If you’ve ever taken your dog for a walk in the woods or on the beach, you know that they’re prone to getting sick. After all, just like humans, dogs can get viruses and infections from other animals, too. And while most of these illnesses aren’t fatal to dogs, and most of them can be treated with medication, some diseases can be prevented by vaccinating your pet before they show symptoms.
In this article, we’ll talk about seven diseases that affect dogs and how to prevent them so that your best friend doesn’t have to suffer from an illness.
1. Lyme disease
As per Today’s Veterinary Practice, around 30,000 to 40,000 Lyme disease cases are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US each year.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that spreads through an infected tick bite. A bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi can cause Lyme disease, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems for dogs.
The signs of Lyme disease include fever, lethargy, joint pain, and swelling at the site where the tick is attached to your dog. If you suspect your dog has contracted this illness, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can administer antibiotics.
Dogs should be vaccinated against Lyme disease every year. This vaccination protects them from all strains of Borrelia burgdorferi and other related species that may be present in their region or area on outdoor adventures with their owners.
Heartworm disease is a parasitic infection that can affect the heart and lungs of dogs. It is caused by a worm that lives in the heart and lungs of dogs, cats, and other mammals.
Dogs are infected with this parasite when they are bitten by mosquitoes carrying larvae, which develop into adult worms inside the dog’s body. Left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal to your dog due to inflammation or damaging effects on the blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to his organs.
The good news is that treatments are available. But prevention is even better. You can prevent heartworms by giving your dog preventive medicines like Heartgard Plus Chewables that keep your pet safe from dangerous parasites all year long.
3. Intestinal parasites
Intestinal parasites are the most common cause of illness in dogs. These parasites can be passed from dog to human and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. Because of this, it’s essential to keep good hygiene when handling your dog’s poop and not allow them to lick you after they go outside.
If your pet has an infestation of intestinal worms or other parasites, you can get treatment from your veterinarian that will last several weeks or months, depending on the type of worm or parasite they have.
If your dog is bitten by a wild animal, it’s especially important to vaccinate him as soon as possible. The rabies vaccine prevents the disease from taking hold and spreading. However, once a dog has contracted rabies, there is no cure, and he will die within 10 days of being infected.
In the United States alone, more than one million dogs are vaccinated against rabies every year, and those numbers are rising steadily each year. While this may seem like an extreme measure, as per WHO, more than 29 million people globally receive a post-bite vaccination. The global economic burden of dog-carried rabies is $8.6 billion per year.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect dogs of any age, size, or breed. It is spread when an infected animal’s urine contaminates water and soil.
The symptoms of leptospirosis are flu-like. They include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. In severe cases, dogs may develop renal failure or even die from this illness.
The best way to prevent your dog from contracting leptospirosis is to keep them away from areas contaminated by animal waste, such as lakes or river banks. And make sure they have access to clean drinking water at all times during long walks outdoors.
Have you ever heard of distemper? It’s a deadly disease that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. Most dogs will survive a mild case, but the virus can be fatal if your pup doesn’t receive treatment in time.
This viral infection causes symptoms like fever, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea in your pet. You may also see a loss of appetite or depression in your dog when they have distemper. These symptoms are often mistaken for other illnesses, so you must know what to look out for if your dog has this condition before taking them to the vet.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. It can be transmitted through body fluids and blood. Hepatitis A and B viruses are spread through fecal-oral contact with contaminated water or food. Dogs can also contract hepatitis from fighting within their breed or from other dogs at the dog park.
Hepatitis C is a serious disease that can be transferred between people and animals (and vice versa). It’s important to keep in mind that while there’s no evidence that dogs transmit this strain to humans, it’s still important to take precautions when handling your furry friend following his visit to the vet clinic or any place where he might have been exposed to a human virus carrier.
As per a report in Science Alert, the UK Health Security Agency had linked “dog exposure” to severe cases of childhood hepatitis. The UKHSA claimed that 70% of patients were from dog-owning families.
As you can see, there are a lot of preventable dog diseases that you should be aware of. Now that we’ve taken time to go over the symptoms and treatments for each disease, it’s time to put this information into action.
If your dog happens to show any signs of illness, take him or her to the vet immediately so they can get treatment immediately. Don’t wait around until tomorrow because tomorrow might have come too late.