15635825096_e1f9aa6dfe_k

Your dog is more than just a pet; it’s a member of the family. It counts on you for its food, exercise and love and affection. It’s important as a pet owner to know the common health issues that your pet can encounter such as Lyme disease and cancer in dogs and the ways to prevent and cure them.

Ear infections

Just like adults, many dog breeds are prone to ear infections. Breeds like the Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hound, the Coon Hound, Springer Spaniel and Dachshund have long floppy ears. Because their ears don’t allow air to get in they provide the perfect breeding ground for fungus, bacteria and yeast. Ear mites and long hair in the canal can also cause problems. Luckily, any one of these is going to produce visible warning signs that your dog has a problem. If you notice your pet constantly shaking its head, that he’s off balance, has an odor or redness, chances are good he has an infection. There are over the counter remedies, but it’s always best to get an expert opinion to make certain that it isn’t something more serious.

More: DNA saves dog from death penalty

Heartworm

Heartworm is a treatable disease if caught early. If you notice your dog has a cough, is lazy and is losing weight, get him to the vet. Heartworm can take up to 7 months to affect your pet from the time of the first mosquito bite. Once the larvae mature it reproduces rapidly spreading to all the vital organs including heart and lungs. There are over the counter medications for the treatment of heartworms, but if you don’t know the severity you could actually do more harm than good. It’s best to contact your vet and get your pet in as soon as possible and begin treatment. Under the supervision of a vet, your pet stands a much better chance of a full recovery. Preventative vaccines are available for dogs. On your next visit, speak with your vet and discuss the pros and cons to giving your dog the vaccine.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a very common tick-borne illness. Unfortunately, this is one of the diseases that your pet doesn’t have to acquire. If you live in an area prone to fleas and ticks putting medication onto your dog once a month can prevent this from happening. II usually takes anywhere from 24-48 of a deer tick attached to your dog for the disease to take place. After your dog comes in from outside, go through the coat with a comb and check to see if there are any small dark spots. Deer ticks are very tiny and hard to detect. If you see changes in your dog’s behavior such as lameness, loss of appetite and excessive sleeping take him to the vet for an exam. The good news is that treatment for Lyme disease if caught in the early stages is very successful.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease can happen due to toxins your dog infests like anti-freeze. However, most times it’s common to older dogs. Much the same as humans, over time some organs in the body become slow and eventually stop working. Since the kidneys are the filter that removes toxins when they stop working or slow waste stays in your dog’s body. If you notice that your dog needs to urinate more often and runs to the water dish each time you fill it, it may have the early stages of kidney disease. It affects small dogs usually between the ages of 10 to 14 years and around the age of 7 for large breeds. Your vet will test your pet and if it comes up positive will start treatment. Unfortunately, there is no real cure, but with aggressive treatments, your pet can live several months or years after the initial diagnosis.

Cancer

Your pet has a 50% chance of getting cancer after the age of ten. Skin cancer, malignant lymphoma, mammary gland tumors and breast cancer are all common. If you see any growths on your pet or notice that they are having trouble breathing, eating or sleeping, take him to the vet. The surfacing of growths on the skin is very common in older dogs. However, if your dog shows signs after the development of a growth or the growth changes color and size it could be a cancerous tumor. Early detection can help to save your pet’s life.

Knowing the signs of common diseases can help to preserve your pet’s life.

You might also enjoy: 6 reasons to build a custom home