Common Ailments In Dogs + Management


The knowledge of common dog ailments is necessary for dog owners because if their canine friend suffers from any disease, they should first rule out these common diseases. Dogs are very much susceptible to some diseases, which require urgent care or treatment. If proper care and treatment, at a specific time is not given, it may result in severe and life-threatening disease. If you have a dog, you should know the most common dog ailments, their prevention, symptoms, and treatment. Most common dog ailments include:

Oral Infections

Oral infections are the most common disorders that usually affect dogs. Dogs are typically not susceptible to these infections until they reach three years of age. The most common oral conditions in adult dogs include gingivitis and tartar. In seniors dogs, usually after the age of 8 years, the probability of occurrence of dental abscesses and other severe periodontal diseases is very high. Symptoms of oral infections include:

  • Changes in dietary preferences and eating behavior usually tend to eat less and avoidance of dry food
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Drooling
  • Discharge from the mouth containing blood or pus
  • Discoloration of gums and teeth
  • Lumps under the tongue
  • Bad temper

You need to visit a vet for the treatment of these diseases and make your canine friend comfortable. Your vet may prescribe treatments such as teeth cleaning, teeth or root canal extraction, and use of topical creams. You can prevent the occurrence of these diseases by keeping the oral hygiene of your dog like regular brushing of the teeth.

Ear Infections

The most common cause of ear infections includes food allergies. Common food allergens include soy, wheat, and corn. Most susceptible breed of dogs to ear infection includes those with long and pendulous ears. Signs and symptoms of ear infections include:

  • Scratching of ears
  • Rubbing of ears against the wall or some object
  • Redness of ear canal
  • Head shaking
  • Hair loss around the ears
  • Pain
  • Issues of posture
  • Hearing loss
  • Formation of scabs or crust inside or around the ears

If the symptoms are mild, you can treat it at home by regular cleaning and drying of the ear along with the application of ointment. In case of severe symptoms like excessive pain, you need to go to the vet. Your vet will first relieve the symptoms by the administration of analgesic or sedating agents. After examination, he will determine the type of organism causing the infection and treat your canine friend with the help of topical or systemic anti-fungal or antibiotics.

Itchy skin or skin infections

Dogs usually scratch regularly, but if your dog is scratching excessively, this may be a sign of itchy skin. The most common causes of this problem include food allergies or bacterial and yeast infections. If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, change in the diet such as the inclusion of rice and lamb and exclusion of soy, wheat, and corn can relieve the itchiness. In the case of yeast or bacterial infections, Hot spots (painful sore in the fur) is a common sign of the disease.

Treatment of skin itching depends on the type of underlying cause. Your vet may prescribe avoidance of particular foods along with simple shampoo or topical cream for allergies. In case of infections, a vet will order some tests to confirm the diagnosis and then prescribe the treatment accordingly.

Digestive Problems

Like humans, dogs may suffer from digestive issues periodically. But if your dog suffers from digestive symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting more frequently, it may be suggestive of some underlying serious illness. Common causes of digestive illness in dogs include parasites, parvovirus, and intestinal worms.

To treat the digestive symptoms, a vet will first organize for the diagnosis of the cause. Vets recommend feeding of easily digestible foods to prevent irritation of the GI tract. Foods high in soluble and insoluble fibers may also help. An adequate amount of fat may increase the digestion, and hydration status should be maintained to prevent fluid deficiencies in digestive illnesses.

Stiffness and Pain

In senior dogs that exceed six years of age, climbing the stairs and getting up from lying or sitting position may become difficult due to pain or stiffness in muscles or joints. It is a common ailment in older dogs.

To prevent such conditions, you should try to maintain a healthy weight for your dog. For joint and muscle health, chondroitin and glucosamine supplements are helpful.

Urinary Tract Problems

UTIs are common in dogs with symptoms including dribbling of urine, frequency or urgency for urination, licking of genitals, pain during urination (dogs cry during micturition), and straining. Diagnosis of UTIs usually involves determination with of help of urine sample and treatment include antibiotics and analgesics.

Shawna / Partner

Hi! Thank you for visiting YHPC’s site. I’ve been a lifelong pet owner, and for the past fifteen years, I’ve been in the telecom and technology sector, working for Fortune 500 companies in sales and marketing. Frequently I traveled for work which meant leaving my two dogs, Keiko, an 85 lb Akita and Gypsy, a 90 lb rescue, in the care of others. Leaving always caused stress and anxiety because I did not know who to trust to care for them regularly. During trips, I would wonder when the person arrived/departed and if my dogs were ok. Given my background, I was aware of the technology that could help answer those questions and decided to create Your Home Pet Care. I’m glad you found us, and I hope you give our pet care services a try!

Certifications: Pet CPR + First Aid