Top Ten Dog Health Questions
The most common dog problems:
Dog Owner’s commonly ask me the same questions repeatedly. This article aims to help dog owner’s help to prevent and cure the most common dog health problems. Understanding the basics of these problems will go a long ways to helping your canine friend.
1. By far the most common question I get asked from dog owners is a desperate call about their dog’s vomiting. Vomiting can have many causes, but the most common cause is eating garbage, or wolfing down food. In most cases the easiest cure is to withhold food from your dog for 24 hours, but continue to give water. Then after 24 hours, start by giving small meals again. This rest period will allow the stomach to heal. If dog vomiting continues after this I would see your veterinarian.
2. The next most common question I get are reproduction questions. These questions range from breeding their dog, questions about whelping, and about raising puppies. While it is beyond this article to cover everything, here are some basics to keep in mind. Dogs come into heat every 6-7 months which is the time to breed them. The gestation length ranges from 59-63 days. Breeds that can have trouble with whelping are the pug, bulldog, Chihuahuas, Boston terriers, and the Pekingese. Whelping, the act of giving birth, can take from 2 to 24 hours. With several hours in-between the time puppies are passed.
3. Third, are questions about skin problems. These questions range from masses and bumps, to scratches and rashes. Whenever you find a mass on your dog it is important that you show it to your veterinarian. Most masses are benign lipomas, which are fatty tumors. Another common tumor of female dogs are tumors of the mammary gland. You can greatly decrease the risk of your female dog getting a mammary gland tumor by spaying your dog. One of the most common skin tumors owners are likely to see are Mast cell tumors. Mast cell tumors can appear anywhere on the body, and can range from benign to very aggressive. To learn more read: cancer in dogs.
4. Fourth are questions about the musculoskeletal system. Two possible causes of limping in dogs are arthritis and torn anterior cruciate ligaments. Arthritis is common in older dogs. To treat arthritis try some joint supplements like chondroitin. For dogs with torn anterior cruciate ligaments, surgery is needed. The anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament in the knees of dogs. Signs of this injury is the dog is running and all of a sudden the dog whimpers in pain and starts to limp on its rear leg.
5. The fifth most common question is about allergies. Many dogs suffer from allergies. The most common clinical signs of dog allergy are the dog chewing its paws, reddened skin, and scratching. For a definitive diagnosis allergy testing can be done by your veterinarian. Allergies are often treated by antihistamines and in severe cases steroids.
6. Behavioral problems. These problems can range from inappropriate barking, to biting, and excessive aggression. For these problems it is best to start by getting a complete check up by your veterinarian. By ruling out medical causes of behavioral causes, this can greatly narrow down the possible causes of changes.
7. Drug questions. People often ask me about drug dosages. While I recommend asking your veterinarian personally. The most common dosage question is aspirin for dogs. The recommended dosage is 5mg/lb. (one baby aspiring is 80mg) So one baby aspiring for 16lbs.
8. Dog Eye care problems. These can range from scratches to infections. Eyes are delicate structures and if your dog has an eye problem go to your veterinarian immediately. The longer you wait to see a veterinarian, the greater the chances your dog could loose its eyesight.
9. Diarrhea. For answers to diarrhea check out this article about dog diarrhea.
10. Dog Ear care. Causes of ear infections could range from bacteria, to yeast, to mites. There is no one cure all for ear infections so it is important you determine the exact cause of the infections so treatment can be properly started. Bacteria are treated with antibiotics; mites are usually treated with Ivermectin. Yeast is treated with antifungal medications. See: Common Dog Ear Diseases.
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