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A dog's injured leg.

The health of is a well studied area in.

that affect dogs are important not only from a veterinary standpoint, but also because of the risk to ; an example of this is. also affect dogs, often due to to produce individual dog breeds. Due to the popularity of both commercial and homemade dog foods, nutrition is also a heavily studied subject.



For a complete list, see.

Some diseases and other health problems are common to both humans and dogs; others are unique to dogs and other animals. Dogs are susceptible to various diseases; similarly to humans, they can have,,, or.

Breed Diseases[]

Dogs are prone to a number of diseases which affect them and at the same time their owners. A pet in pain is one of the most painful images to see. There are certain ways, through which these diseases can be minimized and the pain that the breed dog skin conditions photos goes through reduced. One of the best ways to do this is to get an early knowledge of the disease, recognize its symptoms early on so that treatment can begin early which may save the breed from a lot of trouble. Effective weight management and a balanced diet also go a long way in preventing diseases. Some of the diseases to watch out for are listed below-

1- Canine Distemper – Canine distemper is a kind of virus infection which doesn’t carry with it, a cure. It is contagious in nature and can be very harmful for the specie. This virus attacks puppies who are young and haven’t got the vaccination yet. Older dogs who weren’t vaccinated are also susceptible to this illness. This virus is contagious and can spread through air or infected utensils in the breed. Generally contact with an infected animal also leads to the spread of the disease. The infection starts from the lymph nodes and spreads to the respiratory organs of the breed. The initial symptoms of this disease would be high temperature, coughing, and wheezing, red eyes. The dog will appear extremely tired and exhausted. In the later stages the nervous system of the dog gets affected, there can be fits, seizures etc. This disease can lead to demise also, generally in a period between 2-5 weeks of the virus’s infection. A vaccinated breed is generally prevented from this outbreak. A combination of Biochemical tests and Urine tests are done to diagnose this disease.

2- Kennel Cough – The early symptoms of Kennel cough is endless coughing and the sound that the dog might be choking on something. Kennel cough is not a life threatening disease but it can be extremely painful for the breed. It is treatable and a number of times the pet recovers without medication. There are several reasons why your breed may develop kennel cough, but the most reoccurring reason is the presence of this bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Generally, the inhalation of this bacteria leads to an infection in the windpipe of the breed which leads to inflation. There are some causes which are predominant in making a breed susceptible to Kennel cough they are cold temperatures, stress which happens due to travelling too much, crowded places and inhalation of cigarette and other kind of smoke. Generally dogs who suffer from Kennel cough have coughing fits and likes but will not have decreased energy levels or anything like that. This condition is contagious and can spread from one breed to the other, It is important to keep other pets away from the one suffering from Kennel cough. This one doesn’t treatment but pneumonia can happen after kennel cough so regular monitoring should be done of the breed suffering from Kennel cough.

3- Canine Corona Virus – Corona Virus is a kind of intestinal infection that affects breeds across the world. This disease when stands alone is not that harmful to the pet but in case it occurs with other intestinal issues, it can prove to be fatal for the specie if not treated properly. In case of adult dogs, the symptoms might appear to be nonexistent. In case of other younger puppies there are some apparent symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and in later stages anorexia and depression are also there. There is a lot of dehydration also when this virus hits. In small puppies if there is severe infection in the intestine, it may also result in death. The causing agent of this is called Canine Corona virus which may come from the infected specie. Other causes of this infection can be dogs present in overcrowded places, un sanitary conditions and stress because of too intense training. Generally a couple of tests are done to determine the cause of this infection and treated thereof. There is a vaccine available which may help prevent the specie from contracting this disease but other than that the owner should check regularly for fleeces in the specie.

