Top Ten Dog Diseases



This list, in no particular order, contains some of the most common diseases found in dogs. Make sure your dogs sees the vet on a regular basis (once every six months is ideal, but at least once a year is ESSENTIAL!) so you and your dog can avoid all these ugly diseases:1: Distemper: Of all the diseases seen in dogs, the American Veterinary Medical Association considers distemper to be the one virus most threatening to dogs worldwide. Distemper is fatal in 80% of puppies and 50% of adults. All dogs are extremely vulnerable, and should be vaccinated, with subsequent boosters in keeping the recommendation of a Veterinarian.

2: Parvovirus (Parvo): Parvovirus occurs in dogs throughout the world. It is extremely contagious, especially among puppies, and can overwhelm a dog leading to death within 48 to 72 hours following exposure. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and severe diarrhea. Parvo vaccination is essential with booster shots as recommended.

3: Rabies: Rabies is a virus and becomes fatal when symptoms appear. Because rabies can be fatal to humans and other mammals, state and local laws uniformly require rabies vaccination, many mandating booster shots yearly.

4: Kennel Cough: This is a respiratory disease especially prevalent in kennels and shelters. There are a variety of virus strains, including Bortadella. Symptoms can include a dry hacking cough along with inflammation of the larynx, bronchial tubes and trachea. Vaccination against four of the strains, as often as every six months, is recommended.

5: Leptospirosis: Symptoms of Leptospirosis include lethargy, kidney inflammation, low-grade fever, vomiting, reddening of the mucous membranes and conjunctiva, and blood clotting abnormalities. Since it is a bacterial disease, also found occasionally in humans, it is treated with antibiotics. Veterinarians are often reluctant to inoculate against this disorder, since there is questionable effectiveness, and puppies can have adverse reactions.

6: Infectious canine hepatitis: While this illness in dogs often manifests itself with mild symptoms such as a slight fever or slight lethargy, it can, in some instances become fatal. Recovery is usually rapid. Vaccination is recommended.

7: Lyme Disease: Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs will include lethargy, joint pain, lack of appetite, lymph node enlargement, and fever. Lyme Disease is bacterial and is spread by ticks. Treatment is with tetracycline, an antibiotic. The available vaccine is not generally recommended. Prevention using Frontline or Advantage is obvoiusly recommended.

8: Coronavirus: Diarrhea and vomiting are symptomatic of this dog malady, so it can be confused with parvovirus. Other indications are loss of appetite, smelly diarrhea, lethargy and dehydration. Replacement of lost fluids and control of vomiting and diarrhea are the recommended treatments. A vaccine is not generally recommended.

9: Obesity: Just as in humans, this disease condition in dogs is a serious medical problem. Frequently, obese humans own obese dogs. Obviously, limiting food intake, withholding human food and enough exercise will contribute to a dog’s longer life.

10: Heartworm: Heartworms are parasites that grow and multiply, infesting chambers in the heart, arteries and the lungs. Symptoms appear gradually, usually manifested in easy tiring, lethargy and a soft cough. If not treated, heartworm eventually brings on death by congestive heart failure in a once active animal.


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