Dogs not only offer companionship, but they also help humans relax and reduce stress. Studies show that they also influence a child’s social, cognitive, and emotional development. As such, dog owners should ensure their dogs are healthy and free from disease-causing germs. While routine vet checkups, proper grooming, and vaccinations keep a dog free from disease, it is essential to familiarize yourself with common illnesses that affect the dog's health.
The term describes a range of complex respiratory infections (bacterial and viral) that lead to the inflammation of a dog’s windpipe and voice box. The condition is highly contagious hence the need to keep your dog isolated until they are healed. Kennel cough usually clears up on its own, but if it persists, you should visit the vet. Also, if the dog develops rapid breathing, nasal discharge, or is lethargic even after treatment take him back to the vet. Untreated kennel cough can be detrimental to the dog's health as it can lead to pneumonia.
It is a viral disease transmitted through bites from infected animals. Rabies affects the dog’s brain and the spinal cord and does not have a cure. The disease is, however, preventable through vaccination as it protects your dog from contracting the condition and humans in case bitten by a dog. Rabies does not affect the dog's health immediately as the symptoms take 2-8 weeks to incubate.
This highly contagious disease is transmitted through exposure to contaminated feces. Parvovirus attacks rapidly-dividing cells of a dog’s body, especially those located in the intestinal tract. The condition also affects white blood cells, and when puppies get infected, it can damage the heart muscles leading to long-term heart problems. Adolescent dogs and puppies that have not been vaccinated are susceptible to the virus.
It is crucial to identify the symptoms of these common diseases so you can seek professional help immediately. Most of the conditions are preventable hence the need to ensure your pup is vaccinated early enough.