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6 Potential Health Issues to Watch for With Your Dog

Statistics show that 48 million households in the United States own a dog. These pets are seen as companions that sleep in your bed and join you for your morning walk – a member of the family. When your dog is feeling sick, you may become sick with concern over how to help them. Keep reading to learn more about the potential health issues your dog could face.


Kennel Cough

The term kennel cough is used to describe the dog version of bronchitis. It is considered a very contagious infection that dogs can catch from other dogs. This typically occurs when dogs are in groups together and can spread easily. If your dog regularly attends doggy day care, goes to the dog park, or even interacts with other dogs on an evening walk, they could potentially pick up this infection. It is highly treatable, much like human bronchitis. It can be treated with antibiotics. If this becomes a frequent illness for your social dog, there is also a vaccine that you can give them to prevent it as well.


Ear Infections

Dogs are prone to ear infections due to the shape of their ear. They can easily collect dirt and debris within their ear and over time it can cause infection. One way to prevent this is to clean their ears regularly. This will prevent bacteria and wax from building up and causing infection. There are cleaners with medicine in them that you can use to combat the start of infection. Watching to see if your dog is constantly itching their ears or looking at their ears for any signs of infection can help you catch this earlier.



There are a few different types of worms that can be found in your dog – roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and heartworms to name a few. Most of these develop within the dog’s intestine, with the exception of heartworms. The intestinal worms can typically be diagnosed by examining stool samples from your dog. A veterinarian will likely require a stool sample when diagnosing your dog with worms so that they can determine which worms they have and the most appropriate course of treatment. Heartworms will need to be diagnosed by a blood test to determine if there is the presence of worms.It is important to keep your dog hydrated when they are sick, especially if the worms are affecting their appetite. 



Have you noticed your dog constantly itching and scratching? Are your other pets doing that too? The issue could be fleas. These are extremely small insects that can wreak havoc on a dog or cat’s skin. The quick solution is to give them a bath and thoroughly wash their coat to get the existing fleas off of them. Consulting your vet about the fleas after this is the next step. They will likely recommend a pill to prevent future flea outbreaks and occasionally a topical treatment to get rid of the remaining ones on your dog.


Nasal Mites

Nasal mites can affect any breed of dog. They are extremely small and hard to see. The symptoms of nasal mites will give you more insight into whether this is what your dog is dealing with. Constant sneezing and head discomfort for your dog can be a sign of this, as they are trying to clear their nasal passage. Learn more about nasal mites in dogs here.


Hip Dysplasia

This is a condition that primarily affects larger breeds of dogs but can still occasionally be found in smaller breeds. Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket of the hips do not fit together smoothly like they are supposed to and instead grind against each other, causing pain and discomfort for the dog when it attempts movements. 

This condition is typically genetic and passed down through certain types of breeds. It can be accelerated by extreme growth, certain types of exercise, and your dog being overweight for its size or breed. A veterinarian will be able to run tests in order to determine if your dog suffers from this based on their movement ability and how they react to certain exercises. If they do have this condition, there are options such as supplements and physical therapy that can help ease the discomfort for your dog long term. 


Now that you have read more about the potential health issues that your furry friend could have, you will have a better idea of what to look for. Consulting with a veterinarian as soon as you see any of these symptoms or notice anything unusual in your dog’s behavior.

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