Knowing is winning half the battle. Be informed about how to take care of your pets and avoid unnecessary events. Taking preventative measures is vital to ensure that your dogs health and happiness is under control. Man’s best friend needs a good looking over every now and again. Here are some examples of what you can do at home:
Eye Care for Dogs:
Giving your dog a regular home eye exam will help inform you of any irregularities he or she may be suffering from. Here is a list of signs to watch out for:
- Cloudiness or change in eye colour
- Unequal pupil size
- Discharge or crust formation
- Red or White eyelid linings
- Tear stained fur
Any of these signs could indicate that your dog is experiencing eye irritation or conditions. It is important to seek help from your vet if any of the above occur.
Common Viruses & Diseases Associated With Dogs
Canine Distemper Virus
This can be a potentially fatal disease in dogs, ferrets, wild cats and a variety of other wild animals. Affected dogs will typically develop symptoms such as runny eyes, nose, a cough which can progress into pneumonia, vomiting, and diarrhoea. If a dog survives the initial bout of Distemper, it may develop fatal seizures 3-6 weeks after the initial infection. In adult dogs, Distemper’s fatality rate hovers around 50%, in young puppies, the rate jumps to 80%. There is no cure for Distemper and animals that are affected can only be offered supportive care. Distemper is transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal, airborne transmission through coughing, and transmission on hands and clothes when people touch an infected animal and then touch a healthy one. Fortunately, the vaccine is very effective at preventing Distemper.
Canine Parvoviral Enteritis (Parvo)
This is quite a common viral disease amongst dogs and is easily prevented by vaccination. Parvo causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. If left untreated, 80% of Parvo infected dogs pass away, but when treated with supportive care in the hospital, around 80% will survive. Treatment for this disease can be costly and may cause emotional distress because it may require the dog to stay in the hospital for up to a week. Parvo is transmitted by contact with an infected dog’s feces or vomit. It may also be passed on by a persons hands, clothes, and shoes to other dogs. So dogs that never leave the home can potentially become infected. The vaccine is very effective at preventing the disease, however, a puppy’s immunity to this virus is not complete until the final vaccination. It is recommended keeping your pup out of high traffic dog areas (eg. pet store, dog park, etc.) until the vaccine process is complete.
Fortunately, these viruses are not very common but can cause viral bronchitis and possibly hepatitis in older dogs. In puppies, they can cause fatal pneumonia. This vaccine is also very effective against these diseases.
This is a bacteria that is responsible in most cases of kennel cough or infectious bronchitis in dogs. Kennel cough leads to runny eyes, nose, and a persistent cough that may last for a few weeks. It is treatable with antibiotics (none are needed in mild cases) however, it is suggested to try and avoid it altogether.
This virus causes fatal encephalitis (brain swelling) in all mammals, including humans. Rabies is spread through contact with infected saliva, usually through bite wounds. The most common wild carriers are bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. The vaccination is very effective and will not only protect your pet, but will prevent your pet from spreading the disease to your family if he or she is bitten by an infected animal. Animals not vaccinated for rabies can be ordered into quarantine.