4- Canine Parvo Virus – Parvo is one the diseases which dog owners need to be most careful about especially in young puppies. This is a gastro intestinal illness which if not treated properly can prove fatal for the dog. This virus spreads very fast in dog population, it is contagious and spreads through fleeces or through contact with someone who is carrying this disease. Young puppies who are between six to eight weeks are most prone to this disease especially if they haven’t got vaccination yet. It is very important to get a vaccination against this virus as they can prove to be very dangerous. There are certain symptoms which show in dogs suggesting of Parvo Virus – these are diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, weight loss, vomiting etc. if the dog suffers from any of these, a Vet should be consulted immediately and steps should be taken towards the treatment of the dog. If the dog is diagnosed with Canine Parvo Virus, the breed will require intensive care with hospitalization of the breed. It is important that the breed gets diagnosed with this in the early stages before the infection has the capacity to get worse.

5- Hip Dysplasia – This is a condition in which there is deformity in the hip joint of the specie, it generally affects larger breeds. In this the body of the femur may not fit properly into the hip socket. It is a genetic condition mostly and is very common in Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labs, Rottweilers etc. This can also occur due to excessive weight gain, poor diet and lack of exercise. There are certain symptoms of this condition including uneven gait, difficulty in standing and running etc.[]

Infectious diseases[]

An infectious disease is caused by the presence of organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites (either animalian or ). Most of these diseases are spread directly from dog to dog, while others require a such as a or. Certain infectious diseases are a concern from a public health standpoint because they are (transmittable to humans).

Viral diseases[]

diseases in dogs can be serious, especially in kennels. Timely vaccination can reduce the risk and severity of an infection. The most commonly recommended viruses to vaccinate dogs against are:

A rabid dog

Kennel cough[]

is a respiratory infection that can be easily transmitted from one dog to another. Symptoms include runny nose and loss of appetite. This disease can be prevented by vaccination.

Other viral diseases[]

Other canine viral diseases of note include herpesvirus and influenza.

Bacterial diseases[]

A number of Leptospira sp. bacteria atop a 0.1. µm filter

Bacterial diseases in dogs are usually not contagious from dog to dog; instead they are usually the result of wound colonization, secondary to decreased resistance (often the result of viral infections), or secondary to other conditions ( secondary to skin allergies or secondary to cystic endometrial hyperplasia). These examples are not considered infectious diseases because they do not satisfy - for example Staphylococcus intermedius, a commonly isolated bacteria from skin infections in dogs, would not cause pyoderma when introduced to a healthy dog. In all likelihood that type of bacteria is already present on the skin of a healthy dog.

There are some bacteria that are contagious from dog to dog. The most notable of these are, one of the causes of, sp, which cause, and Brucella canis, cause of in dogs. There are also common tick-borne bacterial diseases, including,, and.

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Humans and dogs become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. In dogs, transmission most commonly occurs by drinking puddle, pond, or ditch water contaminated by urine from infected wildlife such as squirrels or raccoons. The liver and kidney are most commonly damaged by leptospirosis. can occur, causing and potentially (DIC).,,, and are also possible sequelae.

Ixodes scapularis

Brucellosis in dogs is caused by Brucella canis. It is a sexually transmitted disease, but can also be spread through contact with aborted fetuses. The most common sign is abortion during the last trimester or stillbirth. Other symptoms include inflammation of the and eye (), and inflammation of the testicle () and () in males.

are common in dogs. Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by and spread by on the West coast of the United States and by (deer tick) in the rest of the U.S. Signs and symptoms include fever, joint swelling and pain, lameness, and swelling of the lymph nodes. It has been diagnosed in dogs in all 48 states of the continental U.S.Ehrlichia canis, which causes canine ehrlichiosis, and, which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are both spread by the American dog tick,, and the brown dog tick,.

Fungal diseases[]

One of the most common fungal diseases in dogs is, or dermatophytosis, an infection of the skin, hair, or nails. There are three fungal species that cause ringworm in dogs. About 70 percent of infections are caused by canis, 20 percent by M. gypseum, and 10 percent by mentagrophytes. Signs include hair loss and scaling of the skin. Treatment for localized ringworm is not always necessary as the disease is self-limiting, but the cliinical course can be shortened by using topical or. Generalized infections, most commonly seen in dogs, can be treated with oral such as or. Infection can spread to humans.

