Common Dog Health Challenges You Must Know

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Common Dog Health Challenges You Must Know

by Kristi Patrice Carter

As a dog owner, the health of your pet is high priority. However, it is often difficult to recognize when your dog has a minor condition or your dog has a serious health problem. This can be especially difficult if you are a first time pet owner. Below are descriptions of several common dog health issues that can help you determine your next step should a health issue arise.

One of the most common health issues for dogs are yeast infections in the ear. This is more prevalent in dogs with heavy ear flaps. The signs of an ear infection include head shaking, redness of the ears, inflammation of the ear, and a foul smell in the ear area. In order to prevent this condition, you should check your dog?s ears at least once a week. You can also ask your vet or groomer to demonstrate the proper way to clean your dog?s ears. Also, when you are bathing your dog, take care to not get water in your dog?s ears. This can lead to an infection.

Kennel cough is a very serious infection of the respiratory system. It is a highly contagious disease that can be caused by several different viruses or bacterium. This is a chronic condition, but treatment can alleviate the symptoms associated with kennel cough. This condition is characterized by a dry, hacking cough that does not go away. If kennel cough is not treated, it can develop in pneumonia, so it is best to make an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog may have kennel cough.

Fleas are an extremely common health problem for dogs. Many times, fleas can be seen by the naked eye in the dog?s coat. They can also be seen in the dog?s excrement as black specks. Many people make the mistake of only treating the dog for fleas. In order to prevent a relapse, the dog?s environment must be treated for fleas as well, including the dog bedding and cage. There are several effective treatments for fleas readily available in grocery stores. However, if these treatments do not work, your doctor can advise you on treatments.

Dogs are also very susceptible to heartworms. Most dogs will have no symptoms that they have heartworms, but their heart and lungs will be damaged by the disease. Dogs that have severe heartworm infestations will have labored breathing, and the vet may hear a crackling sound when listening to the dog breathe. Most dogs can be treated for heartworms using a medication prescribed by their vet.

It is always best to take call the veterinarian if you are truly concerned for your dog?s well-being. At that point, your doctor?s office can best advise you on how you should proceed in order to care for your pet.

For additional information on how to keep your dog healthy and happy, please visit, a website that features helpful dog-related articles, information, resources, and E-books for health-conscious and loving dog owners who want the best for their canine companion.

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