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Dog Health is Your Responsibility
Dogs get sick and injured too. As well as illness and problems relating to animals dogs can suffer many of the health problems as humans. Dog health should be the concern of every dog owner and be on the look out that something is not quite right with your dog.
Dogs can suffer allergies just as we do but instead of sneezing the symptoms are often displayed as scratching, excessive licking or head shaking. Eye problems are not uncommon the conjunctivitis, cataracts and glaucoma often reported. Breathing problems can be caused by respiratory infections and the more serious problems of heartworm. Treating all of these conditions is very simply. Consult your vet and they will determine the problem and give you antibiotics to treat the problem right away. Sometimes these conditions can be related to one another which makes it even more critical that you fix the problem right away.
Dogs can also get the flu. Once only found in horses it appears that although rare for this strain to infect other species it seems to have morphed into a strain that does affect other species. The mortality rate is low about 5% and about 20%of those dogs who do get the flu do not get sick but can still be carriers. Of those that do get sick symptoms are similar to kennel cough with low fever and/or nasal discharge.
Cancer is becoming more common in dogs. Dogs can suffer numerous forms of cancer and are usually treated with chemotherapy. Limiting dogs exposure to tobacco smoke, certain flea and tick dips and asbestos is a good idea. Keeping your dog away from lawns that have just been sprayed with herbicides is another preventative method.
Dogs with diabetes have difficulty controlling the amount of sugar in their blood which can lead to serious infections and liver failure. As with humans obesity is a risk factor for diabetes. Diabetes in dogs is incurable but can be successfully controlled with insulin and diet. Heart disease in dogs can be defective valves that cause abnormal blood flow, abnormal heart beat or thinning and weakening of the heart muscle walls. All types can cause heart failure. A vet can prescribe medication to help control these conditions.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or Canine Alzheimer’s is becoming more common as dogs are living longer due to advances in veterinary care. Signs that you dog may have a memory problem are sleeping all day and walking around all night, no longer obedient, doesn’t recognize people or owner etc, stares in space. Your vet will be able to give medication to improve the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Old dogs may suffer arthritic pain, morning stiffness and age related immobility as well as kidney disease, epilepsy and spinal problems.