Common Illnesses in Dogs

Our dogs are always there for us, sticking by our side whatever comes our way! That’s why it can be such an awful feeling to see them unwell. As with humans, there are many conditions that can affect our furry friends, but some are more prevalent than others. We’re looking at seven of the most common illnesses in dogs, so you might be able to spot them and get your pooch the right treatment!

Common illnesses in dogs - dog sleeping on floor

1. Lungworm

Lungworm is a parasite that’s usually contracted when dogs eat infected molluscs such as snails and slugs, or they come into contact with the trail they leave behind. Making sure your four-legged friend receives regular worming treatments should help to protect against lungworm. Symptoms can include heavy breathing, lethargy and lack of appetite. Find out more about lungworm here.

2. Kennel Cough

This common illness in dogs is mostly associated with boarding kennels, but can be caught from any area where there are a lot of dogs. It’s highly contagious; the bacteria spreads between animals through sneezing, coughing and contaminated surfaces. It affects the lungs, and is usually identified by a loud, dry, hacking cough. Your vet might prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the disease, and there are vaccinations available to help prevent it.

3. Dental Disease

We’re told to brush our teeth every day to avoid tooth and gum decay, and this is no different for dogs! Canines don’t tend to suffer from serious tooth decay, but they can develop dental disease. This involves a build-up of tartar and plaque, leading to inflammation of the gums. If this isn’t treated, it can develop into more serious forms of gum disease. Brushing your dog’s teeth and regular check-ups with their vet can help to prevent this. Find out more here!  

Common illnesses in dogs - sick poodle

4. Parvovirus

Highly contagious, canine parvovirus causes damage to the lining of the gut and can be fatal. It’s most common in young, unvaccinated puppies. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea, often appearing and developing quickly. The good news is that dogs and puppies can be vaccinated against parvovirus from eight weeks old, which is something responsible pet owners should be sure to do! Find out more about parvovirus here.

5. Lipoma

Lipoma is a common skin condition that can develop in any dog, often as they age. They are lumps that begin life within fat cells, and which can increase in size as time goes on. Lipomas can grow quite large, but they’re not usually anything to worry about. When diagnosing a lipoma, your vet might take a biopsy or cell sample to ensure the lump isn’t cancerous. While they’re benign, some owners choose to have lipomas removed for cosmetic reasons.

6. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is another illness your dog or puppy can be vaccinated against. It’s a bacterial infection that can be contracted through drinking infected water from areas such as stagnant ponds and swamps. Normally treated with a course of antibiotics, catching leptospirosis early will give your canine a much better chance of recovery. The symptoms can include high temperature, lack of appetite, vomiting and fatigue.

Common illnesses in dogs - Pomeranian receives treatment

7. Obesity

While not an illness in itself, overweight dogs can be at a higher risk of developing dangerous conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and breathing problems. Avoid overfeeding your furry friend, even when they turn those puppy dog eyes your way! Make sure your dog gets enough exercise too as it can be key to keeping their weight down. Your vet can also give you advice on how to help your pooch maintain a healthy weight. Find out more about obesity here!

There are many different illnesses out there, but it’s important to do all you can not to let them get in the way of your canine adventures! To help protect them further, you might also want to consider taking out dog insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, we offer a variety of Dog Insurance policies, with a range of both Standard and Optional Benefits to get the right policy for your needs. You could also get up to 30% discount* on your policy. Head to The Insurance Emporium to find out more!   

* The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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