Protecting your dog’s health and wellbeing is a priority for all dog owners. Dogs are susceptible to various health issues just like humans are. In fact, periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition found in dogs, AVDC reports. It’s important to educate yourself about the common infections, illnesses, and diseases found in dogs, so you can quickly identify the symptoms in your own dog. It’s also just as important to take preventative measures to stop health issues developing in the first place.
Ticks pose risk to dogs all year round, but especially in warmer weather. Apply a tick spray daily to your dog’s coat; natural neem sprays are effective. Tick-repellent shampoos, collars, and topicals are also available to safeguard your dog. Always inspect your dog for ticks after walking through grass — pay particular attention to the paws, around and inside the ears, and under the tail. If you find a tick, remove it immediately to minimize chance of illness developing. Use appropriate tweezers or get a vet to remove it.
Ear infections are often caused by allergies, bacteria, ear mites, and hair growth in the ear canal. Prevent ear infections in your dog by removing excessive hair, drying the ears thoroughly when wet, and cleaning them if they’re dirty. Also regularly check the ears for abnormal discharge. If your dog has an ear infection, you may find discharge in the ear, redness and swelling, and hair loss around the ear. He may also scratch his ear or shake or tilt his head excessively. You’ll then need to take him to the vet for an ear cleaning and medication.
Worms are parasites that can infect your dog causing vomiting, diarrhoea, and irritation along with more serious consequences if left unchecked. Dogs often contract worms from other dogs or by eating eggs on contaminated soil. The best way to prevent worms is with a regular worming tablet which eradicates all intestinal worms. It also helps to keep your dog, home, and garden clean to minimize risk of infection. Your vet should also check for worms at least once a year. If worms are discovered, your vet will advise on the best method of treatment (possibly tablets or on-the-spot treatments).
Taking steps to protect your four-legged friend from health issues is all part of being a responsible owner. Preventative treatment can go along way in keeping your dog happy and healthy and avoiding a visit to the vet. If you’re ever in doubt, however, always consult your vet for professional advice.
This post was a freelance contribution from Karoline Croft.