I’ve got a great guest post for you today readers. Cindy Romero was kind enough to offer up a post about dog illnesses, everything from dermatitis to dementia. In the post she describes some of the symptoms and most importantly recommends to see a vet should your dog show any of those signs.
Dog Illnesses from Dermatitis to Dementia
Our dogs rely on us for comfort and care as they are a part of our families. Relying on non-verbal clues, I’ve tried many times to guess what is wrong with my dog Theodore. I hate to see anybody suffer, but when it comes to my pets, there is something so terrifying about not knowing what ails them. It’s good to be informed about the possible sicknesses that a dog might get, and know when to call the vet (which happens to be more often than not). Below is a list of common dog woes, and a little bit about how to be prepared.
Dermatitis or skin allergies are very common in dogs, and I’m not surprised. It’s debatable how healthy our environments are for even ourselves as we spray our delightful perfumes and pesticides, bathe in our chemically rich soaps and light heavily scented candles throughout our homes. It is highly likely that your dog is allergic to one of these.
You might notice your dog start to scratch, bite, and lick their coat excessively and you may see rough, scaly dry skin patches, moist, or crusty and scabbed up. Sounds pretty icky right? It is.
When I first got Theodore, parts of his coat slowly started coming off and starting to get replaced by thick dark patches. The rash can look different depending on what is causing the allergy. Common causes include a poor diet, dust, pollen, mold, perfume, soaps, flea collars, synthetic materials and chemicals so consult your vet to pinpoint the cause and get that coat shiny and healthy again.
Ear infections happen all the time to our furry friends whether it is caused by bacteria or yeast in adult dogs or ear mites in puppies. See your vet to determine the cause and set a plan to gently clean the ears until the infection is gone. After Theo had an ear infection a year ago, I have made it one of my goals to limit the odds that the infection will come back. Prevent the infection by keeping your dog’s ears clean and dry especially after swimming or bathing.
An alarming one out of every five adult dogs in the US has arthritis. Harder to pinpoint, the symptoms of arthritis in your dog include decreased interest in playing and running, increased sleeping and difficulty standing and even sitting.
The attitude and behavioral changes in your dog may make you think they have a cold and just don’t feel up to playing, but if these symptoms last more than a week or two take your dog to your vet. Your dog may be prescribed with medication and they can talk o you about healthy diet and exercise to manage the disease better.
Dementia and Cognitive Disfunction
Studies show that about half of dogs between the ages of 11 and 15 show at least one symptom of cognitive dysfunction. The mild cases are marked by forgetfulness and confusion whereas the more serious cases might involve your dog not recognizing you or other members of the family, getting stuck behind the furniture, crying with no apparent cause, bathroom accidents, and anxiety. This makes me very sad to imagine my dog Theodore someday forgetting the warm bond we have between us and thinking of me as a stranger.
Feeling anxious, lonely and lost in old age is not what anybody wants for their loved ones, but being prepared for this happening to your dog will help if they do happen to get dementia.
Take a dog with these types of symptoms to the vet to rule out medical problems with similar symptoms. As a pack leader, you can avoid dementia from taking root too strongly and lessen the severity in the following ways:
- Make sure everyone in your family is gentle and gives the dog love without annoying him/her.
- Follow a routine for walking, feeding, and playing gently with your dog every day.
- Give your dog sanctuary when people come to visit
- Keep your furniture arranged in the same fashion and try to limit buying new
- Groom, pet, and just be patient and loving towards your dog.
Take cues from your dogs’ body language, and note any changes in their behavior. Always consult your veterinarian if you are worried about your dog’s health, and make sure you get yearly checkups. With the right treatment, you can stop worrying and enjoy your life with your dog.
Cindy Romero is an animal lover from North Carolina who writes for PetPremium. She loves playing fetch with her two dogs, trying to keep her two cats off of the kitchen counter, and feeding carrots to her pet rabbit.