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Posted September 14th, 2012 under Austin Pet Sitting

Some Common Dog Diseases

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Some Common Dog Diseases

Allergic Dermatitis

If you notice your dog's skin is rough, flaky or irritated, and you see your dog scratching all the time, your dog may be suffering from a skin condition. Some of the common causes of these skin conditions are allergies, parasites, hormonal imbalances, and infections. Some skin conditions will heal quickly and others can be a lifelong management, but, the food your dog eats can play an important role in treating these skin problems. In order to treat skin problems, it's best to feed your dog foods that are high in protein and antioxidants, as well as, essentially fatty foods containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in fish oil. Your dog's skin should not be rough or flaky, it should not be too dry or too oily or have any areas of hair loss. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms it is best to consult your veterinarian to determine the root cause of the problem, however, proper diet, more often than not, can prevent these problems from occurring.

Dental Disease

Plaque and tarter buildup are common problems with dog's teeth causing the familiar dog breath we all experience. With too much tarter buildup, your dog will experience swelling, redness, and inflammation of the gums commonly known as gingivitis. If not checked and treated, your dog can develop periodontal disease, which destroys the gums and tissue connecting the teeth. You can treat plaque buildup by feeding your dog dry foods and for more serious tarter buildup there are specially formulated foods available. It is also best to schedule regular dental cleanings with your veterinarian as well to prevent gingivitis.

Developmental Growth Disorders in Puppies

Some common types of growth disorders are abnormal posture, bowed legs, obesity, painful joints, muscle wasting, hip dysplasia, and difficulty walking. Larger breeds that weigh more than 50 pounds when fully grown are most at risk for these types of problems. The best way to prevent these problems is proper nutrition and meal schedules. It’s best to feed your dog at least twice a day and only for a certain period of time with each scheduled feeding. For large breed dogs, veterinarians recommend foods low in energy and calcium. With developmental growth disorders, it's much easier to prevent these problems then to treat them so proper nutrition and feeding schedules at an early age are essential.

Diabetes Mellitus

Dogs can develop diabetes just like humans. It is a serious condition but can be managed. Obesity, genetic predisposition, poor nutrition, hormonal abnormalities, and stress can all cause diabetes in dogs. If your dog appears to be weak or thirsty, urinates frequently, experiences rapid weight loss, is depressed, or has abnormal pain, it could be diabetic. Diabetes is usually caused by damage to the pancreas which is responsible for producing proper amounts of insulin. Just like treating humans, dogs can be treated with controlled insulin and proper nutrition.

Heart Disease

Aging is the most common cause of heart problems in dogs but other factors such as heartworm can also cause heart disease. If your dog has a low pitched cough that sometimes leads to gagging, if it experiences breathing difficulties, or reduced abilities to exercise, if it gains or loses a lot of weight or there is swelling in the abdomen, it may be experiencing symptoms of heart disease. If your dog is experiencing any of these problems, take it to the vet for diagnosis.

Kidney Disease

Like humans, dogs experience kidney disease as well. Kidney disease can be a serious problem for your dog and can lead to a life threatening situation. If your dog is experiencing any of the following symptoms take it to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • frequent urination or no urination
  • Vomiting
  • Poor coat appearance
  • Depression

There are common warning signs to look out for in your dog's behavior and appearance that are essential to addressing health problems before they become life threatening or unmanageable. You are your dog's best defense when it comes to monitoring and addressing their health. Sometimes diseases cannot be prevented but with proper nutrition and regular exercise as well as looking out for changes in behavior and appearance can help your dog to live a happy and healthy life.

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