A well-cared-for dog that sees the vet for regular checkups and preventative care won’t get sick very often. But the likelihood of your canine experiencing one of these common dog health problems in his lifetime is high. At East Valley Animal Hospital, we believe that education is one of the best forms of preventative care. Knowing the health issues your dog may face and how to identify and even prevent them can make for a happy and healthy pooch. The following are the most common health issues that can affect dogs.

1. Vomiting

In some cases, vomiting is a reaction of dogs with an upset or empty stomach and is not always an indicator that your pup requires urgent care. But there are other, more serious reasons why your dog may be vomiting. It can be a sign of bacterial infection, toxicity, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal blockage, or a number of other diseases. If vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms and persists, bring Fido in to see us as soon as possible.

2. Diarrhea

Much like vomiting, diarrhea could just be a sign that your pup ate something his stomach did not agree with but wasn’t harmful to him. However, if diarrhea is ongoing, the greatest danger to your pet is dehydration.

3. Ear Infections

Breeds with floppy ears such as basset hounds and cocker spaniels most commonly struggle with ear infections. The American Kennel Club estimates that around 20 percent of canines contract some form of ear disease. Signs that your pup may have an ear infection include whining, head shaking, and scratching at the ears.

4. Skin Issues

There are several reasons a dog may develop skin problems, including allergies, parasites, and dermatitis. Itching, scratching and licking are common signs that your canine may have a skin issue. In some cases, the skin may appear flaky, red or swollen. If you notice your pup seems to be bothered by something occurring with his skin, it’s best to address it as soon as possible before self-induced hot spots appear that can be painful for your four-legged friend.

5. Parasites

A common everyday health concern for pet owners is disease that can be carried by parasites like fleas, ticks and heartworms. At East Valley Animal Hospital (serving Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa), we stress the importance of proper pet hygiene and preventative care in order to help protect your furry friend from pet parasites.

6. Obesity

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 56% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. This growing epidemic can lead to a number of serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and orthopedic issues. The good news is that it’s entirely preventable and typically can be reversed quite easily.

7. Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a chronic, progressive deterioration of cartilage, the protective lining that covers the bones in the joint. Osteoarthritis, most commonly found in senior dogs, occurs when there is abnormal wear on normal cartilage—such as trauma or instability in the joint—or normal wear on abnormal cartilage (defects in the cartilage). If your dog has osteoarthritis, talk to us about treatment options such as PRP therapy.

8. Toxicity/Poisoning  

Dogs are curious creatures, and they enjoy sniffing out new and exciting smells that might lead them to ingest something harmful. Each year Animal poison control centers receive hundreds of thousands of calls from concerned pet owners. Make your home danger-free by keeping medications, household products, poisonous plants, insecticides, and certain foods out of reach from your pet. Here is a list of 10 Most Common Pet Toxins in 2019.

9. Dental Disease

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80 percent of dogs will exhibit some degree of gum disease in their lifetime. If caught early, gingivitis is potentially reversible with good oral hygiene. But once gingivitis progresses into periodontal disease, it can only be managed, with the hope of avoiding tooth extraction. We recommend practicing daily tooth brushing, providing your dog with safe dental chews, and feeding him foods and treats that promote oral health.

At East Valley Animal Hospital, your local vet in Gilbert, AZ, we pride ourselves in the compassionate and comprehensive care we offer our four-legged patients. Should any of these common dog health problems arise with your furry friend, we would be honored to care for them.  

Image by Pexels from Pixabay (4/25/2019)