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Prevent These Diseases In Your Dog

Dental Disease

Dental disease affect  80% of dogs by age two. Dental illnesses are common and can potentially become a serious health problem. If you notice your pooch has stinky breath, the disease may have already progressed further than just tartar. The bacteria can affect the gums and if left unattended can lead to heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems among others. Animals need to have their teeth brushed just like humans but with toothpaste that is especially made for animals. Taking care of the oral hygiene of your pet is an important part of its wellbeing.

Obesity

This is not just a people problem, your dog’s health can be negatively affected if it is overweight. Keeping your pet at a lean and healthy helps avoid problems like diabetes and joint disease. Work with your vet to create a meal and exercise plan that fits into your pet’s lifestyle. Active dog needs are different to sedentary ones. Just putting your pet on a diet is not the answer either, the food must be nutritionally well balanced.

Ear Infection

Most dogs will have an ear infection during their lifetime. Moisture in the ear leads to the growth of bacteria or yeast and can be caused by anything from bathing to grooming or swimming. Summer is a common time for this infection to rear up and that’s when you might notice redness in the ear or a really strong smell, it’s something that can be treated easily with the right ear drops. Occasionally you may need to use antibiotics. But the key is to treat the problem as it arises rather than prolong it and make it harder for your pet and the treatment process.

Vomiting

Many things can cause vomiting in dogs – viral infection, bacterial parasites or even inflammation of the pancreas. Younger dogs sometimes swallow foreign objects they should not ingest which can get stuck in the stomach or GI tract and cause inflammation. Your dog may also vomit if he eats inappropriate foods like grapes which can cause renal disease. The most important thing is that when your dog is really small, consult your vet as soon as possible because they are weaker and can get dehydrated and deteriorate faster. Even in older animals, you do not want them to suffer unnecessarily, so seek help as soon as you can.

Kennel Cough

This type of bronchitis is easily transmitted between dogs whether at the dog park kennel or anywhere dogs congregate. It affects the dogs breathing and voice box and can present itself as a harsh cough, sneezing, gagging or even vomiting. If left untreated, kennel cough can progress to pneumonia, so it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible. There are vaccines available so it is always advisable to get these done.

Arthritis

As dog’s age they can develop arthritis. Most of the time, it occurs in dogs that were born with hip dysplasia but even so it’s a manageable condition. It’s best to get an early diagnosis from your vet and for your animal to keep within an appropriate weight. Anti inflammatory medication and particular exercises can really help.

Cancer

As in people, cancer is becoming more prevalent in dogs. While it can affect young pups it mostly presents itself in older pooches. You may notice a lump, swelling lesions or a sudden change in your animal’s behaviour. Whatever the case it’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible because there are treatments available for dogs including chemotherapy.

Heart Disease

If you your dog gets breathless easily on little exertion, shows signs of fatigue and lethargy, is not willing to walk or exercise, has loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, coughing difficulty breathing, you pet must be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Heart disease in dogs is almost as common as it is in humans, but unlike people, smoking and a fatty diet are not risk factors. The most common form of heart disease in dogs is valvular disease, which primarily affects small breed dogs over 5 years of age and makes up 70-75% of heart disease in dogs.

Ticks and Lyme Disease

Ticks are parasites that attach themselves to your dog, cat or even to you. They feed on the host’s blood and transmit disease like Lyme Disease. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Keep your dog tick-free by using a topical treatment that is applied on your animal.

Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks typically get the bacterium by biting infected animals, like deer and mice. Most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease. Not all ticks are infected, and the risk for contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body.


Dr Sharad Singh Yadav is the Chairman of Advanced Pet Hospital & Research Centre which is open 24 hours throughout the year and located in Bishal Nagar, Kathmandu. He may be contacted on tel: 4422855 or email: aphktm@gmail.com