Everyone loves their four-legged friends or their pals with feathers or scales. We all want to take care of our pets as best we can, but we often need some help. No one can automatically know everything there is to know about their pet. And we can’t all become vets just to look after them! However, we can all learn some of the most valuable information that we need to spot problems.
If you own a pampered pooch, you might already know some of the issues you need to watch out for. But even with a little knowledge, you can get confused. When should you go to the vet’s and when can you treat at home? I’ve made a list of some of the most common health problems your dog could experience and how to spot them. Hopefully, it will help you to keep your hound happy!
Every dog owner is sure to know about the risk of fleas. Not only do you not want your dog to have them, but you certainly don’t want them in your home! Preventing your dog from getting fleas will stop your whole house getting them too. It’s important to know the signs of an infestation. But the first thing you need to do is use a preventative medication. Many owners choose to use a spot-on solution, which you dab onto the back of their neck every few months. Some of these help to prevent ticks too.
If you think your dog might have been unlucky enough to catch fleas, there are a few things to watch out for. They might be scratching, licking or biting a lot, and you might notice bits of dirt in their fur. They might also have an allergic skin reaction and fleas can also lead to tapeworms. If you think your dog might have fleas, a trip to see your vet should be your first task. They can discuss the best medication for you. It could be an oral tablet, a spray, shampoo or a topical liquid. It’s important to treat fleas right away because they can lead to infections or even anemia.
Ticks are another parasite that you have to watch out for, particularly if you live in certain areas. They hide in long grass and can carry some nasty diseases, such as Lyme disease. Many protections against fleas will also prevent ticks, but not all of them do. Even if your dog does have something protecting them from ticks, it’s essential to watch out for them. If you spot one, you should remove it using special tweezers to ensure the whole thing comes out. The most important thing to watch out for are signs of Lyme disease. They include depression, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and sore joints.
There are several types of worm that your dog can pick up. As with ticks and fleas, it’s better to prevent them before they occur. Talk to your vet about a solution that tackles all the different types of worm that could infect your dog. Some of the most common ones include tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms. There are a few signs to watch out for, including the most recognized scooting along the floor. But that’s not the only indication of worms. They could also experience diarrhea, weight loss, a dry coat or a change of appetite. You need to visit your vet to identify which type of worm your dog could have, so you get the right medication.
Dogs can also experience problems with both their eyes and ears. Many dogs experience eye discharge, which can be a sign of an infection or another problem. It could also be allergies or even glaucoma. Your dog might have conjunctivitis. It causes the lining of their eye to become inflamed. If you spot that your dog’s eye is irritated or that there is discharge, you should make an appointment with your vet. Treating a dog eye infection is different depending on the cause of the infection. You need to ensure that you get the right treatment. It could be eye drops or a topical antibiotic cream.
Ear problems are common for dogs too, and can be allergies, mites, yeast infections, and more. Spotting an ear infection involves both watching your pooch’s behavior and having a look at their ears. They might be shaking their head or scratching their ears a lot, or they could be unbalanced. There could be a smell from their ear, redness or swelling, or perhaps a discharge. If you think they might have an ear infection, a trip to the vets will help you identify it and find the best way to treat it.
Keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy should be a top priority. Acute dermatitis is one of the health problems that lots of dogs experience. These red and inflamed spots on their skin are caused by a bacterial skin infection. They can be caused by fleas or other issues, such as ear infections. Your vet can help you identify the cause and recommend the best treatment. They might suggest steroids, antibiotics, NSAIDS or creams and lotions to tackle the problem.
Stomach problems are another thing a lot of dog owners worry about. Your dog might have diarrhea, start vomiting or perhaps lose their appetite. These issues can be indications of wider problems. But sometimes they’re just an irritated tummy. For example, if their dog has been sick, many owners will start by only giving them water, then slowly introducing bland food, such as rice. However, if your dog continues to vomit for a long time or has other symptoms, it’s best to make a trip to see your vet. There are lots of things that could cause stomach problems. They include serious issues, such as renal failure. In particular, you should watch out for symptoms including lethargy, inability to hold down liquids or blood in their vomit.
It can be worrying when your dog might be unwell, but it helps if you have an idea of what could be wrong. Just remember that your vet is always there to help you out if you’re not sure what to do.