Rabies – a viral disease
Our pet dog can be susceptible to several common diseases of which probably the best known is rabies. This is caused by a virus that can be contracted by all mammals and once symptoms appear, rabies almost always goes on to be fatal. Rabies is also transmittable to humans which is why vaccinating our pets against it is highly recommended. This unpleasant disease is mainly transmitted through a bite but can also be passed on if an infected animal’s saliva should come into contact with an open wound of any sort. In dogs, rabies affects the brain and can lead to very aggressive behavior. Fortunately, there is an effective vaccine against it which puppies can have once they reach three months of age.
The risk of tick-borne piroplasmosis
Next and also a very common disease in canines is piroplasmosis. This is caused by ticks that contain certain parasites which are able to enter your pet’s blood system and seriously endanger its health. You will first notice that your dog becomes very lethargic then this is followed by vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. If your pet is treated in time, however, there is an almost 100% chance of a cure, although the liver can suffer long-term damage. Take particular care in the Autumn or even in Winter if there is a mild spell as this is when the ticks are most active. There is no treatment yet that fully cures piroplasmosis but a vaccine against it is available.
The very contagious Rubarth’s Hepatitis
Canine hepatitis is also known as Rubarth’s Hepatitis and is a very contagious infection that affects the livers of unprotected puppies. It is caused by an adenovirus that lives in the external environment and is then transmitted by direct or indirect contact between a diseased dog and a healthy dog. Fleas and lice can also be carriers of this disease. Rubarth’s Hepatitis causes fever and major digestive disorders which the vet may treat by using a drip and anti-emetics. A vaccine does exist which is best given to young dogs as early as two months old and then repeated at regular intervals. Luckily, this condition remains rare and is almost non-existent in adult dogs.
Hip dysplasia in larger dogs
Finally, hip dysplasia can affect the health of your beloved pet. This is a genetic disease more commonly found in larger dogs. Hip dysplasia presents as an asymmetry of the femur head which gradually leads to a form of osteoarthritis as your pet ages. This causes pain during movement or when attempts are made to get up or jump onto anything. It is possible to administer anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain but there is no treatment at present that can cure hip dysplasia.