 7-inches long and lay upwards of 20,000 eggs a day.
Roundworms are highly contagious parasites. They spread when an infected dog sheds roundworm eggs in her feces. This disease can also transfer when other dogs sniff or lick at the infected stool. Additionally, roundworm eggs spread through contact with birds, rodents, earthworms, and cockroaches.
Roundworm eggs can transfer from the placenta to an unborn puppy. Nursing from infected mother’s milk is another way puppies get ringworm.
Some dogs with ringworm infections are asymptomatic and don’t show any signs of illness. Most dogs with ringworm will exhibit the following symptoms:
Roundworms in puppies are treated with multiple rounds of deworming. Preventative measures involve placing your dog on heartworm medication.
Skin allergies are a normal, common health condition that many dogs struggle with daily. Many dogs have sensitive skin or are susceptible to certain factors in their environment. Allergy sources can be difficult to identify, but there are a variety of ways to treat allergies and give your dog some relief.
Skin allergies can be caused by just about anything and everything in dogs. Here are the most common allergies found in canines:
The signs of skin allergies can become noticeable quite quickly, especially due to your dog’s obvious discomfort. Look for these symptoms of allergies in your pup:
There is a wide range of treatments for allergies, depending on their severity:
The tapeworm is a flat, white, segmented parasite commonly found in dogs. Tapeworms live inside a dog’s intestinal tract, growing from 4 to 28 inches in length. They latch onto the inside walls of the stomach and feed from there.
When a dog ingests a host of tapeworm eggs, such as an adult flea, a tapeworm infection can occur. This situation may happen when the dog is self-grooming, or if the dog licks or bites an infected animal, such as a rabbit, rodent, or bird.
Tapeworm symptoms include any of the following factors:
The treatment of tapeworms include deworming procedures which are proven effective for eliminating the infestation.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis are three tick-borne diseases that are increasing in occurrence. Ticks are parasites that latch onto dogs and feed on their blood. By doing so, ticks directly transmit diseases into a dog’s body. The results range from mild irritation to full-blown diseases.
Tick-borne diseases are caused by the tick’s transmission of disease directly into canine systems. Certain ticks cause specific diseases to occur; there are seven different types of tick-borne diseases that dogs are prone to contracting.
Although each tick-borne disease has its characteristic acute symptoms, all of these diseases have similar flu-like signs at the beginning of the disease:
The main treatment for tick-borne illnesses is to administer a broad-spectrum antibiotic; the earlier the disease is found and treated, the better the prognosis. Oral or topical tick prevention products, plus annual screenings can help your dog avoid tick-borne diseases altogether.
Toxicity and poisoning occur when your dog ingests some item or material that is toxic or poisonous to her body.
Poisoning and toxicity are often the results of your dog having access to substances or items that she can eat, drink, and swallow.
The symptoms of toxicity and poisoning are often dependent on the toxin your dog has ingested. Here are some signs of poisoning associated with most toxic items:
If you suspect your dog is poisoned, contact the Pet Poison Control Hotline for assistance. Wrap your dog in a blanket and transport her to the veterinarian immediately if she is convulsing or seizing. Induce vomiting in your dog if she has not already thrown up and if the poison is not petroleum or caustic substance. The best form of treatment is to get your dog to an emergency veterinary clinic as quickly as possible.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common bacterial infections that involve the urinary tract and bladder. Any breed of dog can develop a urinary tract infection.
UTIs occur when bacteria works its way into the urethra, often from contact with debris or feces in that area. Dogs with weakened immune systems are also vulnerable to this infection. E. Coli is the bacteria most responsible for urinary tract infections.
The symptoms of UTIs are relatively easy to notice. Keep an eye out for these signs of UTI in your dog:
Urinary tract infections are treated after a veterinarian has run a urinalysis on your dog. After the vet verifies the UTI, your dog will be on an 8 to 10-day round of antibiotics. You will need to increase your dog’s water intake during treatment to help flush out remaining bacteria.
Vomiting is a common condition that dogs experience, and often, it isn’t cause for alarm. If your dog vomits without any other symptoms, she probably just had an upset stomach. However, if your dog vomits accompanied by other symptoms, then her behavior is cause for concern.
Acute vomiting (severe or sudden vomiting) can be caused by a variety of substances, illnesses, and diseases. Here are some of the common causes of acute vomiting:
Chronic vomiting (long-term, frequent vomiting) is a serious situation and may the result of these factors:
Serious cases of vomiting are evident alongside any of the following symptoms:
Treatment of acute or chronic vomiting starts with your veterinarian who will run a series of diagnostic tests, blood work, X-rays, and fecal analysis to determine the underlying cause of the vomiting. In most cases of vomiting, treatment will include anti-nausea medication and a bland diet. For more severe cases, hospitalization, fluid therapies and surgery may be necessary.
Whipworms are common intestinal parasites in canines which spread when infected dogs pass whipworm eggs through their feces. Whipworms, named for their whip-like shape, typically lay eggs which hatch and mature in the intestinal tract. These parasites can live in your dog’s intestinal system for up to five years.
Your dog can develop a whipworm infection by ingesting whipworm eggs from soil or other substances that contain traces of stool. Dogs who spend time in a contaminated area, such as dog parks or backyards, may also become exposed to these parasites.
Not all dogs with whipworm infections will show signs of the parasites. Those dogs who do show symptoms will likely have one or more of the following behaviors:
Your veterinarian will give your dog prescription parasite medications. You can prevent future whipworm infections by placing your dog on a parasite preventative medication each month; additionally, many monthly heartworm medications also include preventatives against whipworms.