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Dog Health Problems

Written by: Editorial Staff

March 29, 2013
Filed Under Pets 


dog healthContributed by Info Guru Bryce Hammons

Our pets are as important to us as anything else in our lives. We love and cherish them.

When they get sick or injured, it takes a true toll. Just as in humans, there are many common issues associated with our canine friends which may cause trouble during their lifetimes. So, what to do?

A visit to the vet – or even a call – never hurts. As well, you can head over to WebMD’s canine page to input symptoms and conditions your furry companion may be facing in order to get a wealth of information on the topic.

Below, let’s take a look at some of the most common dog health problems in order to give you more information to keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.

10. Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure

An unfortunate topic to start with, but symptoms to be vigilant for include:

• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Weight loss
• Fatigue
• Difficulty breathing

Canines of all shapes and sizes and ages can suffer from heart failure, from small breed animals up to the giant canine breeds.

9. Gastroenteritis


Acute vomiting and diarrhea, when severe, can be an indicator of a life-threatening illness at work. As well, it can cause both an electrolyte disturbance and severe fluid loss. An owner should watch for a potential worsening of symptoms during a two day time period, in addition to dehydration, depression, listlessness, and blood in the stool or vomit.

8. Cancer/Tumors


Not fun, but a fact of life nonetheless. Skin cancer will usually occur in canines in the 6-14 year old range; skin tumors are more frequently benign (i.e.: not cancerous) when compared to those found in their feline counterparts. For more information, head over to the Skin Cancer webpage at They also have a related articles section near the bottom which covers a range of topics on the issue.

7. Arthritis


Arthritis can result in both pain and a lack of joint mobility in our furry friends. It may come about due to a lifetime of high activity or it may sprout up suddenly thanks to an injury. Owners can look for swollen joints, muscle atrophy, a dry crackling sound during movement, and/or lameness. Many medications are available to treat arthritis and lessen the toll it takes on your dog’s ability to enjoy life.

6. Dental Disease

Dental Disease

An inflammation of the structures which support gum tissue and teeth, periodontitis is one of the most common forms of diseases to be found within the canine community. It can be seen in all ages but it affects over 80 percent of dogs who are over three years old. Bad breath, tooth loss, bleeding gums, loose teeth, gum recession, and poor appetite can be symptoms of the disease.

5. Urinary Infection

Urinary Infection

Acute cystitis, according to the fine professionals over at, is an inflammation of the urinary bladder normally caused by a bacterial infection. Possible causes of your pet’s urinary infection range from:

• Stones
• Tumors
• Nervous system issues
• Other diseases, ranging from diabetes to Cushing’s disease, and even certain medications (cortisone-like drugs, anti-cancer meds, etc.)

For more information on acute cystitis, head over to to learn more from Dr. Debra Primovic.

4. Diarrhea


Do we have to go into this one in more detail? If you’ve been an owner and dealt with diarrhea during your pet’s lifetime, you may still be experiencing PTSD symptoms of the clean-up process. In all seriousness, dehydration during these bouts can be problematic; persistent diarrhea is enough of a cause for concern that you schedule a check-up at the vet’s office, as well.

3. Skin Infection

 Skin Infection

We’ve all seen our pets scratch away at itchy or painful areas on their bodies. In certain instances, this can be caused by pyoderma, a bacterial infection of their skin. If there are a) red, itchy skin lesions, b) pustules (pimples), or c) draining sores, take your pet to the local vet to get them checked out.

2. Skin Allergy


One in 7 canines suffers from a skin allergy. Allergic dermatitis may cause pets to:

• Scratch, lick, or bite skin, feet, and/or ears
• Have red scaly areas on skin
• Have increased skin pigmentation and bumps, crusts, or pus filled areas
• Lose hair

1. Ear Infection

Skin Allergy

Known in medical circles as otitis externa, an ear infection can occur in canines of all varieties; those with long, floppy ears, though, have a higher prevalence rate than other breeds. Signs may include:

• Scratching/rubbing of ears
• Head shaking
• Discharge from the ear region
• Pain when an owner touches the ear
• Redness or swelling

With dog health problems, it’s about getting your favorite friend back on their feet. For even more information on how to keep your pet happy and healthy, as well as learn more about many of the issues discussed above, head over to WebMD to learn ways in which to ascertain potential issues and act in order to assure health and happiness in both you and your pet.

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