Four diseases that are “Silent Killers” of Dogs
Dogs are not capable of expressing their feelings. Your dog might be suffering from something serious and you may not have a clue about it. Dogs don’t like to show their weaknesses, that is by nature. This behavior allows diseases to manifest which can lead to fatal consequences.
take a look at the four most common diseases dogs you should be aware of your dog experiencing. Regular health check-ups are the only way of preventing these because some don’t even show symptoms.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs older than 10 years. 50% of older dogs develop some form of cancer over time. Some cancers are easy to diagnose with the appearance of a tumor; however, some cancers don’t show symptoms until later stages. These can be impossible to treat.
Some commonly found cancers in dogs are the skin-mast cell tumors, the lymph nodes- which create tumors on the glands, and the breasts of female dogs. Female dogs who are sterilized are less likely to develop cancerous tumors, but not immune to them.
Cancer can be treatable if found at an early stage through surgical removal of tumors, or chemotherapy. Pain relief is essential to keep your dog as comfortable as possible during those hard times. Consult your vet to decide the best possible action.
Different types of cancer cause different symptoms like swelling of body parts, loss/ gain of appetite, weight loss, and difficulty in breathing.
Heartworm disease is not diagnosed until its too late in most cases. The symptoms are almost invisible that allows it to spread. It can affect the blood vessels, lungs, and heart, which can result in heart failure, lung disease, or damaging other vital organs.
Heartworm disease is one of the main causes of death in dogs. The disease is transmitted through an infected mosquito, that must bite the dog on a body part with thin hair coating like the stomach. The disease is not region-specific. In the US every canine is at risk of heartworm disease. During mosquito season the chances are higher of getting bit by an infected mosquito. The chances are lower in winters.
Annual checkups at the veterinarian can help diagnose this disease. simple blood tests are done to perform diagnosis. If your pup has already contracted the disease, there are injections given to kill the heartworms. After a successful treatment, rest is necessary for your dog to heal because the organs might be recovering. Similar to malaria preventative meds, some medications are available to prevent Heartworm disease too. It is best to consult your vet and ask for a prescription of such medications.
Sadly symptoms don’t show until the later stages, but they may be present in the form of cough, fatigue, hesitation to do physical activity, loss of appetite, and weight.
KIDNEY RELATED DISEASES
Kidney disease is a serious and often incurable condition in dogs. The cause is often the age of the dog. Just like other body parts Kidneys start to deteriorate over time. If kidneys don’t function properly they fail to filter out the toxins in the body, which affects other bodily functions.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is mostly the first symptom of kidney disease. Ask your veterinarian to check your dog’s kidney health. This can be done through urine and blood tests. There is no solution to the problem but some medications can slow down the effects and give some relief.
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of joints. Over 60% of dogs above the age of 7 suffer from Arthritis in the United States! Joint replacement is the only way of treating arthritis but this is not an option of everyone. This means if your dog develops Arthritis they are going to be in pain till the end. What happens in arthritis is that the body loses the fluid and cartilage in joints that helps the bones move. Without the fluid, the bones rub together which is painful.
As your canine gets older, their bones become weaker, and joints become squeakier. Another reason can be excess weight gain. If your dog is overweight, their joints are strained. Large-sized dogs such as Labradors or German Shepherds are more likely to succumb to arthritis because of the pressure on their bones.
Arthritis is not just painful, it can lead to other life-threatening problems. Dogs suffering from Arthritis at a higher risk of obesity. If your pet is finding it hard to be physically active, they’re likely to put on weight. Being obese puts your dog at risk of heart disease, skin disease, or even worsen the joint and ligament pain they already suffer.
Excessive licking of their joints, lack of mobility, loss in appetite, and lethargy are some symptoms of arthritis. Dogs with joint pain try to stay away from exercise. They don’t want to jump, run, or play like they used to because of their joint pain. If your dog is showing these symptoms, these are the sign of joint discomfort. Immediately consult your veterinarian to figure out the best possible treatment plan.