Sometimes even after the proper care of the dog, some ailments can occur. The owner should keep a lookout for dog’s diseases symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, cough, fever, frequent urination, dyspnoea, pain, paralysis and parasitic problems. It is imperative to take preventive measures to curb diseases so as to provide happy and healthy life to the dog.
Canine Distemper Disease
It was first noticed in 1923 and is caused by a virus. Since then so many researches were carried out which provided preventive measure to curb this disease. Vaccines are used to prevent this disease as after proper immunization chances to contract distemper are very little. But, hundred per cent safety against this disease even after vaccination can be a question. Puppies of 3-6 months of age are susceptible. Generally, young puppies who do not receive protection from their mother may die while, older puppies may have better chances of survival. It spreads through air and dogs can get infection from infected dogs through direct contract.
Dog Ailments and Symptoms
The affected dog show cold-like symptoms i.e. watery discharge from eyes and nose, cough, loss of appetite and fever. Some may develop pneumonia, vomiting and diarrhoea. Later on i.e. after 30-40 days of exposure dogs may develop convulsions cannot be treated. Hence death could occur.
Dog Treatment to Recover from Diseases
In initial stage, treatment is possible only under the guidance of a veterinarian. Vet should prepare the owners that it will take about 5-6 weeks to recover from the disease. If left untreated or even after the recovery from disease, pups may shed virus, so dogs should be kept separate to avoid the spread of infection. Pup should be vaccinated against this disease. That’s why pup should be taken to veterinarian for inoculation and proper guidance to follow up the schedule.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis Disease
It is commonly seen in dogs between the age of six weeks to one year. It spreads through ingestion of food and water contaminated with urine of sick dogs. This disease is infectious to other dogs. Main symptoms are high temperature, loss of appetite, swelling in head, neck and lower abdomen, cough, drowsiness. Death may occur within two weeks, if not diagnosed and treated immediately by vet. Virus is shed in urine even after recfovery and disease can be transmitted to healthy dogs. So, dogs should be immunized and treated properly on time.
Leptospirosis in Dogs
It spreads mainly through ingestion of food or water infected with urine and can spread to human beings as well. Dogs of all ages are susceptible to this disease, but males are more susceptible. Symptoms include fever, discharge from eyes and nose, yellow discoloration of eyes and skin, vomiting, pain and death.
It is a respiratory disease and is seen in dogs between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. Cough is usually dry followed by expectoration of mucous. If left untreated, it may lead to bronchitis or pneumonia and then death may occur.
It has been eradicated from a number of countries, it’s a major threat as it is carried by a number of species other than dogs and cats like bats and foxes. It spreads from infected animals to other animals and human being through infected saliva. It is of two types according to the signs of this disease.
Within two to four days of first stage, there are changes in behaviour followed by aggressive temperament for anoter two to four days. In this period, dogs just roam here and there. After this period, there is paralysis and death in the following week.
In this form there is change in temperament initially for two to four days and then paralysis occurs. There is paralysis of mouth and drooping of saliva and death occurs within one to two weeks time.
This disease can only be prevented by proper vaccination administered at the age of 3 months by vet. The vaccination schedule as recommended by the veterinarian should be strictly followed.
It was recognized in 1978 and is very fatal for young puppies. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea stained with blood and dehydration. It spreads through contact with faeces and vomits of infected dogs and even humans can carry virus on their skin, clothes and shoes. So, precautions should be taken to minimize the spread of infection to healthy dogs. Proper treatment should be followed up as it takes about 10-14 days to recover from disease.
It causes diarrhoea where the stool is brownish coloured and foul smelling. Along with this there is depression, loss of appetite and dehydration. The infected dogs should be taken to vet to avoid secondary problems. These diseases can be prevented by proper and regular vaccination of dogs.
Cataract is cloudy, white opacity of the eye lens. It may be hereditary or non-hereditary in nature and usually causes blindness with progression of disease. There is medicinal treatment for this disease. Surgical removal of lens and its replacement, if possible, is the only effective treatment.
Hip Dysplasia Disease
Hip dysplasia is a genetically transmitted disease and is a common disease of the larger breeds. This disease affects the hip joint which causes hind leg lameness and animal feels pain while moving. Treatment for this condition is relief of pain.
Ringworm Disease and Treatment
This fungal disease begins with broken hair around the face, feet and ears. Skin becomes scaly, crusty and itchy. A characteristic redness develops around a healing center. Treatment should be continued for about two months.
External Parasites on Dogs
Fleas: Fleas are blood sucking parasites and move very rapidly on the skin and are mostly found on back portion. Flea bites cause severe irritation and the animal keeps on biting and scratching that area. Presence of flea faeces is an important diagnostic feature for proper treatment.
Ticks: Ticks are also blood sucking parasites and heavy infestation may cause severe blood loss and death. Ticks are of two types – hard and soft ticks. Manual deticking is the best method to remove ticks. Preventive measure should be taken to avoid infestation i.e. tick collars, spot on treatment etc.
Mites: These are tiny, microscopic parasites and cause manage in dogs. Mange is of two types:-
1. Sarcoptic mange: Commonly known as canine scabies, it is caused by the parasite Sarcoptes scabiei. This disease causes a variety of skin problems and severe itching. This mite also infects cats and humans, besides dogs.
2. Demodectic Mange: It is caused by Demodex canis. This disease causes hair loss, redness and crusting over the skin.The hair follicles are clogged with mites and debris. Animal may develop secondary bacterial infection if left untreated.
Internal Parasites in Dogs
Roundworms: Toxocara canis is the most common roundworm present in dogs. The infection usually spreads through ingestion of eggs or transmission of larvae from mother to unborn pups. The larvae can be passed through milk from female dog to pups. Clinical symptoms depend upon the number of worms present. Usually the abdomen gives a potbellied appearance in case of heavy infestation.
Hookworms: Ancylostoma caninum is the most common blood sucking parasite. Dogs become anaemic in heavy infestation. Gums turn white, animal becomes weak and passes dark colored faces due to loss of blood in intestine.
Whipworms: Trichurin vulpis is commonly found in caecum. This worm is thread like and heavy infection causes loss of tissue fluid and results in watery faces with a tinge of blood.
Heartworms: Dirofilaria immitus lives in heart or major artery. It causes extensive damage to vital organs i.e. lungs, heart, liver and finally kidney. Clinical symptoms include frequent cought, laboured breathing and lethargy.