Many of the common health issues in dogs are preventable. These issues include arthritis, cancer, and skin problems. Regular dental care can prevent many of these problems. However, if you do not treat them in time, they could become serious and even cause your dog’s death.
If your dog is at risk for osteoarthritis, you can take steps to prevent the disease. Regular wellness visits with your veterinarian will help you ensure that your pet is at a healthy weight and has an active lifestyle. They can also help you identify the early signs of osteoarthritis.
Dogs with this condition often exhibit signs of stiffness after rest, limping, and appetite loss. Your veterinarian can diagnose arthritis based on your dog’s age, medical history, and physical examination. He may recommend X-rays to determine the extent of damage to the joints.
Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage protecting the joints wears down. This causes the joints to lose their cushioning effect, which results in increased friction between bones. Osteoarthritis can progress quickly or slowly, so early signs may not be evident. As the disease progresses, a dog may begin to appear slower and lose interest in playing or going for walks.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in dogs and is a serious threat to the health and welfare of dogs. In North America, OA affects about twenty percent of dogs over one year of age. It is most common in large breed dogs. Although it is an increasingly common health problem in dogs, there is no known cure for this disease. However, there are ways to manage the disease and improve the quality of life of your dog.
The treatments for cancer vary depending on the type and the stage of the cancer. It’s helpful to know what type your pet has before you begin treatment. Benign cancers are slow-growing and can be removed surgically. They can also be left alone if they are not a threat to the pet. However, malignant cancers can spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
There are many warning signs your dog may be suffering from cancer. Some of the most common are lumps, which can appear on the skin’s surface or underneath it. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, you can consult your veterinarian for treatment. Often, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination to determine if your dog has cancer. By providing your dog with the right treatment, you can help fight the disease and relieve the pain associated with it.
One of the most common forms of cancer in dogs is soft tissue sarcoma. This type of cancer affects connective tissues and occurs most commonly in large breeds. These tumors can be located anywhere on the body, but they are most common on the limbs and chest. Breeds that have a higher risk include Saint Bernards and golden retrievers.
Dogs can develop skin problems due to many causes. Some are caused by fleas, and others are the result of an allergic reaction to flea medication. Symptoms can vary from one dog to another, so it’s important to visit a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
Some diseases are caused by inborn abnormalities in the structure of the skin, and can be treated with medications and topical therapies. Symptoms can include fever and lack of appetite. Pemphigus foliaceous usually appears in middle-aged dogs, but can affect any breed. Akitas, Chow Chows, Labrador Retrievers, and English Bulldogs are particularly susceptible. Other inherited skin problems can include icthyosis, a skin disorder in which the coat thickens and is covered with oily crusts.
Infections are usually treatable, but skin problems are often more difficult to diagnose. Often the symptoms can be similar. A veterinarian will examine your dog’s skin and perform any tests needed to confirm the diagnosis. Your vet will also ask you to provide information about your pet’s lifestyle and any triggers. In some cases, the symptoms may occur only during a certain time of day or after exposure to an unknown substance. Depending on the severity of the disease, the veterinarian will recommend a course of treatment. Treatment may include topical ointments and special shampoos. Medications can also be given by injection or oral means.
Diabetic dogs should be monitored closely. They require insulin, which is a medication that works to reduce blood glucose levels. The medication needs to be given twice a day to manage blood glucose levels. Dogs with diabetes may also require a visit to the veterinarian if they become ill. Most dogs can be treated at home with insulin therapy, but some may require hospitalization.
Dogs with diabetes are at risk for a variety of complications, including kidney disease, nerve damage, and hardening of the arteries. Besides these complications, dogs with diabetes are also prone to infections. To prevent these complications, diabetes management requires diet changes, weight loss, and home blood testing.
Diabetic treatment for dogs is different than the treatment for human diabetes. A veterinarian’s goal is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible, between 65 and 120 mg/dl. This will ensure that the dog feels good now, and will reduce the risk of developing other diabetes-related problems later.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and is characterized by an inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. In this case, the pancreas may be damaged or not functioning properly, so insulin must be supplemented daily. Another type of diabetes is called insulin-resistance, and occurs when the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells in the body don’t respond to it. This type of diabetes can occur in overweight dogs and older dogs. Female dogs can also develop insulin resistance during their reproductive years.
Veterinary medicine has several options for treating Addison’s Disease, including fluid therapy, supplemental medications, and diagnostic testing. In the acute stage, the primary focus of treatment is to correct hyperkalemia, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia, and to reduce the severity of the signs and symptoms. In more severe cases, glucocorticoid replacement therapy may be needed. In either case, kidney function should be closely monitored, as well as the level of potassium and sodium.
To diagnose Addison’s disease, your veterinarian will run a blood test called an ACTH test. This test will measure the levels of cortisol in your pet’s blood before and after a synthetic hormone called ACTH is injected into the adrenal gland. If the test shows elevated cortisol levels, it is likely that your dog has the condition.
If you suspect that your dog has Addison’s disease, you should take him to the veterinarian immediately. Early treatment of this disease is critical and can save your dog’s life. Getting regular checkups and monitoring blood tests is an essential part of preventing your pet’s Addison’s disease from progressing to the most serious stage.
If you notice that your dog’s teeth are starting to show signs of gum disease, it’s probably time for your dog to get checked out by a veterinarian. While this condition is not serious, your veterinarian can recommend preventive steps that can improve your dog’s health and make your pet more comfortable. This condition can be treated with simple cleaning and scaling or by using special therapies.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria from the mouth adhere to the teeth and form a substance known as plaque. This plaque then combines with minerals in saliva and hardens into dental calculus, or tartar. In advanced stages of the disease, abscesses can form. Additionally, tissue and bone can deteriorate. In smaller dogs, it can lead to jaw fractures.
Periodontal disease can affect any breed of dog. However, some breeds are more prone to the disease than others. It can also be caused by genetics and the shape of the mouth. Breeds with brachycephalic jaws are especially prone to this health condition. A veterinarian can detect signs of gum disease in your dog by taking x-rays of the mouth and performing an oral examination. A dental cleaning should be a routine part of your dog’s annual checkup.
Dogs need certain vaccinations to protect them from common health problems. Several of these include rabies, distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and coronavirus. These diseases can be fatal, so it’s important to protect your pet from them. Vaccinations can also protect your dog from serious infections, including leptospirosis.
Vaccinations may have side effects, including soreness at the injection site and fever. However, these are usually small compared to the risks of developing a disease. Consult with your veterinarian before administering vaccinations, and be sure to monitor any side effects that occur afterward.
If your dog goes to daycare or dog parks regularly, it’s important to consider getting it vaccinated against the distemper virus. This contagious illness is spread through contact with infected animals, and it can cause serious respiratory problems, such as pneumonia. Vaccinations for this disease are also recommended if your dog is exposed to wildlife such as raccoons, foxes, or mice.
While there are other types of vaccinations that your dog may need, you’ll most likely need the rabies vaccine for your pet. This is a requirement in many parts of the U.S., as the disease is spread primarily through biting. It is a potentially deadly disease that can be fatal if not treated in time. If you live in a rural area, your vet may recommend the vaccination of your dog for protection against ticks.