There’s an old saying that you may have heard about being “sick as a dog,” yet none of us ever wants our furry friends to feel unwell. Dogs can become ill because of genetic conditions, breed-specific issues, or just as their bodies start to weaken with age.
Here are some of the most common reasons why dogs get sick and how you can approach their treatment in the most natural way possible.
Just like humans, dogs’ skin can become easily irritated because of environmental toxins and a wide range of medical conditions. Bacteria, yeast infections, and certain foods can cause a dog to become itchy. Signs of a skin issue are the dog scratching in a certain area of the body or consistently all over. Natural approaches to treating skin troubles include dietary changes and special shampoos.
Ear infections are common in dogs, especially certain breeds with long and floppy ears. These include basset hounds, labradoodles, golden retrievers, and beagles. Check your dog’s ears regularly for odd odors, redness, and swelling. After your dog is in water, make sure to dry the ears thoroughly or use a dog-specific ear-cleaning solution. Persistent ear infections may be a sign of an allergy that needs to be treated by your vet.
Upper respiratory infections are common in dogs due to bacteria and viruses. These substances affect a dog’s voice box and windpipe. Kennel cough is very contagious among dogs and can easily be spread through doggie daycare facilities and animal shelters. Vaccinations for parainfluenza and Bordetella can help prevent kennel cough, as well as keeping very young and immunocompromised dogs away from other pets.
Pain and Joint Problems
As dogs get older, they commonly experience joint pain, especially if they have become overweight due to overfeeding or inactivity. We recommend Seagate Pet Joint Care capsules for dogs, which is made from freeze-dried shark cartilage that most dogs love the taste of. Depending on your dog’s weight, you may need to administer one to 10 capsules per day for optimal effects.
It is standard in the U.S. for veterinarians to recommend heartworm medication for dogs as a preventative medication. Heartworms are parasitic worms that live in the heart and arteries of dogs, and they can be transmitted between dogs. Heartworm is dangerous because the parasites travel through a dog’s bloodstream while damaging arteries and organs. It can even be fatal if left untreated. The typical treatment for heartworm involves injected medications during hospitalization and exercise restriction.
Ringworm is a type of fungus that affects a dog’s skin, hair, and nails. It is highly contagious and leads to hair loss. You can use a special shampoo on your dog’s fun to kill the fungus after a ringworm diagnosis. Some serious ringworm cases require oral medications.
Cancer is just as scary and deadly in dogs as it is in humans. It can be caused by genetics or environmental factors and be either localized to just one body part or spread throughout the entire dog’s body. Golden retrievers and boxers are prone to lymphoma and mast cell tumors, while Saint Bernards, Great Danes, and other large breeds are more prone to bone cancer. Some dog cancers are curable with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy, while other cancers must simply be managed to make your dog as comfortable as possible.