Blastomyces dermatitidis

There are several fungal diseases that are systemic in nature, meaning they are affecting multiple body systems., caused by dermatitidis, is a fungal disease that affects both dogs and humans, although it is only rarely zoonotic. It is found mainly in the United States in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes areas. It has also been reported in four Canadian provinces; Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Signs include weight loss, cough, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, draining skin lesions, eye inflammation with discharge, blindness, and lameness. Because dogs are ten times more likely to become infected from the environment than humans, they are considered to be sentinels for the disease. Treatment requires a minimum 60-90 day course of oral antifungal medication or in severe cases intravenous antifungal injections.

, caused by, is a disease with a worldwide distribution. In the United States it is mainly found in the Mississippi and areas, most commonly in bird and bat feces. Signs include weight loss, cough, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and gastrointestinal symptoms., caused by, is found in and regions of and,, and southwestern United States. Signs include weight loss, fever, cough, enlarged lymph nodes, and lameness.


studies both external and internal in animals. External parasites, such as fleas, mites, ticks and mosquitoes can cause skin irritation and are often carriers of other diseases or of internal parasites.

External parasites[]
  • and of various species can be acquired and brought home by a dog, where they can multiply and attack humans (and vice versa). These two parasites are particularly important to note, now that tick-borne has become throughout a large area, in addition to other similar diseases such as. Although dogs do not seem to be as susceptible to such diseases as humans, similar diseases have been spread by dogs to humans through such mechanisms as a dog killing an infected rabbit, then shaking itself off in the house near enough to its owners to fatally infect most of the family.
  • Various cause skin problems such as.
Internal parasites[]
  • , particularly intestinal worms such as, and, can be transmitted in a dog's feces. Some tapeworms have as intermediate hosts: the worm egg must be consumed by a flea to hatch, then the infected flea must be ingested (usually by the dog while grooming itself, but occasionally by a human through various means) for the adult worm to establish itself in the intestines. The worm's eggs then pass through the intestines and adhere to the nether regions of the dog, and the cycle begins again.
  • Intestinal worms cause varying degrees of discomfort.
  • is a dog. It is hard to eliminate and can be fatal; prevention, however, is easily achieved using medication. As the name suggests, an infected mosquito injects a larva into the dog's skin, where it migrates to the circulatory system and takes up residence in the and heart, growing and reproducing to an alarming degree. The effects on the dog are quite predictable, over a year or two, leading to death. Treatment of an infected dog is difficult, involving an attempt to poison the healthy worm with compounds without killing the weakened dog, and frequently does not succeed. Prevention is much the better course, via which contain a compound which kills the larvae immediately upon infection without harming the dog. Often they are available combined with other parasite preventives.
  • is caused by a cestode. This is usually noticed among dogs, wild dogs, foxes, etc. Due to its importance as a, these worms are important to treat. Preventing hydatidosis is an easier task than treating the same. such as may help prevent this condition. Prohibition of the feeding of dogs with uncooked offals may be the best prophylactic measure against these.

Genetic diseases[]

See also:

Bilateral hip dysplasia

conditions are a problem in some dogs, particularly purebreeds. For this reason many of the national require that dogs with certain genetic illnesses or who are deemed to be carriers cannot be registered. Some of the most common conditions include, seen in large breed dogs,, a disease that affects that is inherited in,, a curling in of the eyelid seen in and many other breeds,, inherited in many breeds, deafness, and, known to be inherited in,,, and.

, or SAS, is a genetic ailment that causes a narrowing of the passage of blood between the heart and the. This leads to heart problems and sometimes sudden death. It affects larger breeds such as the and the. In some dogs, such as, the or coloring is actually the of a partially gene preventing proper development of the nervous system; therefore, if two such dogs are mated, on the average one quarter of the puppies will have severe genetic defects in their and ranging from deafness to fatal flaws.

