Few things can be as emotionally and financially draining as unexpected dog health problems in your new puppy. Just like small children, puppies may suffer from sudden and severe dog health problems, and a failure to quickly deal with the illness means a much higher cost for treatment. The best way to avoid expensive visits to the vet is to prevent your new friend from getting sick in the first place.
Potential Threats and Major Dog Health Problems
Dogs are subject to any number of dog health problems, just as we are. Unfortunately, dogs don’t have an easy way to communicate how they’re feeling, and will often suffer quietly until the pain becomes unbearable. However, there are signs and symptoms you can watch for that will help you recognize when your dog is ill long before it reaches this point.
There are a wide variety of allergies that may make your dog feel miserable. The most common is a reaction to fleas. This can lead to hot spots on the skin and possible infections. To avoid this problem, make sure you medicate for fleas and ticks once a month and visit the vet regularly. If you start to find other hotspots or the infection spreads to the ears, set up an appointment with your vet right away – this could be a sign of food allergy which will need to be checked by the vet.
Dogs may suffer from an infection in the ears, eyes, teeth or on the skin surface. Ear infections are by far the most common and are usually caused by a foreign body, like dirt or bacteria becoming lodged in the ear. You should check your dog’s ears on a routine basis – look for red spots, dirt, excess moisture or swelling. Infections can be easily avoided with regular cleaning – cleanse the eyes, brush the teeth and comb the hair to help remove any bacteria.
A growing number of dogs now suffer from obesity. It has quickly become one of the main dog health problems and is also one of the deadliest. Though it’s not directly responsible for the death, it leads to heart failure, liver disease, skin problems and tumors that can shorten the lifespan by years. As with people, obesity is usually caused by too much food and too little exercise. To keep your dog happy and healthy, oversee his food intake and make sure he exercises every day.
This is another area where dog health seems to duplicate human health. Diabetes in dogs is generally caused by a diet that is high in rich, fatty foods and sugars. If untreated, this disease can lead to severe pancreatic problems and may require the regular administration of a shot. The best way to avoid this problem is to feed your dog a good dog food and minimize any table scraps or extra meals he may be getting.
Arthritis and Dysplasia
Joint pain and related problems are often linked to certain purebreds, particularly those that have longer, narrower joints. A daily dose of vitamins and minerals will help fend off arthritis and dysplasia. You should also have your vet check for any signs of degeneration every year.
The easiest way to avoid most dog health problems for your new puppy is to make sure he eats good food, gets enough exercise, and is kept cleaned and groomed. You should also visit your vet once a year for an annual check-up. Remember, the sooner you diagnose, the easier it is to treat.