Dog Diseases & Dog Health Problems
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Dog Diseases & Dog Health Problems


Pets are our companions and our friends. They give a great deal to us and ask little in return — just the love of a caring master who will shelter and protect them, as we do our children. It can be doubly tragic when a pet such as a dog falls ill, not only because they are in distress, but because they cannot verbally communicate to us what is wrong or where it hurts.

Dog owners can prevent or mitigate the effects of canine diseases and dog health problems by insuring that their dogs are provided with proper living conditions, nutrition and exercise. Learning how to interpret your dog’s behaviors may alert you to a problem, since behavior changes such as increased timidity or anxiety, lethargy, uncharacteristic aggressiveness, excessive licking or chewing of body parts such as legs, torso and tail, or loss of appetite often occur when a dog becomes ill. Note, however, that such behaviors by themselves do not necessarily signal the presence of dog illness or disease.

Talking to other dog owners, especially those having dogs of the same breed as your own, is a good way to learn about your dog’s health and potential health problems and risks as well as what to expect if your canine does get sick. A comprehensive reference book for your breed of dog or for dogs in general is a handy item to have around the house. Knowing your dog and how it behaves is by far the best way to determine whether your dog is ready for a romp or is under the weather.

If you are unsure whether your dog has a health problem, seek the advice of your veterinarian. If you know your dog is suffering illness, a visit to the vet should be scheduled as soon as possible, since some canine diseases and medical conditions can become life threatening very quickly.

The best way to combat dog diseases is to be proactive, making sure your dog is properly vaccinated and gets his or her required booster shots. Canine vaccination is now available for most but not all common dog diseases, some of which are potentially fatal. Dogs frequently come in contact with other canines during walks with their owners; a casual nose touch may be all that is necessary to spread a debilitating canine disease. Get those shots!

Most feline diseases are not transmissible to dogs. Most canine diseases are not transmissible to cats. Most animal diseases are not transmissible to humans. Most does not mean all; some very serious diseases (which are also very rare in domesticated animals) are transmissible. Always use common sense and proper hygiene. Parasitic diseases and fungal infections are most easily transmitted between species. So before you let your dog kiss you, ask yourself, “Where has that tongue been?” On the other hand, don’t get freaked if the neighbor’s dog licks your child’s face.


Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 24 December 2003, updated 16 February 2006.


Follow links to the right to learn more about dog diseases, canine diseases and dog health problems. Ten Spider Pets is dedicated to providing information and resources that can help you protect your dog’s well-being and health to maximize his or her longevity and quality of life. Check out other topics in our Pet Care & Pet Health section to learn more about how to care for dogs and other pets and animals. If you desire to become a dog owner, investigate Pet Adoption & Rescue. If you already own a dog, you may be especially interested in Pet Health Care Products and Pet Products & Supplies. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to pets and companion animals. View the Pet Care & Pet Health SiteMap for a complete list of pet care and pet health topics.


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