Just bought a puppy? The chances are that before long you’ll be taking a visit to the vet’s surgery for one thing or another – over and above vaccinations –here are some of the health issues your pet might face over their lifetime.
Breed health issues: Many breeds have some specific complaints that are generally a result of the breeding program to produce the characteristics particular to each breed. This is particularly true for show breeds and less so for working breeds. For example, Labradors often have problems with their hips, Dachshunds may suffer from back problems while pugs suffer from breathing difficulties due to the shape of their nose. Often cross breeds have fewer genetic problems and tend to be more robust.
Just like a human: Dogs, like humans do suffer from some common complaints including conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. If your dog is susceptible to hip dysplasia or has had a joint injury they may be prone to arthritis as they age, however even young dogs can be affected.
Ensuring they stay in a healthy weight range is important as extra weight will put added strain on their joints. Arthritic dogs should be allowed to do moderate exercise, including swimming. Your vet will be able to develop an exercise program that will ensure your dog can exercise safely and they may need to prescribe analgesics or other medication to manage and slow the disease.
Most dogs will have a bout of diarrhoea from time to time. It is best to keep your dog off food for 12 to 24 hours but make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water so they don’t get dehydrated. If the diarrhoea persists for more than 24 hours or if your dog’s diarrhoea is black (which means it may be bleeding internally) you should consult your vet immediately.
Another common complaint is ear infections, particularly in dog breeds that have a lot of hair growing inside their ears like Yorkshire Terriers or dogs with long pendulous ears like Spaniels. If your dog is shaking its head, tilting its head to one side or scratching its ear chances are it has an ear infection. A visit to the vet may be necessary and the quicker you get it treated the easier it will be to treat the problem.
There are no shortages of problems your dog can succumb to and treating them can have a big impact on your finances, particularly if they have an accident or illness that requires immediate surgery. If you’re concerned about potential vet bills, pet insurance for your four legged friend is an option to help you cover these expenses – but do shop around to compare prices.