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Accurate, reliable dog health information will help you keep Fido fit and happy... and that will make you happy too.
Lots of things play a role in your pet's health (or lack of it).
These include his genes, what he eats, how safe his environment is, and the level of veterinary care he receives.
When you know how to recognize, treat and prevent common dog health problems you're able to give Fido the best possible chance of living a long, happy and healthy life.
Some dog health problems and issues crop up over and over again, and these are the ones you're most likely going to run into - and need help with.
Parasites can be external or internal, and range from being a nuisance to being life-threatening.
Fleas and ticks are one of the most external common dog parasites.
One or two fleas aren't imminently dangerous, BUT they multiply fast and left untreated a flea infestation can cause serious health problems for your pooch.
Ticks can cause serious health problems too, as well as carrying and transmitting all sorts of diseases including Lyme Disease and Ehrlichoisis.
Skin Mites are a third type of external dog parasite. They are extremely tiny and either live on, or burrow into, your dog's skin. They cause various types of Mange.
Worms are internal parasites found in puppies and dogs (and many other animals). Intestinal worms affect the digestive system and although very common a worm infestation can have serious consequences.
Heartworms affect the heart, and untreated will be fatal.
There are a whole range of dog illnesses and diseases that you need to know about.
Many of the most common diseases that affect dogs have the potential to make your dog seriously ill.
Most of them are highly contagious.
Several of them are vaccine-preventable. Diseases like Parvo or Distemper can, and do, kill unvaccinated puppies and dogs.
Parvovirus is perhaps the most prevalent, deadly canine disease that's seen today. Usually a death sentence to unvaccinated puppies.
Ringworm is a fungal disease which affects your dog's skin and coat.
Most purebred dogs have some breed-specific health issues, and large breed dogs are also at risk of some specific health problems.
Dental problems and gum disease can cause inflammation elsewhere in your dog's body.
Dog allergies are on the rise and can be a result of food, environmental or contact allergies.
Bladder infections and bladder stones are not rare in dogs, and although females are more prone to these than males they can happen to any dog regardless of age, size, breed or sex.
Dog incontinence can happen at any age, and for a lot of different reasons.
Hypoglycemia happens when your dog's blood sugar levels drop too low, or too quickly. It's most often seen in tiny/toy breeds.
Puppy Strangles (aka Puppy Pyoderma or Juvenile Cellulitis) is an autoimmune condition which mostly affects puppies four months or under.
Many owners have never heard of it, and don't realize how serious (potentially fatal) it can be.
Swollen lymph nodes under the chin and around the face are the first, and most recognizable symptom of Puppy Strangles. If you see this, get your pup to your vet right away.
Panosteitis also affects puppies, in this case more often the large or giant breed pups.
Lameness and limping are the most common symptoms and these are sometimes referred to as 'growing pains'.
Pregnancy in dogs is not an illness, but it is a condition which needs to be monitored and the expectant mom well taken care of.
Sometimes Fido will get sick, or injured, and there was nothing you could have done to prevent it, but that's not always the case.
There are ways that you can protect your dog from some dangers or diseases.
Keep your puppy (and even adult/older dogs too) safe by Puppy proofing your home.
Giving the recommended puppy shots and keeping up to date with routine vaccinations and de-worming are an important part of your pet parenting responsibilities.
Dog Poisoning happens more often than you might think, and knowing what to do in an emergency is crucial.
These items are toxic to our pets (includes food, drink, plants, cleaning products, candies and more).
Having a first aid kit for your dog close at hand in an emergency.
Knowing what to do if your dog is bitten/injured by another dogis also very important information.
When it comes to useful dog health information, being able to recognize the signs of health problems means that it's easier to get your puppy or dog the veterinary help he needs quickly.
Some symptoms of dog illness or disease are very common, and can be seen in a wide variety of conditions - some serious, some not.
Other symptoms are rare or vague, but are still very important.
Some of the most common signs of illness in puppies and dogs include:
These are often among the very first signs of trouble and should always be taken seriously.
Repeated diarrhea and/or vomiting can cause to dehydration which could lead to organ failure or other serious problems... even if the original cause of the stomach upset is not serious.
Symptoms of illness in dogs can be physical - such as excessive urination or difficulty urinating, shaking, eye redness or discharge, hair loss, skin problems and more.
Symptoms of dog illness can also be behavioral and any sudden change in your dog's behavior should be investigated.
Unusual aggression or fears, hiding, disinterest in toys/treats, unwillingness to do things that are a normal part of his day.
It pays to be observant and have Fido seen by a veterinarian if you notice this type of behavior.
Check out this page.. Worried about a Sick Puppy? if you're not sure whether your little guy is okay.
The very first thing you should do if you are worried that Fido is sick, or has been hurt, is to get him to your veterinarian (or to a 24 hour pet clinic if things are serious and it's after normal clinic hours).
Your vet is the professional who will be able to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment options.
For minor issues or routine care natural remedies or over-the-counter products MAY be helpful.
BUT.. if your dog has any pre-existing health conditions or is taking other medications, always consult your vet before giving him anything else (natural, homeopathic or OTC).
The treatment is often the same whether Fido is a puppy or adult dog.
These articles have puppy and dog health information, advice and product suggestions which can help in some situations:
If your dog gets hurt, or is suffering from certain conditions or issues, there are times when he needs a little something to help with the pain.
BUT you can't just go giving Fido the ibuprofen you have in your cupboard Certain human medications are very dangerous for dogs.
Find out what's safe, and what isn't, here... Pain Medications For Dogs
Aspirin may be given to dogs in some situations as long as you're very careful about dosage.
Because veterinary care costs have risen so fast over the past decade, and are continuing to go up, it can be difficult and stressful to deal with a major illness or accident if it should happen.
You can guard against having to empty your savings account or go into debt to pay Fido's vet's bills by making sure he has a pet insurance policy. It can give you peace of mind, and be a real life-saver in an emergency.
But do remember this is NOT recommended for injuries, serious illness or emergencies. For those you need a real-live vet visit!