Diseases and Disorders

Dogs are affected by numerous diseases, many of which can be prevented through routine immunizations. These preventable diseases include canine distemper, rabies, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and canine parvovirus infection. Dogs are also plagued by internal and external parasites, such as heartworms, tapeworms, fleas, ticks, and mites. Symptoms of illness include shivering, watery eyes and runny nose, coughing, vomiting, change in the frequency of urination, weight loss, lameness, and labored breathing.

Dogs should be taken to a veterinarian once a year for a thorough check-up. The veterinarian examines the dog's eyes, ears, teeth, and skin; checks the dog's heartbeat and temperature; and administers vaccines. Some drugs, particularly those for parasites, are given in capsule or tablet form for a period of several weeks. They can be swallowed or crushed into a powder and mixed in with the dog's food or water.

DogsDogs should see a veterinarian once a year.
Are There Dangers to Dogs Around the Home?

Dogs can stumble into plenty of danger at home. Here are some things to watch out for.Make sure that the windows in your home are not open wide enough for a dog to get through. An excited dog could jump right through the screen.

Never give a dog a toy that wasn’t made for dogs. Your dog could chew and shred it and might choke on the small pieces. Special tennis balls made for dogs are safer for your pet.

Common causes of serious poisoning in dogs are chemicals intended for such pests as rats and antifreeze that is used in cars. Be careful in any area, such as alleys and around garbage cans, where poisons may have been placed to kill pests. And, antifreeze from a car can be very toxic to dogs; its sweet taste makes dogs really enjoy its flavor. Do not let your dog drink from puddles.

Follow this rule: If you don’t know what it is or whether it’s harmful—don’t let your dog eat it, drink it, or chew on it.

What Are Some Common Signs of Illness in Sporting Dogs?

A dog can’t tell you, “I feel sick”—at least not in so many words. But dogs do give clues about how they’re feeling. A dog that isn’t interested in eating may be saying that it doesn’t feel well. After all, eating is usually a high point of a dog’s day.

One common health problem in golden retrievers is hip dysplasia (an abnormal development of the hip that can be passed down from a parent to offspring). In hip dysplasia, two large bones do not meet properly at the hip joint. As a result, one of the bones sometimes pops out of the joint. Signs of hip dysplasia can include difficulty when walking or running. Some dogs with hip dysplasia can have an operation to fix the problem.

If you see any signs in your dog that something is wrong, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

What Routine Veterinary Care Is Needed?

Your dog must be healthy to be happy. To stay healthy, it needs regular medical checkups with a veterinarian. Your family needs to find a vet you can all be comfortable with.

When you take your dog for a checkup, the vet will do a physical exam. That means he or she will check the dog’s body for signs of possible problems. The vet will also make sure that your dog has regular vaccinations (shots). A vaccine is a special medicine that protects people, dogs, and other animals from certain serious diseases.

The vet will help you keep your dog free of parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and ear mites. These parasites make your dog uncomfortable. They can also spread diseases.

Experts say that a dog should have a complete checkup with a vet every year.