Preventable Canine Diseases

Posted by Anita Gaylor on

There was a poster at the vet’s office that intrigued me and I thought I’d take the opportunity to pass the information along. It identified diseases in dogs that can be prevented, most of which I was already aware of, but there were a couple that I’d never considered to occur in canines.

Hopefully, by passing this information along it will either enlighten or remind people to be proactive in taking the proper precautions, and become more aware of symptoms. Doing so may save your dog from pain, suffering and possibly his/her life.

 RABIES A viral disease of the central nervous system, the chance of survival is poor and early treatment is critical. The highly contagious virus is transmitted through blood or saliva, most commonly when one infected bites another. 

  • Early Stage Symptoms: fever restlessness irritability or aggression, often accompanied by biting or snapping licking or chewing the infected area of the bite lethargy in a normally active animal The virus progressively moves into the brain, spinal cord and saliva glands. 
  • Late Stage Symptoms: loss of appetite or eating odd things difficulty swallowing and/or choking difficulty breathing trembling foaming from the mouth dropped jaw dilated pupils loss of coordination/staggering paralysis of back legs seizures hydrophobia 
  • Prevention: Vaccination should be given at 4-6 months, a booster a year thereafter, and then every 3 years. (Some states require annual vaccinations)

     BORDETELLA Also commonly known as “kennel cough”, it is a bacterial or viral infection nearly exclusively seen in areas where several animals are confined together such as kennels and boarding facilities. It is also suspected that the stress of being in this type of environment may be a factor in contracting the disease. Although generally not fatal, it can lead to bronchial pneumonia, particularly in puppies and senior dogs. Bordetella is very contagious in animals although rarely seen in humans. Generally, it can be likened to the common cold seen in humans. 

    • Symptoms: -hacking cough and/or gagging -runny nose -fever -lethargy 
    • Prevention: Practicing good hygiene and avoiding contact with other infected animals are the best forms of prevention. (Again, much like the same precautions that are used to avoid contracting a cold) 

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    HEARTWORMS Heartworm disease is extremely dangerous and fatal unless properly treated. It is curable if detected, but treatment is extensive, lengthy and expensive. If treatment isn’t started until the disease has reached the latter phases, it can result in permanent damage to not only the heart, but to other organs as well. Heartworms are transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito or passed from mother to infant in uterine. 

    • Early Stage (1) Symptoms: mild cough decrease in appetite with weight loss decrease in level of activity fatigue following exercise ***It is important to note that some dogs have no detectable symptoms in the early stages***
    •  Late Stage (s) Symptoms: (Stages 2-4) -swollen abdomen -heart failure -labored breathing -dark urine or blood in urine -pale gums 
    • Prevention: Testing should be done annually and year-round a oral preventative given monthly. Maintaining a consistent schedule is crucial to ensure adequate protection. If there is ANY lapse in the prevention medication, a blood test should be done prior to resuming. Protecting your pet from heartworms is neither difficult nor time-consuming, and it can avoid the risk of your pet enduring immeasurable suffering or death. 

    HEPATITIS Unlike other preventable diseases, the occurrence of canine hepatitis lack a single, specific cause. In certain breeds, genetics may be a factor; at other times, the disease can develop when cancerous tumors of the liver are identified. It is also theorized that hepatitis stems from an autoimmune disorder, but this theory does not have sufficient research to prove its validity. When the cause of the disease is not identified, it is referred to “idiopathic”, or of unknown origin. There is no cure for hepatitis, so the focus typically lies in managing the symptoms and pain; and slowing the progression of the disease. 

    • Early Stage Symptoms Early symptoms are typically undetected until the disease has progressed to the point of significant liver damage (70%-80%) 
    • Late Stage Symptoms -lethargy -weakness -diarrhea (may be bloody) -vomiting -distended abdomen -abdominal pain and/or tenderness -weight loss -loss of appetite -vomiting -disorientation -excessive frequency of urination -excessive volume of urine -nosebleeds -bleeding from gums and mucous membranes -jaundice -body and coat in poor condition -neurological disorder (poor coordination, circling, seizures or coma)
    •  Prevention: Ironically, pharmaceuticals commonly used to treat various other types of illnesses are linked to the onset of chronic hepatitis. Among these are antibiotics, anesthetics, corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), anticonvulsants and de-worming drugs. Fortunately, there are safe, healthy and effective alternative supplements that can be used in lieu of toxic chemicals.

    Please read the plethora of information provided for each product sold on NATURAL-WONDER-PETS.

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     LEPTOSPIROSIS This is a bacterial infection that is spread throughout the body via the bloodstream as the bacteria (leptospires) reproduce. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with urine of the infected animal and can be contracted by humans. Transmission frequently occurs when an opening in the skin is exposed to infected bodily fluid. Progression without treatment can cause permanent damage to the liver and kidneys. If this occurs, it can be fatal. Leptospirosis is more common in climates that are wet or marshy, where standing water becomes stagnant and the bacteria can grow abundantly. It is seen more often during the fall season. 

    • Early Stage Symptoms Early symptoms are typically undetected until the disease has progressed and spread throughout the body and organs. 
    • Late Stage Symptoms -fever -muscular pain, stiffness in gait and legs -hesitancy in movement -general illness, weakness -depression -poor appetite -dehydration (occurs quickly) -increase in thirst and excessive urination (inability to urinate may be a sign of kidney failure) -vomiting (may be bloody) -diarrhea (may be bloody) -vaginal discharge (may be bloody) -dark red gums with splotches -jaundiced skin and eyes -cough -irregular pulse, rapid breathing or difficulty in breathing -runny nose -swollen mucus membranes -swollen lymph nodes 
    • Prevention: Leptospirosis is a disease that is more common in wet regions such as the tropics and marshy, muddy environments. It can be contracted through swimming, drinking or traveling through stagnant water, or water that has been standing; through contact with urine, or in mud that a contaminated animal has passed through and similar conditions. Because it can be contracted by humans, protective clothing should be worn if symptoms are present or the disease is suspected, particularly if there is exposure to any type of bodily fluid. Special precautions should continue to be used for several weeks post-treatment since leptospires can continue to be passes via urine. A healthy immune system is crucial in preventing and/or overcoming these and others canine diseases.

    I don’t know about the rest of the world, but for me the idea of continuously exposing my babies to all the toxins and man-made drugs is quite scary. It’s probably why I’m so impressed with Natural-Wonder-Pets. There you’ll find products that are made with the finest, safest and environmentally friendly ingredients on the market—-eliminating the need for a lot of other “medications”. It gives me great peace of mind to know that I don’t have to risk my dogs health in order to keep them healthy!!

    For the health of your pet and your own peace of mind, use this link to see the entire list of holisticalcohol-free products. Then decide for yourself.


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