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Most common dog diseases and their symptoms

There are different common ailments among dogs that can go unnoticed by owners and if not treated in time can be aggravated

12 Feb 2020

If there is one irrefutable maxim, it is that "the dog is man's best friend." The presence of a pet in the house not only helps to combat loneliness, but also provides much more than just company. A gesture in a delicate moment, a walk together after a long day of work or simply knowing that it is there when we relax on the sofa, provides an unparalleled psychological and emotional contribution and creates a unique bond between master and pet.

But having a dog is much more than just having a faithful friend. They need to be fed, exercised, rested, protected from extreme temperatures and cared for when they fall ill. Dogs, like any human being, can suffer from common ailments that need to be treated, but there are also many diseases in dogs that can become irreversible if not treated in time or given special care.

Types of diseases in dogs

One of the most common diseases is distemper in dogs. Also known as "canine distemper", it is a contagious pathology, as common as it is serious for our pet, which affects a large number of dogs all over the world. It is caused by the paramyxoviridae virus, which is similar to human measles. Its symptoms are reflected between three and six days after infection and consist of fever, anorexia and a constant nasal and ocular secretion. Subsequently, vomiting and diarrhoea occur. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for the treatment of this disease and veterinary specialists recommend that owners administer it to their pets to prevent future infections.

Another common ailment is ticks on dogs. These mites deposit themselves on warm-blooded animals (including humans) to seek a constant food source. If you notice that your pet is constantly scratching and fidgeting and even using its teeth to try and find relief in a certain area, it is very likely that the animal has ticks. You have to be very careful, because they can also stick to other members of the house, so you have to remove them as soon as they are detected.

There are several ways to get rid of ticks on dogs. The first thing to be clear is that it is very important to make a detailed inspection of our pet every time we come back from a walk, especially if it has been in high grass areas. These mites can be removed with tweezers. They should be grasped in an area near the head and pulled up carefully to remove the entire parasite. Other 'homemade' options are to use chamomile or apple vinegar. In the case of the former, we recommend boiling the camomile and pouring dried flowers into a glass. When the mixture cools down, pour the liquid on a cloth and apply it to the area where the tick is. The other recommendation is to mix apple vinegar and water and apply the liquid with a gauze in the damaged area.

However, if you want to prevent your dog from getting ticks, it's best to have good anti-parasite protection on hand, such as specific gel or shampoo, and to use a flea comb.

Another disease that should be carefully monitored is osteoarthritis in dogs. This is a generalised disease in dogs that can occur due to overweight, poor recovery from a sprain, fracture or malformation in the animal.

The first symptoms of osteoarthritis may not be obvious to the owners, but they follow practically the same pattern. The animal suffering from this problem usually walks quite stiffly and shows a passive attitude when it comes to going for a walk or simply playing at home. Finally, if after observing this behaviour you see that the dog licks the same limb several times, it is essential to take the animal to a vet and start treatment.

This disease can be cured in different ways. Firstly, the simplest method is to make the animal lose weight, a measure that will make it more agile and strengthen its bones. Linked to this solution is a series of physiotherapeutic exercises that are beneficial for the hardening of the bone structure. Finally, if the animal's condition is serious, the cure will be through medication for inflammation of the joints or even a surgical procedure

The importance of the attention to our pet has generated that the professionals of the sector, as much of sales as sanitary, have specialized in the last years to offer the best care and services to the users. In this area, IFEMA organizes Iberzoo+ Propet, the great commercial and business platform of the professional pet sector in the Iberian Peninsula, with the support of AMVAC and AEDPAC. The offer of the new edition of the main business platform for the sector in the Iberian Peninsula will bring together, as usual, the latest launches and novelties in products and accessories for pets; fashion and accessories; accessories and toys; food and nutrition; pharmaceutical and health products; hygiene and beauty; aquarophilia; equipment for pet shops and veterinary clinics; furniture; snacks, harnesses and collars, and services and management.