Dog Health Problems
Just like humans, there are a myriad of disease, illnesses and infections which can affect dogs due to hereditary reasons or environmental factors. Common dog heath problems include heartworm, arthritis and various forms of skin irritations. Due to the commonality and sometimes severity of these ailments, preventive measures have been put into place to reduce the risk of your dog getting sick to begin with.
For example, heartworm is a deadly parasite which needs to be safeguarded against from the time your dog is a small puppy. Heartworm is most commonly transmitted through mosquito bites after an infected dog is bitten. Most preventive heartworm regimens are pills given to your dog once a month on a specific date to continue his immunity to heartworm. Heartworm is easy to prevent, but difficult to treat as symptoms are generally not present until the disease is in advanced stages. Symptoms of advanced heartworm are congestive heart failure: dull coat, lethargy coughing, wheezing, fainting, a dissented abdomen and eventual death.
Arthritis is another ailment which afflicts dogs and is the painful swelling of the joints similar to humans. Many older dogs develop arthritis in their later years, but some are affected in their youth. There are certain breeds who are more commonly vulnerable to certain types of arthritis than others. Treating arthritis in dogs is much about reducing the swelling to ease the pain. Anti-inflammatory medications may have to be given to your dog on a daily basis as well as a pain reliever. Your vet can direct you on the best course of action to give an arthritic dog the best quality of life possible.
Skin irritation such as eczema and sore spots are common in dogs and will often worsen without medical care. Again, prevention is key in protecting against skin rashes and wounds by keeping your dog clean using a medicated shampoo, using a conditioner to moisture his scalp, brushing often to rid of dead hair and seeking medical help at the first sign of a sore. Seeking medical attention quickly is crucial for two reasons. First, if it is a contagious infection, your dog will spread it over his whole body by licking or will just make the sore worse and worse. The vet can prescribe an ointment or medication as well as providing your dog with a cone to prevent licking and speed healing.
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