If you have one or more dogs, it is important that you understand the common diseases that may afflict canines. Several diseases occur more commonly than others.
Top Five Diseases in Dogs
According to Banfield Pet Hospital, here are the top five diseases that can impact dog health:
Dental Disease in Dogs
Dental Disease is the most common dog disease today. Dental issues affect close to three-quarters of dogs over the age of three. Tartar and gingivitis are the most common oral issues in pets. Severe periodontal diseases, including abscesses, occur in dogs of all ages, but most typically in those that are in the later stages of their life. Toy dogs and small dog breeds are more likely to develop periodontal disease than larger breeds (giant dogs and large dog breeds).
Ear Infections in Dogs
Known as otitis externa in veterinary circles, infections of the outer ear canal are the second most common illness diagnosed in dogs. For dogs that experience recurring ear infections, allergies are a typical culprit. Breeds with large, pendulous ears are most at risk for ear infections. Basset hounds, beagles and retrievers (Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Curly Coated Retriever, Flat Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) suffer from ear infections more frequently than other dog breeds.
Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
Intestinal parasites are common in puppies and dogs of all ages. These parasites can wreak havoc on the canine digestive system; a good reason to keep your dog on a heartworm preventative that also controls intestinal parasites. Common parasites include hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm and roundworm. If your dog has a distended belly, has loose stool, has a ravenous appetite, or is lethargic for no apparent reason, ask your veterinarian to look for parasites in a fecal sample.
Heartworm disease is easy to prevent and difficult to cure. Owners should consider the cost of buying a monthly heartworm preventative against the thousands of dollars it can ultimately cost to treat the disease once detected. Heartworm disease affects dogs in all 50 states, though Southern states have the highest rate of infection. Your dog is susceptible whether or not it spends its day outside; Heartworm is spread via mosquitoes that can easily get inside of your home.
Diabetes in Dogs
The instance of diabetes mellitus in canines has risen dramatically since 2006. Reported cases have gone up by 32 percent in just a few short years. Diabetes is more prevalent in small dogs, but the disease can also be seen in any dog that is obese or overweight. A dog diagnosed with diabetes will often require insulin therapy for the rest of its life.
While there are many diseases that affect dogs, the five listed above are the most common. If you own a dog, be sure to research these diseases, studying their symptoms and outcomes. The more you know, the better able you will be to detect a change in your animal before it’s too late.