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Health Issues Dog Owners Should Watch For

No one ever expects their canine companions to get sick. Regardless, the likeliness of this happening is higher than most people realize. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to disease – some breeds more than others – which is why dog owners should be on the lookout for different signs of potential health problems. Symptoms can be physical or behavioral. Detecting them early on could mean the difference between life and death.

Health Issues Dog Owners Should Watch For

Joint problems typically affect older dogs. They can be a sign of arthritis; if this is the case, your dog may not have a full range of motion in his hips and legs. Unfortunately, there is no cure but there are medications that help ease the pain. Joint problems can also be an indicator of obesity, especially if your dog is not yet of senior age. You can tell that a dog is overweight just by looking at his shape and also by the way he walks. If he waddles or struggles to stand or move, he is likely bearing excess weight. He will also have noticeable trouble breathing properly and the extra pounds will take a toll on his heart and lungs.

Keeping track of your dog’s bowel movements can also help in estimating the overall health of your pet. Normally how long does it take a dog to digest food properly? Your canine takes anywhere from eight to twelve hours to fully digest a meal. If your dog’s bowel movements are very inconsistent, then it may be something to mention on the next visit to the vet. Like people, dogs should be “regular”, having a time of the day when they tend to empty their bowels. Occasionally inspecting your dog’s solid waste could also provide more insight into the health of your dog. Spotty stool could indicate digestive issues such as malabsorption or even worms.

Occasional vomiting is pretty normal for dogs, believe it or not. It’s their body’s response to eating something that didn’t agree with them. But if your dog is throwing up regularly, you should investigate the reason; the cause may present itself in your pet’s upchuck. If you find nothing and your dog continues to vomit, or he seems lethargic, you should make an appointment to see a vet.

Significant weight loss over a short period of time can be an indicator of different illnesses. Digestive issues could cause a lack of appetite which would lead to rapid weight loss. Cancer could also be the culprit, and it would be more likely since half of all pet deaths can be traced to cancer. Like in humans, the earlier it’s detected, the more treatable it is.

Other symptoms to look out for include consistent coughing and sneezing, low energy and constant itching. These are likely indicative of canine allergy problems. The most effective way to combat these symptoms is to identify the allergen whether its fleas/ticks, seasonal or environmental. Once that’s done, you can treat it accordingly with a prescription from the vet.

Dog owners should also take notice of their pet’s teeth. If they’re neglected, he is likely to suffer from periodontal disease, eventually. Tartar would build up, the gums would become inflamed, and their breath would emit a foul odor. It could get worse as the bacteria from the mouth could travel into the digestive tract and make its way to the organs, which could be deadly. Brushing his teeth daily and letting him chew on dental treats would go far in treating and preventing oral diseases in your dog.

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