Skin diseases[]

Main article:

Canine atopy

Skin diseases are very common in dogs., a chronic allergic condition, is thought to affect up to 10 percent of dogs. Other skin diseases related to allergies include and, both characterized by secondary bacterial infections,,, and. is an inherited disorder of the resulting in (baldness). is an infectious skin disease caused by. such as and can also manifest as skin problems like alopecia or recurring bacterial infections. Another class of integumentary malady is, a swelling typically on or near the elbow joint. Nutrition may also play a role in skin disease, as deficiencies in certain nutrients may result in scaling, redness, oiling, balding, and/or itching of the skin.(See for specific nutrients that impacts skin)

Physical elements of certain dog breeds also affect susceptibility of individuals to skin problems, such as wrinkled skin or excessive skin folds. For instance, skin-fold dermatitis is a skin infection more prevalent in breeds such as the bulldog, cocker spaniel, and English Springer spaniel.

Orthopedic diseases[]

Orthopedic diseases in dogs can be developmental, hereditary, traumatic, or degenerative. Because of the active nature of dogs, injuries happen frequently. One of the most common of these is an, a condition which often requires surgery. are a frequent occurrence in outdoor dogs due to trauma from being hit by cars. is common in older dogs and is one of the most likely reasons for prescription of.

Hereditary orthopedic diseases are mainly found in purebred dogs. is a common problem that primarily affects larger breeds. Hip dysplasia is a defect in the shape of the hip joint which can, depending on the degree of hip luxation, be quite painful to the dog as it ages. Over time it often causes arthritis in the hips. can also occur in the elbow joint. can be a problem for smaller breeds. It can cause lameness and pain in the hind legs.

Developmental orthopedic diseases include and. Panosteitis occurs in large and giant breed dogs usually between the age of five and fourteen months and manifests as fever, pain, and shifting leg lameness. Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is also seen in young large and giant breed dogs and is characterized by pain, lameness, fever, and swelling of the long bone.

Tumors and cancer[]

Main article:

An emaciated with cancer in the left leg.

Both and are seen in dogs. Common benign tumors include, non-viral, adenoma, and.

Frequently seen cancers include,, (which are considered to be potentially malignant, even though they may have benign behavior), and (bone cancer).

Certain breeds are more likely to develop particular tumors, larger ones especially. The is especially susceptible to lymphoma, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 8. and are prone to multiple mast cell tumors. have eighteen times the risk of mixed breed dogs to develop, a type of urinary bladder cancer.

Gastrointestinal diseases[]

Due to the indiscriminate nature of a dog's appetite, gastrointestinal upset is a frequent occurrence in dogs. The most common symptoms are anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea. Foreign body ingestion can lead to acute obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, a very dangerous condition. can also result from.

Bloat and gastric torsion[]

Main article:

, or gastric torsion and bloat, primarily affects breeds with deep, narrow chests, such as,,, and. The twists on its supporting, sealing off the exits, and the contents begin to generate gas pressure which is very painful and rapidly causes and of large areas of stomach tissue. It can be fatal within a few hours. Dogs who have experienced bloat are very susceptible to recurrences. Treatment involves stabilization and abdominal surgery to tack the dog's stomach down to prevent recurrence ().

Eye diseases[]

Cherry eye

Eye diseases are common in dogs.,, and are seen in dogs. Canine-specific eye diseases include,,, and. Injury to the eye can result in.

The frequency of bilateral glaucoma with a genetic base in purebred dogs is higher than in any species except humans. Cataracts in dogs either have a genetic base or can also be caused by. resembles a cataract but is actually a normal age-related change.

