What are Some Common Dog Illnesses?

sleepy dog

Dogs get sick just like people and some of the most common dog illnesses are similar to those affecting humans. Dogs are susceptible to influenza, allergies, and ear infections just like their human counterparts. Complications from obesity and excess weight plague dogs much the same as their human owners.

The “Dog Flu” is one of the common dog illnesses. Much like its human complement, it is characterized by sneezing, runny nose, cough, and mild fever. The canine strain of influenza originated as a mutation of the horse flue, first appearing in early 2004. It can be passed from dog to dog during a seven to ten day period of contagiousness. It is an airborne virus and generally runs its course without medical treatment.

brown dog laying on its paws

Allergies are common in canines with an estimated one of seven dogs suffering from this common dog illness. Dog allergies are characterized by irritated, itchy skin. Indications include excessive licking of paws and belly, as well as rubbing of the face and ears. Common dog allergens are pollen, grass and mold.

Dogs can also be allergic to insect bites as well as food and drugs. Hives are symptomatic of dog allergies, appearing as red raised bumps on the skin much the same as they do in humans. This may be easily confused with many dog illnesses.

Many dogs suffer from the common dog illness of ear infections resulting from wax buildup or ear mites. Ear infections can be bacterial or fungal as well as allergy related. Dogs most prone to this common dog illness are those with hair on the underside of the ear flaps. Head shaking, rubbing of the ears, or a bad smell are strong indicators that a dog may be suffering from an ear infection.

One in five dogs suffers from arthritis. This can occur as a genetic condition or can be caused by injury and disease. Hip dysphasia is the most frequent form of this type of dog illnesses happening most often in larger breeds.

two golden retrievers by the shore

Kennel Cough is an airborne virus or bacteria. This common dog illness causes an irritation of the canine’s trachea resulting in a distinctive cough that sounds like the animal is attempting to clear its throat. Easily passed along when dogs are in large groups, it generally lasts 7 to ten days.

Although dogs do not have heart attacks, about one in ten experiences the dog condition of congenital heart disease. This dog illness is a weakening of the dog’s heart. As the heart muscle slowly fails, not enough blood is circulated through the dogs system requiring the heart to beat faster. This dog disease is not curable. Treatments do exist, but generally other organs are compromised as the heart weakens.

The most common of the dog illness is an ailment shared by the human population; obesity. An estimated 40 percent of canines suffer from this illness. Its effects in dogs are much the same as in humans, frequently resulting in diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis.

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