Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Diseases that could become dangerous to your dog

While most dog parents are clued in to the behaviors and moods of their four-legged babies, small ailments, such as vomiting and lethargy, can often be written off as inconsequential when in reality they are symptoms of potentially life-threatening diseases. 

Learn about some of the most common hidden diseases that can prove fatal to your pup and how to spot them.


Parvovirus strikes swiftly and worsens dramatically. While dogs of any age can be affected, puppies under one year of age are most susceptible. An affected dog often presents with vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. If your dog's diarrhea is particularly bloody or pungent, an immediate trip to the vet can rule out parvo or treat it before it becomes fatal.


This viral disease affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system. It can be transferred through contact with infected dogs, contaminated water, or bodily fluids. Early symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and leaking eyes.


This parasite can be picked up in wooded areas or open fields. The parasitic worms make their home in the lungs where they lay eggs. Once hatched, the larvae can cause a host of respiratory and breathing problems. If caught in time, a vet can prescribe an anti-parasitic medication to prevent more serious problems

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

DCM is a genetic disease that affects the heart. Affecting mostly older dogs and specific breeds, such as Great Danes, the disease disrupts the heart's size and function. Lethargy, rapid breathing, and extreme weight loss are common early symptoms of the disease. While early diagnosis can improve chances of survival, the prognosis varies from dog to dog.


This growing bacterial disease is typically passed on through contact with contaminated water, particularly in woodland areas. The infection is carried by animals, such as raccoons, and spreads through their urine. Signs of a lepto infection include fever, shivering, excessive urination, and muscle stiffness.

Kennel Cough

This highly contagious respiratory infection spreads rapidly in close and confined environments. The infection is normally limited to an inflammation similar to bronchitis, with a loud and persistent cough that can be easily treated. In severe cases, a dog may suffer from complications such as pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Lyme Disease

This well-known disease is transmitted through ticks. While some dogs may not present with symptoms, others may experience inflammation of the joints and recurring lameness. In serious cases, kidney failure and nervous system disruption can occur.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)

This life-threatening condition may appear as harmless bloating, but is indicative of a more serious underlying problem. Commonly caused by old age, large chest size, and eating too quickly, GDV involves inflation of the stomach after air or fluid twisting cuts off blood supply. This incredibly painful condition presents with symptoms including vomiting, labored breathing, and biting at the stomach. In some cases, an emergency surgery can save your dog's life.


This parasitic roundworm spreads through mosquito bites. Symptoms increase in severity over time, starting with a decreased appetite and fatigue and advancing to a swollen abdomen and labored breathing. Advanced stages bring about severe lung disease, blood vessel blockage, and eventually, cardiovascular collapse. Even if treated, the disease can cause lasting damage to the lungs, heart, and arteries.


This fungal infection primarily targets the lungs before spreading to other bodily tissues. Commonly found in acidic soil near bodies of water, the infection can cause blindness, lameness, seizures, coughing, enlarged lymph nodes, and respiratory problems.

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