Common Illnesses

The following are signs of common illnesses you should be aware of:

Dehydration When the skin on the back of the neck is pulled up, it should snap back into place quickly. If it doesn’t, your dog is dehydrated. Dehydration can be a sign of serious illness, so if your dog doesn’t become hydrated quickly, take him to your vet.

Ear infections and ear mites are fairly common. Check your dog’s ears often, and if any brown waxy discharge is present in the ear, he has one of the two. See your vet for medication.

Kennel Cough is very easily transmitted between dogs. If your dog starts coughing and sneezing, see your vet for medication before it becomes extremely bad and costly.

Live in the Southwest US or Mexico? Valley Fever is a nasty fungus that lives in the dirt and is inhaled by practically every living being. It can be deadly in dogs if not treated. Signs are typically weight loss, loss of appetite, cough, growths on skin, or no symptoms at all.

Several worms that infect and reinfect dogs can also infect humans, so treatment and eradication of the worms in the environment are important. Remove dog faeces from back yards each day or at least weekly, use appropriate vermicides under veterinary supervision, and have the dog’s faeces checked frequently in persistent cases. Do not mix wormers and do not use any wormer if your dog is currently taking any other medication, including heartworm preventative, without consulting the veterinarian.

When walking the dog in a neighbourhood or park, remove all faeces so that the dog does not contribute to contamination of soil away from home as well.

Dogs that are in generally good condition are not threatened by worm infestations and may not even show symptoms. However, it’s a good idea to keep the dog as worm-free as possible so that if disease or stress do take a toll, you’re not fighting worms in a sick pet.

Sand flies or Canine Leishmaniasis - an introductory overview
Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic parasitic disease. The disease is transmitted through the bites of the phlebotomine sand flies and is the third most important disease worldwide. Domestic dogs are important reservoirs of some forms of leishmaniasis. The disease is on the increase due to the adaptation of the parasite to urbanization and deforestation and immunosuppression caused by the increasing incidence of HIV co-infection in humans.

Canine Leishmaniasis (CanL) is a severe progressive systemic disease. Not all dogs develop clinical disease after inoculation with the parasites. The development of clinical disease is dependent on the type of immune response that individual animals have against the parasites.

The clinical signs of CanL are variable and definitive diagnosis of the disease is difficult.

Vaccines are not available in Europe at the moment, an effective, affordable control is by the prevention of sand fly bites to dogs.

Treatment is expensive and not curative.

Tick born diseases: Canine Babesiosis
Canine babesioisis is sometimes also called piroplasmosis, is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Babesia. It is transmitted through tick-bites to intermediate vertebrate hosts, in which they infect and proliferate in red blood cells, anaemia follows and multiple organs may be involved. In Europe, babesiosis is mainly caused by Babesia canis canis. Babesiosis is seen throughout Europe. It is rare in the UK, it is however being diagnosed more frequently in travelling animals, since the introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) in February 2000.

All information contained on this page is the opinion of the writer of this site. Please consult a qualified veterinarian.

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