Vestibular disease[]

Signs of vestibular disease include head tilt, circling, (an abnormal movement of the eyes), and difficulty or inability to stand. These clinical signs are similar to those seen in humans experiencing. Vestibular disease may have many causes. Elderly dogs are susceptible to an (meaning due to unknown causes) form of vestibular disease commonly called "old dog vestibular disease" or idiopathic peripheral vestibular disease. The signs may improve rapidly or take a few days. Less commonly, vestibular signs can also be caused by, a brain tumor, a, or other causes. The major risk with idiopathic peripheral vestibular disease is that the dog is often unable to eat, drink, or go outside to urinate or defecate. These cases must receive supportive therapy of and nutrition; a light is sometimes administered, as the dog may be very stressed by the experience.

Heart disease[]

Older, small breeds of dogs are prone to due to degeneration of the. This condition is known to be inherited in. Degenerative valve disease is the most common form of heart disease in dogs. leads to turbulent blood flow and increased pressure in the. This causes increased pressure in the pulmonary blood vessels and (a build-up of fluid in the lungs). Decreased output of blood by the causes the body to compensate by increasing and activating the (RAAS). Increased sympathetic tone leads to increased and increased heart rate and of the. Chronic elevation of sympathetic tone damages the heart muscle. Activation of the RAAS results in increased retention of water and sodium by the kidneys,, and other effects that result in increased blood volume. It also results in an increase in and leads to pulmonary edema. Treatment for congestive heart failure has historically focussed on two types of drugs that address these concerns: (especially ), which decrease blood volume, and, which interrupt the RAAS. Recently, - which increases the force with which the heart muscle contracts, and is also a vasodilator - is being more widely used in the treatment of caused by valvular disease. A major veterinary study, called the QUEST study (QUality of life and Extension of Survival Time), published in September 2008 found that dogs with congestive heart failure receiving plus had significantly better survival outcomes than those receiving (an ) plus. However, ACE inhibitors and pimobendan have different mechanisms of action, and many veterinary cardiologists recommend they be used concurrently. Within the past decade, a new surgical technique has been developed for mitral valve repair that replaces or strengthens the mitral valve chords with (PTFE) prostheses and tightens the mitral valve ring to reduce or eliminate regurgitation.

, or disease of the heart muscle, is also seen in dogs and is associated with large breeds (the exception being, a medium-sized breed). is seen in Great Danes,, St. Bernards,,, and other large breeds. Dobermanns, in addition to heart muscle failure, are prone to. Boxer dogs are predisposed to a unique cardiomyopathy with clinical and histological changes analogous to human arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). The disease has been termed “” or “Boxer ARVC”, and is characterized by development of ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Affected dogs are at risk of syncope and sudden cardiac death. Myocardial failure and congestive heart failure are rare manifestations of this disease.

Other diseases and psychological issues[]

Other diseases affecting dogs include diseases,, and reproductive diseases.,,, and are the most common endocrine diseases. is a devastating disease that causes severe in dogs through destruction by the immune system. It has been associated with vaccinations and certain drugs, although many cases are. A similar but less severe immune disease is, characterized by destruction of by the immune system. Clinical signs include bruising and (pinpoint bruising, often seen in the mouth). Common reproductive diseases include (distension of the with pus),, and.

Psychological anxieties affecting dogs include and.

Toxic substances[]

Some common sources of toxins that pets encounter include some plants, human medications and cosmetics, cleaning products, and even some foods.

Dangerous foods[]

Dalmatian with liver spotted coat

Some foods consumed safely by humans are harmful to dogs:


Cocoa within chocolate contains, a chemical stimulant that, together with and, belongs to the group of. Dogs are unable to theobromine effectively. If they eat chocolate, the theobromine can remain in their bloodstreams for days, and dogs may experience, severe,,,, and eventually death. "One ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is a potentially lethal dose in dogs." In case of accidental intake of chocolate by especially a smaller dog, contact a or animal poison control immediately; it is commonly recommended to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. If chocolate ingestion is suspected (mostly dark or baking chocolate), hydrogen peroxide can be used to safely induce vomiting, then making a trip to the veterinarian is suggested. Large breeds are less susceptible to chocolate poisoning, but can still die after eating four ounces of chocolate.

treats are often available as dog treats; these are unrelated to chocolate and are safe.

