Canines are one of the favourite pets for most of us. They are like part of the family. Unlike cats and other varieties of pets, canines or dogs are very close to humans. Sometimes, they are our best friends who are there for us in good times and bad. To keep these friends in good health at all times, we need to know the illnesses that could affect them and disturb their lifestyle. Today, we enlighten you about some common canine diseases and guide you on general caring methods.
Common dog diseasesA dog can be your companion, an award winning show animal, just a guard dog or your loving pet. The best thing you, as its kind and responsible owner can do for it is to provide proper health care. A good knowledge about the various dog diseases and an awareness of the appropriate prevention and treatment methods will help you provide that care. The best way to treat a disease is to prevent it through vaccines. However, even the dogs that are vaccinated are still prone to various diseases if they are not immunized properly, through regular vaccines . Puppies are usually vaccinated as soon as they open their eyes; just two weeks after birth. These initial vaccinations have to be given at regular intervals until six weeks after birth. Thereafter some vaccinations have to be given on a yearly basis. The disease-fighting antibodies puppies receive through mother’s milk lasts for 6- 16 weeks. Then the vaccinations take over protecting the dog from disease causing germs.
DistemperA highly contagious, airborne virus causes canine distemper. It affects the respiratory system, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of the dog. Symptoms in the early stages of the disease are a common cold, runny eyes and nose, fever, cough, and often diarrhoea. However, in later stages there may be nervous twitching, paralysis, and seizures (convulsions). Unfortunately, there is no successful treatment for distemper. Many dogs die from this disease.So, make sure you protect your pet from this dreaded disease.
HepatitisHepatitis is a viral disease transmitted by urine, or saliva of infected animals. This affects the liver, kidney, and blood vessels. Fever, tissue swelling, and hemorrhage are the common symptoms of the disease. When treating the sick dog blood transfusions and intensive care will be required. However, very often those are not successful.
LeptospirosisA bacteria spread through contact with nasal secretions, urine, or saliva of infected animals causes Canine leptospirosis. It should be noted that humans could also be infected with this disease. Lepto infects the kidneys and causes fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and jaundice. Treatment for this disease requires antibiotics, intensive care, and fluid therapy. Dogs that recover may be left with permanent kidney damage.
ParvoParvo is very common among dogs. Canine parvo virus is a deadly contagious viral disease that is spread by contact with infected fecal matter. The virus is difficult to kill and is easily spread. It attacks the gastrointestinal system, causing fever, lethargy, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, and rapid dehydration. Treatment requires fluid and supportive therapy and has a variable rate of success. Mostly young dogs are prone to be infected with parvo.
RabiesRabies is a viral infection that affects all mammals,including man. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. The virus infects the central nervous system, causing a brain infection, which is always fatal. There is no treatment for dog or man after symptoms appear. However, vaccines are effective in preventing the disease in people if it is administered soon after their possible exposure.
TicksTicks are most commonly found on outdoor dogs. Ticks can transmit several diseases and should be removed with care. Grasp the tick near its head with a pair of tweezers and pull away from the skin with a firm tug. Disinfect the area with alcohol to prevent infection. Ticks should be controlled by daily inspection and removal.
Some important tips
* Never buy a puppy, which is less than at least eight weeks old.
* A healthy dog is active, has a wet nose and bright eyes. The dog’s behaviour and appetite are normal.
* If your dog is lethargic, inactive and has a dry nose, immediately take it to a veterinary surgeon.
* Dogs with long fur must be bathed once a week and during a hot weather, twice a week.
* Use mild shampoo or soap when bathing. It helps to preserve the fat layer of the dog’s skin.
* Soap or shampoo should be washed away properly and then towel dry the dog’s coat.
* Vitamins and other nutrients are essential for a healthy coat.