A lot of us talk about the common pet diseases that are easily curable. However, there are also rare and scary pet diseases that every pet owner should know about. Although the chance of your pooch to suffer any of these diseases is rare, it is good to be educated on these uncommon yet dangerous pet diseases.
Uterine tumors in dogs are usually benign. Middle-age to senior female dogs that have not yet been spayed is often the targets of this disease.
Addison disease occurs when the dog’s adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones. The result is vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness in the muscles, and tremors. More than a dozen dog breeds can be afflicted by this disease.
Also known as pseudod, Aujesky disease is a rare but deadly disease caused by the herpes virus. Farm dogs are the most susceptible to this disease due to exposure to pigs or eating contaminated pork infected with the virus.
While the species Babesia microti is more common in humans, other species of Babesia may be found in domesticated animals. As for Babesia in pet dogs, it is a parasitic disease caused by ticks or a bite of an infected dog. It can cause anaemia. The severity of the disease can vary.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a hereditary disease. It is characterized by hyperelasticity of the skin, hypermobile joints, and fragile vessels.
Feline immunodeficiency virus
Feline immunodeficiency virus is a slow virus (“lentivirus”) and affects cats worldwide. It is transmitted through wound bites and deep scratches of an infected cat. Affected pregnant cats may also pass the virus to her offspring. Infected cats may appear healthy at first, but over the years their immune system has become weakened that they will be unable to protect itself against other illnesses and infections.
Feline leukaemia virus is a retrovirus, meaning that it affects within infected cells. It can be transmitted through the infected cat’s saliva or secretions from its nose. Depending on the cat’s immune system, it may still remain healthy and never get sick or may die from this disease.
This highly contagious disease affects both domesticated and wild cats, caused by the feline parvovirus (which is a close relative of the parvovirus in dogs). It decreases the white blood cell count of the affected cat. Other symptoms include vomiting and seizures. It is also known as “feline distemper.”
Parvovirus or Paevo is mostly found in cats and dogs and is contagious and viral. The most common form of this disease affects the intestine and leads to severe vomiting, weight loss, anorexia and diarrhoea. The other form of this disease affects the hears muscles leading to death.
While hypothyroidism is more common in dogs, hyperthyroidism is rare. It is mostly caused by a thyroid tumor.
Hyperthyroidism is otherwise one of the common glandular diseases in older domesticated cats. Symptoms include rapid weight loss, excessive thirst, increased appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the protozoan parasites spread by the bites of sandflies. It can be visceral (organs) or cutaneous (skin). Although leishmaniasis usually occurs in humans, some animals like dogs may also be affected.
This rare claw disease is characterized by shedding of the nail from the dog’s paws, and multiple nail loss. Certain breeds such as greyhounds and miniature dachshunds are likely to be afflicted by this disease.
Prostate cancer can occur at any male dogs from 9-10 years of age, whether they be intact or neutered. Symptoms include loss of appetite, difficulty in urinating, and ribbon-shaped stool.
Kidney or renal failure is a chronic kidney disease that usually occurs on older cats, but may also affect kittens born with kidney problems. If your cat pees frequently (especially outside its litter box), drinks a lot of water, mouth ulcers, dry coat, and weakness, it might be an indication that it is suffering renal failure.
Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection that usually affects the skin, but it can also affect other parts of the body such as lungs, bones, joints and even the brain. A pet with this disease should be handled with care as it can be also contagious to other animals as well as humans.
Thyroid cancer, although rare, may affect specific breeds such as beagles, boxers and golden retrievers. It is also known as thyroid adenocarcinoma.
Although tuberculosis is rare in dogs, it can nevertheless occur. Symptoms include high fever, weight loss and loss of appetite. It can also affect humans.
Arthritis is not a disease found in human beings but also pets, especially older ones. The symptoms are similar, inflamed joints, difficulty in rising or doing physical activities etc. Arthritis has a limited cure and can be treated with joint supplements and acupuncture.
Heartworm is caused by mosquitoes and is a widely spread disease that affects both cats and dogs. Although it can be curated in its early identification, feline heartworm is fatal and prevention is the only treatment.
Just like us, pets also need proper prevention and medication to stay healthy and longer. There are many diseases that arise unknown but lead to severe complications, some being contagious and fatal. Although all pets require frequent vet visits, if your pet is a rare species, be very careful in taking them along your tours and vacations as they are more sensitive towards such diseases and ailments.