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6 Not As Common Canine Ailments

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The dog flu is running rampant in the midwestern United States and receiving a lot of attention. Kennel cough, the parvovirus, rabies and distemper are all diseases that may be avoided with vaccinations. What about the illnesses that aren’t discussed until the dog is showing symptoms? Are there ways to avoid the afflictions listed below?

Leptospirosis

This bacteria based illness has four strains; is easily transmittable and highly contagious. Wild animals that harbor the bacteria will eliminate spores through urine. The spores stay in the soil for up to six months. If water collects in contaminated soil and a dog drinks from that puddle that can spread Leptospirosis. Or the disease may be contracted by a dog that loves being in water and has a break in the skin. Some dogs don’t show any signs but a slight fever, but others may experience lethargy, diarrhea or blood in the urine. There is a vaccine for Leptospirosis and veterinarians in certain areas recommend getting it. Discuss with the vet whether it is necessary.

Bloat

Bloat is a condition that causes the stomach to fill with gas, food or fluid and may lead to serious issues if not addressed immediately. Occasionally the stomach will twist, complicating matters considerably. Bloat comes on quickly, the dog may pace, drool excessively, have a swollen stomach, or try to vomit and can’t. If the dog exhibits any of these symptoms, he needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. While any breed may suffer from bloat, it is more common in larger, broad chest breeds such as Boxers, Great Danes or Weimaraners, to name a few.


Tick Transmitted Illnesses

Summer is around the corner. Time to explore uncharted territories, sniff new realms and find paths off the beaten track. This also means it’s time to make sure flea and tick prevention treatment is updated. There are a host of diseases related to tick bites including Rocky Mountain Spotted fever and Lyme disease. Both afflictions may be fatal if not treated quickly. Ticks are visible to the naked eye and somewhat easy to remove. Swab a bit of rubbing alcohol on the tick and get a good pair of tweezers ready. Pull carefully, minding the blood. Infected blood from a parasite may infect a human in the process.

Diabetes

Dogs are just as susceptible to diabetes as humans are. Mixed breed dogs are more likely to develop diabetes than pure breeds but no dog is exempt. Female dogs as well as neutered males are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Middle aged or senior canines are more likely than puppies to be diagnosed. A high fat diet runs the risk of inflaming the pancreas which will up the likelihood of developing diabetes. With proper medical care, a dog may live a long, comfortable life with this affliction.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects the bowels and intestines causing chronic vomiting or diarrhea. While there are no proven causes for the disease, it has been linked to high stress situations such as travel, being boarded, or a female going into heat. IBD has no known cure, but can be managed through proper nutrition and being aware of what stresses the dog and alleviating the triggers.

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Written by Renee Moen
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