Whether you’ve grown up with dogs throughout your whole childhood, owned a dog for years, or you’ve recently adopted a new puppy, it’s likely that you
Whether you’ve grown up with dogs throughout your whole childhood, owned a dog for years, or you’ve recently adopted a new puppy, it’s likely that your life revolves around your furry friend. Despite the attention and care we give our beloved dog, some problems that they face can be easily missed or ignored unintentionally, which can lead to further problems down the line. We’ve found out the seven most common health problems in dogs, and outlined how you can go about spotting them in your own four-legged pal. This will ensure that you are able to find the most appropriate treatment to get them back to feeling healthy again.
You’ll be able to spot if your dog is suffering from an ear infection, as there will be visible debris or discharge in the ear which will have a noticeable odour. Your dog may also scratch or try to wipe their ear on the furniture, as it may feel itchy, uncomfortable and sore. If your dog shows these symptoms for two or more days, seek help from the vets who will check their ear and elsewhere on the body to see if there are other signs of infections. For example, your dog may have itchy or flaky skin too. A course of antibiotics will usually treat the ear infection, and help your dog feel better again.
Urinary Tract Infections
If your dog is urinating constantly around the house, it’s easy to blame it on their bad behaviour instead of putting it down to a health problem. However, urinary tract infections are extremely common and can be easily treated, but most dog owners don’t spot the signs of a UTI as particularly worrying. As well as urinating inside, your dog might have an increased thirst, or blood in their urine. Seeking out the advice of a vet will not only treat your dog’s infection with antibiotics, but it will mean that your dog can be checked for any underlying health conditions too, like kidney disease and diabetes.
Dogs with skin irritation issues will show signs that they are suffering by itching and chewing on their affected skin area, and you might notice that the skin is red, inflamed, flaking or bumpy. If the issue doesn’t clear up by itself within 48 hours, you should consider taking your dog to the vets so that you can receive a professional opinion. In most cases, the skin irritation is not a serious concern, and the vet will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or cream – along with a cone of shame to stop your dog from touching the skin!
Perhaps one of the smelliest health issues for a dog to have, and for you to have to deal with, is diarrhoea. Unfortunately, even the most house-trained dogs cannot control when or where they go if they have diarrhoea. This can mean your carpet has a special surprise waiting for you when you return home from work. If there are two occasions of diarrhoea in any one period of time, there is no concern and the problem may have been caused by your dog eating something that it shouldn’t have! However, if the problem persists or is accompanied by sickness, this could be a sign of an underlying problem. Ensure that your dog continues to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and take them to the vets as soon as possible so that you can get the problem checked out.
It’s normal that your dog has bad breath after eating their delicious kibble at dinner time, but serious bad breath before and after eating can be a sign that your dog has dental disease. Other signs for dental disease can include visible ‘dirt’, plaque and tartar on the teeth or gums, and bleeding in the mouth. Dental disease can be prevented by brushing your dog’s teeth weekly with special toothpaste made for dogs, as well as giving them specially designed dog treats that get them chewing. If your dog shows signs of dental disease, take them to the vets for dental treatment before the bacteria can enter the bloodstream. If it enters the bloodstream, it can cause severe health problems elsewhere in the body, like heart disease and kidney failure.
Arthritis in dogs is extremely common, even for dogs that are not very old but have lived active lifestyles, or are breeds that are particularly prone to developing arthritis due to their genetic makeup. Common signs of arthritis include limping to avoid bending or standing on the sore leg, and your dog helping when you touch certain parts of their limbs’ joints. Whilst arthritis is unfortunately not curable, there are a range of treatments available from your vet and from pet stores which can help to ease the pain and effects of arthritis for your dog.
One such treatment includes dog joint supplements, which can be given to dogs in the form of a daily treat. YuMOVE offers dog joint supplements that contain Omega-3 fatty acids from green-lipped mussels to soothe stiff joints, and hyaluronic-acid to help lubricate the cushioning of joints.
Obesity is one of the most preventable health problems in dogs on this list, but sadly it also one of the most common. We think that in order to look after our dog, we should give them lots of treats and human food to show them that we love them. However, this is completely the wrong mentality to have and will lead your dog to developing serious health problems as a result of their excessive weight. Extra weight that their breed is not designed to hold and carry around can put stress on their organs, which can lead to breathing problems and make them more likely to have heart issues. Obesity can be treated by a tailored nutrition plan that cuts back on your dog’s intake of food, fat and treats, in combination with regular exercise in order to help your dog lose weight.
There’s no need to worry or stress when you notice that your own dog is showing signs that they aren’t well. Follow the advice and steps outlined above if your dog is showing any of the signs of a health problem that has been listed. If you don’t think that your dog has one of the common illnesses that we’ve discussed, monitor the situation for 24 hours and go to the vets if the situation doesn’t improve or gets worse. However, if your dog is over the age of eight and is considered a senior dog, or has existing health conditions, you should head to the vets as soon as possible so that you can find a treatment for their problem. Health problems in older dogs can be more fatal than the same issues in younger dogs, since older dogs are more frail and have weaker immune systems than they used to have in previous years – which is why it is worth finding out about their poor health with a professional sooner rather than later.