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Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms & Treatment

Spotting the signs of illness quickly can help provide your dog with the best possible outcome. Here, our vets in Charlotte share some of the most common illnesses in dogs including the signs and treatment options.

Dog Illnesses & Their Symptoms

Keeping an eye on your dog's health is an important part of their well-being. If they begin to show signs of illness, you should bring them in to see your vet as soon as possible. Here, we share three of the most common dog illnesses as well as a symptom checker to reference:

Cancer in Dogs

Thanks to modern advancements in veterinary medicine, dogs are living longer than ever. However, because they are living longer, they are more likely to experience serious illness at some point in their life. One of these common illnesses is cancer.

Symptoms of Cancer

As dogs age, they may be affected by various types of cancer such as skin, bone, breast, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcomas. Certain breeds are more prone to developing cancer due to their genetic makeup, while environmental factors can also play a role. Detecting cancer in its early stages can be challenging when symptoms are not present.

some of the most common signs of cancer in dogs include:

  • Lumps or bumps
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Wounds that don't heal
  • Lameness or swelling in bones or other parts of the body

Treatment for Cancer in Dogs

If your dog has cancer, they may need surgery to remove the tumor. Some treatments can help cure the disease or extend your dog's life, and your dog may need additional care to manage pain and discomfort. This can include things like hot and cold packs, acupuncture, or medications that are applied to the skin. It's important to catch cancer early, so taking your dog to the vet for regular check-ups can help identify any issues before they become serious and potentially life-threatening.

Ear Infections in Dogs

If you notice your dog scratching their ear or shaking their head frequently, whining, or behaving strangely, it could mean they have an ear infection. A vet can examine your dog to determine the cause of the infection, which could be due to moisture in the ears, allergies, autoimmune disorders, wax buildup, or other reasons.

Symptoms of Ear Infections

Some other signs of ear infections in dogs include:

  • Swelling or redness in the ear canal
  • Dark discharge
  • Pain
  • Odor
  • Itchiness
  • Scabs 'Crustiness'

Treatment For Ear Infections in Dogs

If your dog's ear is infected, the vet will clean it with special medicine and give you antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication to cure the infection. They might also prescribe a cream to apply at home. If caught early, the infection will clear up in a week or two. But, if it's serious or due to a health condition, it might take longer to heal. Unfortunately, there are cases of chronic or reoccurring ear infections.

Parvovirus in Dogs

Parvovirus is a very contagious and potentially serious condition that is transmitted through particles in poop or on contaminated surfaces. This virus can survive in the environment for a long time. Dogs and people who haven't received all of their vaccines are most at risk. However, if a dog gets treatment quickly, they can often be saved.

Symptoms of Parvovirus

If your dog has parvo, you may notice symptoms like:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (usually bloody)
  • Fever
  • Weakness

Treatment For Parvovirus in Dogs

To avoid parvovirus in dogs, it is best to prevent it by giving them puppy vaccines and booster shots. Parvovirus can cause serious health problems such as bone marrow damage, bacterial pneumonia, chronic heart disease, and even sudden death. While there is no cure, your vet can provide supportive treatments to alleviate symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is crucial to ensure your dog stays hydrated and well-nourished during recovery.

Since parvovirus weakens the immune system, your vet will monitor your dog's condition and may prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.

What should you do if your dog is sick?

If your dog begins to show the signs related to any of the conditions listed above, you should bring them for an examination right away. At Providence Animal Hospital, we provide comprehensive services and advanced diagnostics to treat your dog's most difficult health problems effectively.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog showing signs of any of the above conditions? Contact our vets in Charlotte today to schedule an examination.

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