The 6 Most Common Dog Illnesses

Dog illnesses and dog health issues can be very serious, sometimes even fatal, so it’s important to be able to spot the signs quickly and take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you see them. The most common dog illnesses are those that are easily spread among dogs—namely, canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine hepatitis virus, and rabies. But there are plenty of other potentially serious issues you should look out for as well. Here are the six most common dog illnesses that you need to know about in order to keep your pup healthy and happy.

Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is a common disease that affects dogs of all ages. It is caused by parasitic worms living in your dog’s heart and pulmonary arteries. These parasites can grow as long as 12 inches and live for up to 8 years. While most dogs do not show symptoms, severe cases can be fatal if left untreated.

Giardia
Giardia is a gastrointestinal illness in dogs that’s caused by an intestinal parasite. Giardia can be found worldwide, but it’s most common in areas with poor sanitation and bad water quality. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and severe dehydration that may require hospitalization. If your dog is diagnosed with giardia, make sure you clean up any messes and wash all of his dishes in hot water immediately to prevent spreading it to other pets or humans.

Leptospirosis
also known as canine distemper, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that infects dogs and other canines. There are two types of leptospirosis: Weil’s Disease, which occurs in tropical and subtropical climates; and icterohaemorrhagiae (also known as canine hepatitis), which happens in cooler climates.

Parvovirus
Parvovirus is one of three viral diseases that affect dogs. Dogs become infected when they inhale or ingest parvovirus, either directly from another dog with parvo or indirectly through contact with their feces. Symptoms include: diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, and lethargy. Parvo is highly contagious and spread by direct contact with infected dogs or contaminated objects such as shoes and clothing.

Roundworms in Dogs
Roundworms are one of a few dog health issues that can affect dogs of all ages, from puppies to senior dogs. They’re spread via parasites found in a dog’s stool. The worms enter through your pet’s skin, or via your hand when you accidentally touch your pet and then put your fingers in your mouth. Roundworms live and lay eggs in a dog’s small intestine, causing intestinal blockages that lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

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