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Dogs are hardy creatures. If they are given the basic necessities of life such as a nutritious diet, good parasite control and regular vaccinations to prevent disease, they usually remain in good health. However, sometimes things go wrong and they do become unwell, and need veterinary care.
Here are the most common medical conditions that occur in our pet dogs.
1. Vomiting. Whether it is because they eat something inappropriate, or they pick up an infection, most dogs will vomit at least once in their lives. In many cases, it’s not a problem, and they recover quickly.
2. Diarrhea. This often goes hand in hand with vomiting, but can occur on its own. It too is often caused by your dog eating the wrong thing, or an infection. Intestinal worms can also cause diarrhea in dogs, particularly young pups.
3. Coughing. Infection, heartworm and heart failure are all common causes of coughing in dogs.
4. Itchy skin. More and more dogs are being diagnosed with allergies, and these usually manifest as red itchy skin. It’s very distressing to see your dog constantly scratching, so contact your veterinarian for help sooner rather than later.
5. Ear infections. These can be seen more often in dogs with floppy ears, or those who regularly enjoy a swim. They can also be associated with allergies, so it’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis before you start any treatment.
6. Limping. Most dogs enjoy a good run, and sometimes they pull up a bit sore. It may be something as simple as a torn toenail, or as serious as a ligament tear. If your dog hasn’t recovered after a day or two of complete rest, it’s time to see your vet.
7. Excessive thirst. This usually indicates a hormonal problem, such as diabetes or Cushing’s disease. You shouldn’t be complacent about this symptom. Make an appointment with your vet for blood tests sooner rather than later.
8. Lethargy. This is a difficult symptom to manage. There are so many reasons why a dog appears depressed and doesn’t want to move much. They may be in pain, or feel nauseous, or they may just have no energy. If your dog doesn’t start to recover in a day or two, call your veterinarian.
In Summary – Many times, illness in dogs is easy to treat and they are back to their normal happy selves very quickly. If you are at all concerned about your dog’s well-being, have them checked to your veterinarian. The peace of mind will be worth it. When in doubt – Ask.
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