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Much like humans, dogs can get sick. There are a range of illnesses and diseases that a dog might get in its lifetime. That is why as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to know what these might be and catch the symptoms as early as possible. You should already be registered with a vet, but if you are not then you need to go register as soon as possible.
While Addison’s disease is somewhat rare in dogs, it has been known to occur. This disease is caused by an abnormal decrease or increase in specific hormones produced by the dog’s adrenal glands. If this disease is not treated quickly, it can cause serious health problems. The symptoms of this in your dog might be anything from weakness, weight loss, blood in their feces, depression, shaking or even collapse. If your dog has any of these symptoms, then you should take them to visit your local vet. Addison’s disease can be caused by a tumor or the dog’s adrenal gland not working correctly. Neither which are good new, so you need to get them treated as quickly as possible. Your dog might need regular hormone injections or even an operation to remove the tumor, but the sooner these are done, the better for your dog.
Lyme disease is caused by ticks. They can latch onto your dog’s body when you are out for a walk, and there is little that you can do prevent it from happening except trying to stay away from tall grass. Although, even then you might get unlucky and your dog might still get a tick and subsequently Lyme disease. You can stop whether your dog has Lyme disease as it might have symptoms like a stiff walk, difficulty breathing, sensitive to the touch, fever, a lack of appetite, depression, vomiting, increased urination and weight loss. However, only 5-10% of dogs with Lyme disease present with symptoms so the best way is to check to see if they have a tick bite that they might be scratching at. If you find a tick or spot any of these symptoms, then you should take your dog to the vets as Lyme disease can be really bad for your dog.
Your dog needs to have their teeth brushed just like you do. You should brush your dog’s teeth regularly to help prevent gum disease. This will be easiest to do if you start when they are younger as they will get into the habit and be trained in how to have their teeth brushed. Doing so will help prevent plaque, tooth decay and gum disease. If you can’t brush your dog’s teeth or want something extra, then you might want to get some dental sticks for them. These sticks, such as VetIQ dog dental treats, help to remove plaque and bacteria from your dog’s teeth and help to maintain their oral hygiene. If you suspect your dog has gum disease, then you need to take them to your vet. They will have bad breath and noticeable tooth decay, so it should be hard to miss.
Cushing’s disease can be caused by your dog over producing a specific hormone called cortisol. The disease can show several symptoms such as increased thirst, panting, obesity, loss of hair, lack of energy, muscle weakness, bruising, seizures, behaviour changes, insomnia and increased hunger. Due to the wide range of symptoms, Cushing’s disease can be difficult to diagnose, and some of them might not be picked up on by the dog’s owner. However, you should take your dog to vets if you spot any of these symptoms. The common cause of the overproduction of cortisol is a tumor, and the sooner this gets treated, the better it is for your dog.
Chagas disease is caused by a parasite and can spell bad news for your dog. The disease is expressed in two different ways chronic and acute. The symptoms are different for each, so let’s start with chronic. These might be a weakness, intolerance to exercise, increased or abnormal heart rate, coughing, and as the worst case, death. These can be hard to spot for a lot of dog owners, but if you even suspect some of these take your dog to the vet immediately. The acute symptoms are a little different and can include fever, depression, tiredness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, seizures and unfortunately death. Again, take your dog to the vet if you even have the smallest suspicion. The parasite that causes Chagas disease is found across the US but is more commonly found in warmer climates such as Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia. If you live in these regions, you will want to be vigilant and stop your dog from eating unknown things on walks and especially steer them clear of feces.
Arthritis is common older dogs, but it can occur in younger pets as well. You should be able to spot if your dog has arthritis if it struggles to walk or is in pain when moving around. This is caused by the joins wearing away and the bones rubbing against each other. It can also occur in overweight pets, but if you think your dog has arthritis, then you should take it to visit your vet. Your vet will be able to give you advise to reduce the pain the dog is feeling and maybe give you some tips to help improve arthritis in the future. The best thing you can do though, it to keep your dog fit and healthy as this is the best way to fight off old age and obesity-related diseases.
There are more diseases and illness that your dog might contract or get in their lives, so if you suspect anything, then you should take them to your vet. This might be a change in behaviour, appetite or something else. Whatever it is if you are at all worried, then visiting your vet is your best option.