Dogs are our most loyal and friendly companions, so taking care of their health and well-being should be one of our top priorities. Although many diseases cannot be prevented, there are many others that can be avoided or reduced if we follow some preventive measures.
What Are the Most Common Diseases in Dogs?
Every breed of dog is predisposed to certain diseases. By knowing these, veterinarians can treat each individual case much better through preventive medicine.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that mainly affects large breeds of dogs (such as Rottweilers and Golden Retrievers) and elderly dogs. It is related to the natural wear and tear of joints. The cartilage that lines the joint is gradually worn away and, as a result, it can become painful for the dog to move. In fact, pets with osteoarthritis often have very limited movement.
How to Prevent Osteoarthritis
Although osteoarthritis is almost inevitable (it is a natural process), there are some actions that can be taken to prevent it. For example, the vet can control the animal’s weight through a nutrition plan for the pet. It is also advisable for the dog to exercise at a moderate intensity, so as not to wear out the cartilage before its time.
Another common type of disease is periodontal disease, which affects the gums and the structure that supports the teeth. It is common that over time there is a build-up of tartar, bad odour, or inflammation in the gums if the patient’s dental hygiene is not taken care of. Over time, the gums may become recessed or may develop pus.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
Preventing this disease, which is more common in small breed dogs, is as easy as maintaining the patient’s dental hygiene. Ideally, the pet should receive at least a daily cleaning of its teeth to maintain good hygiene.
Canine leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by a protozoan of the genus Leishmania. It is a zoonosis in which the dog is considered to be the host of a parasite.
It is a difficult disease to diagnose because its symptoms can be very varied. However, the most common symptoms are apathy, .weight loss and possible dermatological, renal, ocular or joint alterations
The main route of transmission for this disease, which is also essential for the development of the parasite’s life cycle, is through mosquitoes.
How to Prevent Canine Leishmaniasis
One of the main methods of transmission is through mosquito bites. For this reason, it is best to apply a mosquito repellent, either with a pipette or in a collar. In addition, it is also important to have an up-to-date vaccination against this disease, especially in breeds that are more prone to it.
Heart disease is also quite common in the canine world, especially in smaller breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Dachshund or Chihuahua. There are different types of heart disease, such as dirofilariasis (heartworm), caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes, or acquired or congenital heart disease.
How to Prevent Heart Disease
As with people, prevention depends to a large extent on the dog’s lifestyle. Through a balanced diet, exercise and, above all, regular veterinary check-ups, it will be much easier to detect any signs of heart disease. So having a health plan with regular check-ups can be a good way to ensure your furry friend’s health.
Health Plans: Prevention Is Better Than a Cure
Although there are some diseases that cannot be predicted, there are ways to prevent some of the most common diseases in dogs. As veterinarians, the most advisable thing to do is to create a health plan for each patient and make sure they visit regularly to detect any irregularities in time.