July 7, 2021

10 Common Health Conditions among Pet Dogs

Peri Elgrot

Top 10 Pet Insurance Review Editor

Health issues are something we don’t want to be burdened with. Both humans and pets have certain conditions that they need to be careful of developing. And although you might not want to think about it, it’s important to be informed about the different types of illnesses that commonly plague us.

Different dog breeds suffer from different diseases and you might be surprised how common some of these conditions are. In this list, we put together ten of the most common health issues found in pet dogs. Most of these are not life-threatening but there are a few that will require more attention and advanced care.

1. Cataracts

Cataracts are common, especially with much older dogs. Just like in humans, cataracts severely affect a dog’s vision. These growths in the eyes are not only brought about by old age, sometimes they can develop from trauma or a disease in the eye. A dog may even have cataracts upon birth or develop within the first few weeks as a puppy.

2. Ear Infections

Ear infections are common especially in dogs that play outdoors a lot. Dirt, dust, grass seeds, and other foreign objects can get stuck in the dog’s ear leading to irritation and infections. If your dog is starting to paw at their ears often, perhaps it’s time to get them checked for an ear infection.

Veterinarians usually prescribe ear drops containing antibiotics to cure the infection. Cleaning their ears regularly is a good habit that you should start early.

3. Kennel cough

Kennel cough is a condition often detected in dogs from an animal shelter, a pet accommodation, or the vet. Although the name sounds bad, kennel cough is comparable to the common cold in humans. It’s not easy to avoid especially in animal shelters or pet accommodations with more than a dozen dogs running around. The best way to recover from kennel cough is to provide your dog good food, plenty of water, and rest.

If the case becomes more severe, the vet may recommend antibiotics to fight it off. You can look into dog vaccinations for more details on how to prevent Kennel Cough.

4. Diarrhea

Diarrhea becomes a common condition due to several different reasons. Often, it will be brought about by an allergic reaction or bad food that your dog wasn’t supposed to get their paws on. In some cases, diarrhea may be more serious. It’s also a common symptom for a few serious conditions.

5. Arthritis

Another condition common among senior dogs is arthritis. In Australia, 1 in every 5 dogs are diagnosed with arthritis, also called osteoarthritis, at one point in life. It’s difficult to detect symptoms of arthritis in dogs. They don’t often show signs of complaint about their feeling. Often pet owners will notice that they become less active than before it takes longer for your dog to stand on their feet, more so in cold weather or in the morning.

Weight control, anti-arthritic drugs, and keeping your dog active with exercise, can help them overcome pain from arthritis.

6. Fleas and ticks

We’re all familiar with nasty fleas which are something that almost all dogs catch at one point in their life. With proper medication, it’s easy to get rid of fleas on dogs. You can find these products sold at your nearby pet store.

Ticks are a different matter and should be taken far more seriously. Certain types such as the paralysis tick commonly found in Australia’s east can cause severe health problems in dogs.

7. Heartworm

Heartworms were one of the most common parasites that affected dogs. However, developments in vaccines now prevent conditions occurring due to heartworms. There are still cases of heartworms that can be fatal if not given the proper treatment.

8. Obesity

Obesity is another common health issue among dogs and something that isn’t given enough attention. Obese dogs have high risks of developing serious conditions including kidney disease, heart disease, arthritis, and more. If you think that your dog is becoming overweight, consult with your vet for options on how to maintain a healthier weight.

9. Broken Bones

Broken bones occur due to several different reasons and you might not detect them so easily. Your dog could have been hit by a vehicle while playing outside or fell from a high place accidentally. You need to look out for lumps, protruding bones, limping, and whimpers when you touch them. Your dog would avoid showing they are in pain and try to remain brave despite the pain.

10. Cancer

As dogs get older, many will develop a form of cancer and their bodies will start showing their age just like humans. Dogs are affected by different types of cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and melanoma.

There are various cancer treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or surgery. Detecting cancer in its early stages is important for any type of cancer. Be on the lookout for strange spots or lumps on their eyes, ears, and skin.