Grapes and raisins[]

Grapes and raisins can cause acute in dogs (see also ). The exact mechanism is not known, nor is there any means to determine the susceptibility of an individual dog. While as little as one raisin can be toxic to a susceptible 10 pounds (4.5 kg) dog, some other dogs have eaten as much as a pound of grapes or raisins at a time without ill effects. The affected dog usually vomits a few hours after consumption and begins showing signs of renal failure three to five days later. A mycotoxin is suspected to be involved, but one has not been found in grapes or raisins ingested by affected dogs. The reason some dogs develop following ingestion of grapes and raisins is not known. The most common pathological finding is proximal.


cause in dogs (and cats). has been reported as being considered to be the main cause of onion poisoning in dogs. has also been reported as being implicated. Thiosulfate levels are not affected by cooking or processing. Occasional exposure to small amounts is usually not a problem, but continuous exposure to even small amounts can be a serious threat. Also contains thiosulfate, even if to a significantly lesser extent, and it is also known to cause diarrhea and vomiting.


is highly to dogs and causes seizures, tremors, and nervous system disorders which can be fatal. Nutmeg's rich, spicy scent is attractive to dogs which can result in a dog ingesting a lethal amount of this spice. and other food preparations which contain nutmeg should not be given to dogs.

Macadamia nuts[]

can cause non-fatal stiffness, tremors,, and abdominal pain. The exact mechanism is not known. Most dogs recover with supportive care when the source of exposure is removed.


, a plant used in making beer, can cause in dogs, usually with fatal results. Certain breeds, such as, seem particularly sensitive to hop toxicity, but hops should be kept away from all dogs. Even small amounts of hops can trigger a potentially deadly reaction, even if the hops are "spent" after use in.


Ingestion of, for example in uncooked bread dough, can cause intestinal obstruction. The yeast can also cause fermentation internally, resulting in ethanol (alcohol) poisoning.


is a sugar substitute used in chewing gum, chewable vitamins, candy, toothpaste, and other products. Although a small preliminary study indicated xylitol may be safe for dogs, other studies show significant toxicity. There have been cases of foods, candies and gums containing xylitol causing toxic or even fatal liver damage in dogs.

Food allergies[]

Some dogs have just as humans do; this is particular to the individual dog and not characteristic of the species as a whole. An example is a dog becoming physically ill from salmon; many humans likewise have seafood allergies.

Common household substances[]

Some common household chemicals are particularly dangerous to dogs:

  • (), due to its sweet taste, poses an extreme danger of poisoning to dogs and cats if ingested. Even a very small amount such as a tablespoon can easily prove fatal. The antifreeze itself is not toxic, but is metabolized via the liver to the and, which cause intoxication and vomiting,, and finally leading to seizures and death. By the time clinical signs are observed, the kidneys are usually too damaged for the dog to survive so acting quickly is important. Immediate treatments include inducing vomiting by using or dilute solution (if this can be done shortly after ingestion), but these merely reduce the amount absorbed – immediate veterinary treatment is still usually imperative due to the high toxicity of the compound. Medical treatments may include (preferred treatment) which competes favorably with the toxin in the body, which competes favorably in the liver long enough to allow excretion to take place, to further reduce uptake of undigested product, and to remove toxins from the. Dogs should not be allowed access to any place in which an antifreeze leak or spill has happened until the spill is completely cleaned out. Some brands of antifreeze contain instead of and are marketed as being less harmful or less attractive to animals.

