dog advice

Dog Health Problems

When it comes to dog health problems, there are many potential ailments that can catch you and your pup off guard. The results can be both emotionally devastating and expensive if they are not dealt with quickly and effectively. Instead of responding to potential health problems as they arrive, learn what you can do to avoid them in the first place and keep your dog happy and healthy.

Potential Dog Health Problems

Dogs can suffer from any number of health issues, the same as human beings. The difference is that dogs cannot tell you “I have a stomach ache”. They will often suffer in silence until there is a very real pain that needs to be treated. So, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and the actions you can take to avoid these issues in the first place.

Infections – Dogs can suffer from a number of potential infections, in their ears, on their skin, in their eyes and their teeth. Ear infections are the most common and are often due to a foreign body or bacteria getting in there. Check your dog’s ears frequently for red spots, swelling, excess moisture, or dirt. Of all dog health problems, infections are the easiest to prevent. Clean your dog’s eyes, brush their teeth and brush their hair regularly to avoid any potential bacteria build up.

Allergies – Dogs have many forms of allergies. By far the most common is a flea allergy that can cause hot spots and lead to infections. Make sure you get flea medication for your dog every month and have a vet examine them regularly to ensure they are healthy. Additionally, if their skin problems lead to ear infections or other hot spots, it may be a food allergy – a more severe issue that should be addressed by a veterinarian.

Diabetes – Dog health problems tend to mirror human issues in many ways and diabetes is one such potential disease. Excess rich, fatty and sugary foods can result in pancreatic issues that cause diabetes. To avoid diabetes, keep your dog on a strict diet of dog foods with minimal table scraps or excess meals. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll need to see a vet regularly and may need to administer regular shots.

Arthritis and Dysplasia – Some dogs are highly susceptible to joint problems. Pure breds especially have a long history of arthritic dog health problems due to their longer, narrower joints. Make sure your dog receives the necessary vitamins and minerals it requires each day and that your vet checks the joints for degeneration at least once a year.

Obesity – Obesity is one of the most common and deadly dog health problems and is directly caused by eating too much and not exercising enough. Obesity itself doesn’t lead to mortality, but the higher rates of heart failure, tumors, liver disease, and skin problems are all very dangerous if not dealt with immediately. Obesity can be treated with a careful diet and keen eye to a dog’s activity levels.

If your dog gets plenty of exercise, eats well every day, and you keep it clean and well groomed, many of these health problems will never be an issue. Even then, you should make sure you visit your vet annually to check for any potential issues. The earlier you catch a disease, the better it can be treated.

Learn more about dogs behavior problems. Stop by Annette Lode’s site where you can find out all about dog training advice as well as how to stop bad dog behavior and what it can do for you.

Treating a Dog For Dehydration

As with all animals, dehydration can be a serious risk for dogs. Minerals called electrolytes are also lost when the dog becomes dehydrated. Dehydration is a very serious health risk when it occurs in any animal, dogs included. Since dogs are unable to sweat they release excess heat by panting. Extensive panting, especially hard panting, can lead to dehydration.

One of the best ways to avoid dehydration is to always have sufficient shelter and fresh, clean water available for the dog. These basic steps help ward off heat stroke, a problem closely related to dog dehydration. Of course, other causes such as severe diarrhea, vomiting, and fevers can also cause dehydration

Heavy panting is generally the first sign that a dog might be becoming dehydrated. Other thing to check is the elasticity of the pet’s skin and the condition of the dog’s gums. By gently pinching up a fold of skin on either the dog’s neck or head you can gauge how dehydrated the pet is. A healthy dog’s skin will quickly regain it’s former shape, while dehydrated skin doesn’t have the proper amount of fluid and will more slowly reform. The dog’s gums should be moist and slick. If a dog is dehydrated the gums will be sticky and dry.

If the pet is showing signs of dehydration the first thing to do is to check the level of dehydration. More serious dehydration shouldn’t be handled by an amateur, so if the situation appears serious seek out a veterinarian immediately. Veterinarians can provide more advanced solutions like IV fluids which amateurs don’t have on hand. In serious cases the situation can be even worse than normal dehydration because drinking enough to correct the issue can be problematic – dogs drinking too much water will frequently vomit, making the situation even worse.

It is important to re-hydrate the dog slowly. Rather than using plain water, give the dog an electrolyte supplement. Avoid sport drinks since they have more sugar than a dog can handle properly, instead using a canine equivalent such as pedialyte. Give the dog small amounts of the fluid at very frequent intervals. If the dog is unable to drink on its own, use a medicine syringe and place the fluids in its mouth.

Taylor Martinerin writes on a variety of dog related topics, including how to select an outdoor dog bed or a waterproof dog bed.