Question: Why is my dog licking his skin all the time? My dog has been licking himself consistently and I noticed his skin is red. I decided to put a cone on him to help stop licking himself. What could this be caused by and how do I treat it? -Nilka Answer: Dear Nilka, Thanks… Read More
Pet Health Problems & Concerns
Anyone who’s owned a pet can tell you that at some point in their life, they’re going to have a health problem. Whether it’s a simple cold virus, or a more serious medical condition, pet parents should be on the lookout for signs of illness in their pets, and ready to provide them with the required treatment to get them well again.
Common health problems and concerns in pets
There are a number of different health problems that pets will encounter, with some being more common than others. Here are a few pet health problems and concerns pet parents should be aware of.
At some point in their life, nearly every dog or cat is going to experience fleas and ticks. Especially if your pet spends any amount of time outdoors, you’ll want to make flea and tick checks — as well as the use of preventative products like drops or collars — a regular part of your care routine.
Mites are another issue that affect most pets at some point, but is most often an issue when they are young. Mites are microscopic, and can affect dogs, cats, and other animals such as birds and reptiles. Treating mites usually involves using medicated shampoos or applying a topical poison to kill them.
Parasites and worms are another common health concern for pets. Heartworms are probably the most well-known, and are an issue for pets throughout the world. Your pet will require preventatives to keep heartworm at bay, as well as regular blood tests to check for infection. Other worms that affect pets are hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms, which can all be treated by giving a deworming product.
Pets are subject to many of the same infections as humans, such as influenza and colds. They can also experience species-specific issues. Viruses and bacteria can also cause health problems for pets with open wounds or immune-compromising disease.
Obesity is a growing health concern for pet parents, with nearly as many as 50% of pets affected. Providing your pet with a balanced diet and ample exercise are the best ways to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
Bone and joint problems affect pets of all stripes, and include health concerns such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and torn ligaments. Treatment will vary depending on the cause, but many pets take supplements or anti-inflammatory medications to help manage symptoms.
Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and organ disease also affect pets in many of the same ways they affect their human counterparts. Routine veterinary check ups can help to catch many of these issues before they become bigger problems.
Signs of health problems and concerns in pets
If your pet is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, it’s best to have them seen by a vet as soon as possible to evaluate their condition and get them the medical care they need. Signs of health problems and concerns in pets include:
- Loss of appetite
- Loose or bloody stools
- Discharge from the eyes, ears, or nose
- Trouble walking, eating, or drinking
- Sudden changes in their personality, activity levels, or behavior
- Excessive pawing at the eyes, ears, or nose
- Signs of pain such as whining, crying, squinting, or limping
- Obvious injury such as bleeding or a broken bone
Most pets will live a long and healthy life with a quality food, access to clean drinking water, adequate exercise, and routine preventative veterinary care. That doesn’t mean they won’t get sick from time to time, or befall an accident that requires treatment. But, with a little bit of prevention and a whole lot of love, your pet can live a happy and healthy life for many years to come.
Question: Why does my dog keep coughing after being treated for kennel cough? My dog was treated for kennel cough still has this same cough. Seems to happen as soon as we go outside it is winter here so I couldn’t see allergies being the issue. – Hunter Answer: Dear Hunter, You’re wise to be… Read More
Question: Why does my dog constantly lick the air? My baby is a 4-year-old Maltezer cross Toy Pom. Abbi. She started licking “air” since she was 1 year old. She is constantly sticking her tongue out and licking at nothing. She stops when we ask her. She looks happy while doing it. I’m just afraid… Read More
Question: My dogs refuse to eat their dry dog food. What can I do to get them to eat? I have two female Dachshunds age 2 years. Recently they have both walked away from their dry dog food. I have been giving them the Healthy Weight Hill’s Science Diet for small breeds for about 1 year…. Read More
Seeing your dog in pain can be almost unbearable, especially when the suffering stems from a chronic condition that can only be managed and not cured. When working to alleviate your dog’s discomfort, keep in mind that medication is not the only remedy. Supplements and complementary therapies are also available. The first step in any… Read More
Arthritis is a common, progressive, and painful disease in cats, but there is some good news on the feline arthritis front. Treatments are now available that can relieve pain and maybe even slow the progression of arthritis, especially when a number of them are used simultaneously. Arthritic cats, with proper care, can still enjoy a… Read More
Question: My female puppy is in heat. How long will it last? My 6-month-old new female puppy is in heat. How long will this last? How do I deal with this besides crating or just leaving her in a confined area? –Kathy Answer: Dear Kathy, Thank you for writing with your question about your puppy…. Read More
Question: What is This Lump/Swelling on My Dog’s Cheek? I discovered this lump near my dog’s cheek. The area feels hard and solid. She recently had an infected tooth (or so the vet said but wasn’t positive) that would not stop bleeding a few weeks back but I thought that had passed. Perhaps this could… Read More
If you have never experienced the itching, hair loss and skin and ear infections associated with mites in dogs, consider yourself fortunate. Dogs can be infested with several different species of mites, all of which cause unpleasant symptoms that range from itching and discomfort, to severe skin infection secondary to the damage caused by these… Read More
Question: What Can I Do for My Cat with FIP? My 9 month old kitten has just been diagnosed with wet FIP, my vet has offered no curative plan. Can you please enlighten me on the latest research and what medicinal plan can we put him on. We adopted a family of four brothers, and this… Read More
Arthritis is very common in dogs. Joint injuries, like cruciate ligament rupture, or developmental disorders, for example hip dysplasia, increase the risk that a dog will have early or severe arthritis, but sometimes arthritis just develops with age. Whatever leads to a dog’s arthritis, owners now have access to many safe and effective options for… Read More
My mom used to have a greyhound named Earl whom we called “Earl-o-Meter 2000.” He would hide under furniture and tremble from head to toe. It happened regularly and was a bit concerning at first. Have you ever wondered, “What does it mean when my dog gets the shakes?” We figured out that Earl was… Read More
Cancer is the leading killer of older dogs. The good(ish) news: While not every type of cancer can be detected by looking at and feeling your dog, many can. It’s important for pet parents to be able to recognize the common signs of a cancerous tumor, so you can get your dog treatment early in… Read More
If you own a hamster, you may already know that there are veterinarians who specialize in taking care of the tiniest furry family members. But, what you may not know is that most companion animal veterinarians have knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of illness for these special pets, and are willing to help if… Read More
Do you know how to tell if you have a sick dog? Every day in my work as a small animal veterinarian, I encounter at least one pet whose problem is listed on the schedule as “ADR.” ADR is a questionably cute veterinary industry acronym for “ain’t doin’ right.” If you’re a literalist, you might… Read More