Further information:

  • Commonly encountered alcohols in veterinary medicine are isopropanol and methanol found in household products and ethanol from alcoholic beverages. They all pose toxicity to dogs. Isopropanol which is found in rubbing alcohol has twice the toxicity of ethanol; however methanol which can be found in windshield washer fluid does not have the same retinal and neuronal toxicity on dogs as it does to humans and primates due to the differences in the way its metabolite formic acid is processed.
  • is commonly found in the house or garage. Dogs readily eat these poisons, which look like small green blocks and are very attractive to them. The poisons work by depleting stores of in the body, without it, blood cannot clot properly. Clinical signs of poisoning include depression, weakness, difficulty breathing, bruising, and bleeding from any part of the body. These clinical signs often take 3 to 4 days to show up. A blood test will show that the blood is not clotting properly. If the poison has only recently been ingested (within 2 to 3 hours), the dog should be given or to make it vomit. can be given to absorb any remaining poison in the. Then the dog is given Vitamin K supplementation for 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the type of poison. At the end of treatment, the should be tested again. The is good in these cases. However, if the dog is already showing signs of poisoning, it is too late to try to remove the poison from the body. A whole or is given to treat the and to try to control bleeding. Vitamin K is also given. The prognosis is poor in these cases.
    • Mouse and rat poisons containing cause and in dogs. Clinical signs include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting blood, weakness, and shock. Treatment is as above for recent exposure. When hypercalcemia occurs (which can take 1 to 2 weeks), treatment is with (saline),,, and. Long term prognosis is good once the dog is stabilized.

Over-the-counter medications[]

Poisoning with pain medications is common., (acetaminophen, Tylenol), (Advil), and (Aleve) can all cause severe clinical signs in dogs, including vomiting blood, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Specifically, aspirin can cause and bleeding disorders, acetaminophen can cause liver disease, ibuprofen can cause kidney disease, and naproxen can cause in the stomach, which can perforate. Treatment depends on the clinical signs.

Public health risks[]

Sarcoptes scabiei

Most diseases that affect dogs or humans are not transferable between the two species. Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans are terrmed. A well-known zoonosis is rabies, a viral infection transmitted through a bite. A common bacterial zoonosis is leptospirosis, transmitted through urine. Some of the most important zoonoses are parasitic. Zoonotic transmitted through contact with feces include (the canine roundworm), which causes,, and, and, which can cause cutaneous larva migrans. Zoonotic skin parasites include, caused by the mite. The most common zoonotic fungal disease is, caused in this case by.

Preventive medicine[]


Main article:

Vaccinations are an important preventative animal health measure. The specific vaccinations recommended for dogs varies depending on geographic location, environment, travel history, and the activities the animal frequently engages in. In the United States, regardless of any of these factors, it is usually highly recommended that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper, and infectious canine hepatitis (using canine adenovirus type 2 to avoid reaction). The decision on whether to vaccinate against other diseases, including leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Bordetella bronchiseptica,, and, should be made between an owner and a veterinarian, taking into account factors specific to the dog.


is one of the most common diseases in dogs. Accumulation of and subsequently leads to and then (gum disease). Periodontitis leads to loss of the bony attachment of the teeth and tooth loss. Preventive measures include, providing an appropriate diet (avoiding tinned and other soft foods and providing dental chew treats) and and polishing. are uncommon in dogs.

Parasite medication[]

Once-a-month topical products or ingestible pills are the most commonly used products to kill and prevent future parasite infestations.

Nutrition and obesity[]

See also:

Human food such as ice cream can lead to ill health and obesity in dogs.

Feeding table scraps to a dog is generally not recommended, at least in excess. Just as in humans, a dog's diet must consist of the appropriate mix of nutrients, carbohydrates, and proteins in order to give them the minerals and vitamins that they need. Dogs get ample correct nutrition from their natural, normal diet; wild and dogs can usually get all the nutrients needed from a diet of whole prey and raw meat. In addition, a human diet is not ideal for a dog: the concept of a "balanced" diet for a like a dog is not the same as in an human. Dogs will usually eat all the scraps and treats they are fed: usually too much food. While not all human delicacies are acutely toxic to dogs (see above), many have the same chronically unfortunate results as they do for humans. Beef and dairy are common triggers of food allergies in dogs.

is an increasingly common problem in dogs in Western countries. As with humans, obesity can cause numerous health problems in dogs (although dogs are much less susceptible to the common and consequences of obesity than humans are). According to a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the prevalence of obesity in dogs is between 22 and 40 percent.

