Dog Health Tips

There are some simple things that you can do to keep your dog healthy. Regular visits to the vet for vaccinations and checkups will go a long way in the prevention of most health problems faced by dogs. All dog owners should know a little about common dog health problems and their symptoms.

A few of the more commonly heard of diseases that affect dogs are often at the top of a vaccination list. These include: Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Rabies and Corona Virus.

Regular vaccinations can prevent your dog from contracting these diseases; however you should still be aware of what they are. Vaccinations are extremely important to yours and your dog’s health and it is your responsibility as a dog owner to have regular visits with the vet. For all the happiness he brings to you and your family, he deserves to be healthy.

Parvovirus (commonly called Parvo) is a viral disease that affects dogs. It is far more common in puppies than adult dogs and can have serious ramifications for the infected animal, including death.

While there is no cure for Parvo, puppies can (and should) be vaccinated against it at an early age. Most vets recommend puppies be immunized starting at six weeks of age with vaccinations continuing until twenty weeks of age. Proper immunization is the best way to prevent a dog from contracting Parvo.

Heartworms (Latin name Dirofilaria immitis) are parasitic worms that are common in both dogs and cats. Like their name suggests, they live in the dog’s heart, normally free-floating in the right ventricle and nearby blood vessels. The worms are transmitted from dog to dog by mosquitoes which pass the worm larvae through their saliva. The presence of heartworms can be very dangerous to the dog’s health. Although the dog will not display signs of infection until it has progressed considerably, heartworms can be life threatening and are sometimes difficult to detect and diagnose.

When it comes to heartworms in dogs, prevention truly is the best medicine. The best time to begin a preventative treatment is early in puppy-hood, before the dog is seven months old since dogs older than seven months are at a great risk for adverse reactions to the preventative treatments.

Dogs (and cats) often fall victim to several common intestinal parasites known as worms. There are a large number of different types of intestinal worms, but dogs are most commonly affected by tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Intestinal worms can cause numerous health problems for dogs, up to and including death in extreme cases. Taking measures to prevent infestation, detect it as quickly as possible, and treat it accordingly can help keep your dog safe from these harmful parasites.

Fleas are a problem for dogs and their owners alike. These tiny insects will live on the body of your dog, sucking the animal’s blood and laying eggs. The bites and presence of fleas will cause the dog to itch and if the dog happens to be allergic to fleas (the allergy is technically to the insects’ saliva) it can experience extreme itching, loss of fur in some places, inflammation, and infections.

There are several flea treatments available for dogs, but one of the best is an oral medication that will not kill adult fleas, but does kill the eggs and larva.

Fleas can be a real nuisance for dogs and their owners, but catching them and treating the dog quickly is the key to eliminating the infestation and preventing the insects’ return.

Kennel Cough is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases that dogs can contract. Kennel cough can be caused by several airborne bacteria and viruses. It is the general consensus of the veterinary medical community that in order to cause the illness, an animal must be virtually bombarded by multiple versions of these pathogens at one time. For this reason it is dogs that spend a lot of time around other dogs that are most at risk for the disease. Dogs that participate in dog shows or spend a lot of time in kennels are the highest risks for kennel cough.