Like us humans, our beloved pets can get sick too. The diseases range from the easily curable to potentially fatal. To help your pets live a long and healthy life, you should be aware of these common pet diseases and what you can do to help your furry friends recover or better yet, prevent these illnesses from happening.
Like humans, pets also suffer a variety of dental issues such as tartar, cavities and gum diseases. Once developed, these dental diseases need only professional cleaning. If gone unchecked, these could lead to serious problems such as heart and kidney diseases. One of the things you must do to prevent dental diseases is to include brushing their teeth as part of their regular grooming. If your pet is not a fan of brushing though, you need the patience to do it (or have a professional pet groomer handle the job).
Just like humans, pets can suffer diabetes as they age. While it can be mitigated by diet and exercise, some pets also need insulin shots.
Distemper is a viral disease in dogs and puppies, highly contagious and fatal. Puppies that are too young to vaccinated or dogs that are never vaccinated are the most susceptible to this disease. It is characterized by neurological symptoms, excessive discharge from the eyes and nose, and high fever. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this tragic disease, and the survival rate is very low. Dogs who miraculously survive distemper do not carry or spread the virus, but will often suffer effects such as seizures and hardened thickened paw pads.
Dogs also suffer diarrhea. The loose and liquid bowel movement can be caused by several factors — it could be a change of diet or a symptom of a more serious disease. Diarrhea may occur suddenly, and most lasting for short periods. But if diarrhea still persists longer, this could be an indication of a more serious illness. In this case, your dog should be brought to your veterinarian promptly.
Dogs suffer this common illness, which causes painful sensation inside their ears. Symptoms include frequent scratching at the ear(s) and head shaking. In case your dog has such behavior, check its ears if they are having malodorous smell, redness or swelling. Causes of ear infections in dogs include mites, bacteria, and yeast.
Feline gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums of your pet cats. It will lead to periodontitis, one of the most leading diseases in cats. This is caused by a combination of bacteria, and food particles that have been stuck and accumulated along the gumline over time. Cats who are into a high-carbohydrate diet are the most susceptible to this disease. The usual symptoms are reddened/swollen gums and bad breath. Gingivitis starts at one tooth but it can quickly spread.
Fleas and ticks do more than cause itchiness in your dogs and cats. They also carry serious diseases to your pets, as well as to humans. To keep your pets and yourself flea- and tick-free, use flea and tick preventive treatments, keep your area spotlessly clean, and regularly have your pets checked for the little blood-suckers.
Although heartworm is more common in canines, felines can also become afflicted with this disease. While it can be generally treated in dogs, there is no accepted cure yet for the feline heartworm. Preventative measures are still the best way to keep your pets free of heartworm, which can be potentially fatal.
Although older cats are more prone to kidney disease, it can happen to cats of all ages and also to dogs as well. This disease can be congenital or acquired as the cat ages.
Obesity is one of the major health issues not just among humans but also among pets. Overweight pets, just like overweight humans, are more prone to illnesses such as heart diseases, diabetes, and premature death. While the causes may be some serious disease or metabolism, the common reasons pets become obese are overfeeding and lack of exercise. Of course, you’d love to spoil your pets with food and some treats, but once they become too dangerously fat, have them check by your vet for proper diet and exercise guidelines. Also do some activities with your pets such as taking a hike with your dog, visiting parks for a jog or walk together, or playing fetch with him.
Also known as “parvo,” parvovirus is a highly contagious, life-threatening viral disease. It is more common in regions with low vaccination rates and can be acquired by both canines, felines and even other animals such as pigs. However, puppies and kittens that have not been vaccinated are more prone to this disease. The mortality rate depends on how quick the pet owner identifies the possible symptoms and how strong the pet’s immune system is. Pets who survive the illness do not carry long-term symptoms.
In recent years the widespread use of the anti-rabies vaccine has led to a continuously declining rate of rabies occurrences in the US. However, it is still prevalent in regions with low vaccination rates, or present in wild animals. Rabies is a deadly virus with extremely low survival rates among animals and also humans. Therefore, it is extremely crucial that your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccination.
Yes, pets can suffer arthritis too as they age, just like humans. They may not be as quick as they are before, and they now find difficulty to run around or even rise in the morning. Routine exams by your veterinarian can help diagnose many types of arthritis or X-ray checkups will help them determine how serious arthritis will be. Although there is no cure for arthritis, supportive care, and joint supplements will help keep your pet to move a lot as long as possible.