Obesity may also be caused by some diseases, such as, or.

Dog treats[]

Dog treats are often given to pets as a reward for something they did or just to let them chew on a bone, which works their jaw muscles and helps keep their teeth clean. Although dog treats carry high benefits for dogs' teeth, they can also be a source of problems when given excessively. The human food treats are usually the ones that cause the most trouble for dogs.

Dog treats given excessively can be a cause of obesity. The type of food fed has a direct bearing on the tendency of a dog to become overweight. Table scraps, treats, even premium high-energy dog foods can contribute to obesity. Therefore, it is highly important to closely monitor the quantity of treats that a dog gets especially when the dog's activity is diminished. Dog treats are more likely to be linked to obesity in old dogs, since in their old age they are less likely to be active and exercising. On the other hand, active dogs require and use more, so dog treats are not a cause of concern in younger and highly active dogs.


Main article:

Some dogs may attempt to consume feces. Some consume their own or other dogs' feces; others seem to prefer cat feces (which, due to the feline digestive system, are high in protein and consumed by many animals in the wild) This can be harmful if the feces has any pathogens or parasites or contain excreted drugs.

Vitamins and supplements[]

It is not yet clear whether or not and should be administered in dogs—opinions among veterinarians vary widely. While some think that vitamins and supplements are necessary and can improve the health of a dog, others believe that they are unnecessary and may harm the dog. According to the U.S. (FDA), dogs receive a complete and balanced diet from the commercially processed dog food alone. Pet owners who give their dogs homemade diets may incorporate extra vitamins and supplements.

Between approximately 10 and 30 percent of dogs in the United States receive nutritional supplements. A survey of U.S. pet owners in 2006 found that the most commonly used supplements were multivitamins and agents. The use of natural supplements or multivitamins in conjunction with proper nutrition and exercise may contribute to overall health and immune system support in dogs.

Overdoses of vitamins can be harmful in dogs. As an example, in excess can cause bone problems, especially in the large-breed dogs. Over-supplementation of vitamins A and D can cause vitamin toxicity in dogs. Excess can cause, and can also harm the, while too much can cause, or loss of appetite.

Reproductive health[]

Main article:

Spaying and neutering[]

Main article:

Spaying (females only) and neutering (both genders but more commonly males) refers to the of animals, usually by removal of the male's or the female's and, in order to eliminate the ability to procreate, and reduce sex drive. Neutering has also been known to reduce aggression in male dogs, but has been shown to occasionally increase aggression in female dogs.

Animal control agencies in the United States and the advise that dogs not intended for further breeding should be spayed or neutered so that they do not have undesired puppies.

Because of the overpopulation of dogs in some countries, puppies born to strays or as the result of accidental breedings often end up being killed in animal shelters. Spaying and neutering can also decrease the risk of hormone-driven diseases such as mammary cancer, as well as undesired hormone-driven behaviors. However, certain medical problems are more likely after neutering, such as in females and in males. The hormonal changes involved with sterilization are likely to somewhat change the animal's personality, however, and some object to spaying and neutering as the sterilization could be carried out without the excision of organs.

It is not essential for a female dog to either experience a or have puppies before spaying, and likewise, a male dog does not need the experience of before neutering.

Female cats and dogs are seven times more likely to develop if they are not spayed before their first. The high dietary estrogen content of the average commercial pet food may be contributing factors in the development of mammary cancer, especially when these exogenous sources are added to those normal estrogens produced by the body. Dog food containing soybeans or soybean fractions have been found to contain in levels that could have biological effects when ingested longterm.

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