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10 Most Common Illnesses in Dogs

 by jaime on 28 Jul 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
The common cold and flu virus knows no boundaries in infecting humans. Regardless of your age, skin color, or nationality, you can become infected by illnesses that disrupt your life and make you feel miserable. Your dog is no different. Whether your dog is small or large, it can become infected with a number of common illnesses. The following list covers the 10 most common illnesses that affect dogs around the globe.
 
Giardia
Giardia is a disease named after a water-borne parasite that is commonly found in open water sources across North America, such as lakes, ponds, and stagnant pools of water. Your dog can easily become infected with this disease by drinking from infected water sources. The resulting symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain, as well as weight loss or trouble gaining weight. Fortunately, giardia can be prevented with monthly heartworm medications.
 
Distemper
Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that impacts your dog's respiratory and nervous systems. Distemper can be as mild as causing a simple fever and fatigue, but can also progress to cause coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If left untreated, distemper can lead to death. Vaccinations from your veterinarian can prevent it.
 
Parvo
Better known as Parvovirus, Parvo is considered one of the most contagious dog illnesses. Parvo affects your dog's bowels, leading to diarrhea and vomiting that can be so severe that your dog could ultimately die from the illness. The infection is common in dogs of all ages, but puppies are particularly susceptible to the disease. Parvo is typically transmitted through contact with feces, but a readily available vaccination from your vet can protect your dog.
 
Coronavirus
Coronavirus is another virus in dogs that leads to diarrhea and vomiting. Diarrhea alone is the most common symptom, though severe cases of the virus can present with diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and constant water drinking. Some dogs have been known to contract both parvo and coronavirus at the same time. Again, a simple vaccination can protect dogs from this disease.
 
Hepatitis
Similar to hepatitis in humans, the disease impacts a dog's liver function. Symptoms of hepatitis in your dog include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Serious cases of hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage in your dog. Once again though, a vaccination can prevent hepatitis in dogs.
 
Lyme disease
If your dog spends a great deal of time outdoors near wooded areas in the summer months, Lyme disease is a serious concern. This bacterial disease has an irreversible impact on your dog's health, including symptoms such as arthritis, lameness, fatigue, depression, and loss of appetite. When left untreated, Lyme disease can result in permanent heart, kidney, and brain damage. Vaccinations are available to protect your dog from this disease.
 
Rabies
This is perhaps the most dreaded dog disease. Rabies is a viral infection that attacks your dog's brain and is, in many cases, deadly. The most common form of contraction is through a bite from rabid wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, and bats. Unlike many other diseases, rabies can be passed to humans through a bite or scratch. A vaccination against rabies is not only readily available, it is mandatory across North America.
 
Leptospirosis
This is another disease carried by wild animals, but unlike rabies it is a bacteria and not a virus. Common forms of infection include consumption of contaminated water or interaction with an infected wild animal. If your dog is infected with leptospirosis, you'll notice a high fever, jaundice, and potential hemorrhaging noticeable as blood in the dog's feces. There is a vaccination to protect against this disease.
 
Kennel Cough
If you've ever put your dog in a kennel while you hit the road for a summer vacation, you are no doubt familiar with kennel cough. The Bordetella virus is responsible for kennel cough, though other organisms have been known to cause kennel cough. The disease is highly contagious and spreads most frequently through dogs in close contact with other dogs. Symptoms include severe coughing spells with the potential for vomiting, gagging, nasal discharges, and watery eyes. A vaccination is available for this disease, though it is not automatically given to your dog by a vet like many of the other vaccines mentioned above.
 
Parainfluenza
Last but not least, parainfluenza is a strain of kennel cough that is highly contagious and presents with symptoms similar to the flu. This disease can easily be contracted through contact with another dog, and not just at the kennel. Parainfluenza can be contracted at the park, beach, or off-leash dog park.

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Comment(s)1

Cheryl Sperring - Comment
Cheryl Sperring04 Aug 2014Reply
An excellent article. Very informative.

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