Common Health Problems?
Let’s face it, dogs are our children…just with fur. They need us to take care of them as any good parent would. If your baby was crying, had a fever, or throwing up you would run to his aid. As pet owners it is our obligation to do the same, but it can be hard to spot problems. I mean Rufus isn’t exactly going to walk up to you, stand on his hind legs, look you in the eye and say “Hey mom I don’t feel good, my butt itches, and I think I may have slimy parasites living in my stomach making me hungry all day long.” So as parents we need to know what to look for.
We all had these as a kid and we know how painful they are. I‘m sure you have been ‘that kid’ screaming in the doctor’s office at least once or twice. Well we wouldn’t want our pooches to go through that either. This is one of the most common canine infections and can be caused by multiple things; allergies, deep ear canal hair growth, mites, yeast and more. If you see your dog doing any of these you should take action:
*Ears red or swelling
*Consistent and intense scratching
*Head shaking tilting (if this gets too bad the dog may rupture a blood vessel)
*Uncommon eye back and forth movement
*Lack of balance
Okay now if you get grossed out by the idea of tons of long, slimy, parasites living inside of you then you should also make sure your furry friend doesn’t end up with the problem. This is a common problem in dogs and is fatal to puppies. Hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms are all included in this pesty category. If you see these signs, you should treat your dog immediately with a trip to the vet or oral medication suggested by a professional:
*Scooting his rear
*Change in appetite
*Abnormal weight loss
*Diarrhea that could be bloody
*Dry, rough coat
*Overall poor appearance
I don’t like lice, you don’t like lice, and your dog doesn’t like fleas. If you’ve ever been shunned from school because your hairy head is infested with annoying, itchy, nasty bugs, then you should understand how your pup feels when he has little black pests crawling all over him. Luckily if you live in certain places of the country you don’t have to worry but if you are prone to fleas be on the lookout, they can bite you too, and yes they itch…bad. Good news for us is that they can’t live in human hair. Fleas can cause your dog to have many other health issues including allergic reactions, infections, and anemia considering he is losing a ton of blood to the critters. Not to mention they simply make your dog incredibly uncomfortable, which should be reason enough for you to help him out by taking him to the vet or using flea medicine or shampoos. Blue dawn also gets rid of them, that’s a southern trick I learned growing up. Here are some signs that Fido has fleas:
*Hot spots (will explain later)
*Vigorous scratching, biting, and licking the skin
These should be fairly easy to spot. They are the bright red, bare, inflamed areas on your dogs skin. Common sense…if you have a problem spot like a mosquito bite or a rash what do you do? Scratch it. And then it turns red. Well same for your furry friend. Ahot spot around the ear could mean ear infection and by the hips could be fleas. A hot spot could show up anywhere on your dog though and is usually a bacterial skin infection called acute moist dermatitis. Left untreated these spots will definitely spread and grow larger. Treating these spots will consist of cleaning and shaving the areas and applying the steroids or antibiotics your vet gives you. Most importantly it must be consistent and you have to be on top of it to make sure your pup doesn’t continue to scratch the area, or else you are in for a vicious cycle.
No one likes to see their food after it’s already been digested. And unfortunately our pups are prone to this incredibly unfortunate bodily function as much as we are. This can happen because of infection or intestinal parasites to pancreatic, kidney failure, heatstroke, poisoning, pretty much anything that will make you throw up will almost make him throw up (except eating poop…that would make me vomit, but they enjoy that if they are malnourished). I don’t think I need to describe the symptoms, we all know what vomit looks like. Treatment will depend on what is going on the vet can help you determine this. But if you see Spot throw up a yellow foamy substance, don’t freak out he is probably just over excited or anxious and could use a time out, a bowl of water, and a handful of food. He will be back to normal in about ten minutes.
Don’t’ act like this hasn’t ever happened to you. We know you want to get rid of it as soon as possible … well trust me so does your dog. Just like throwing up, diarrhea can have many causes. Stress, parvo infections, food problems, and intestinal parasites are common reasons. Again I don’t think I need to describe the symptoms, just Google it if you’ve lived under a rock your whole life and don’t know what it looks like. Make sure you are giving your pup plenty of water in this situation because he can easily get dehydrated. If it lasts more than a day, take him to the vet. If there is vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, bloody stools, or if he seems to be constipated you should take him to the vet immediately.
Now that you know some common health problems in dogs I hope you can be on the look out to give your furry friend the most enjoyable life possible, after all he is Man’s Best Friend, and best friends look out for each other!