Dog Health- How to Keep Your Canine Fit
Most of the canine owners associate the good health of their pooches with shiny, glossy, dandruff-free coat. But dog health extends much beyond a glistening coat. A dog’s health depends to a great extent on the canine owner. Periodic check-up with the vet, ensuring a healthy, nutritious diet, grooming, keeping the dogs well hydrated, and making sure that they get their regular dose of exercise, are very important factors ensuring dog health. Dog health issues among all breeds are very common. The key to their good health is quick detection diseases and commencement of treatment. Dogs are as prone to diseases as are humans.
Since these loveable creatures cannot talk about their sufferings, one can get subtle cues by paying close attention to their daily activities and looking for minute alterations in their eating, sleeping, or drinking habits. Some of the diseases that can really impair the movement of dogs are rheumatoid arthritis, canine arthritis, canine hip dysplasia, etc. Some of the signs of joint pain among pooches are limping, swollen joints, tenderness on physical examination of a joint, tendency to put less weight on or hold up the leg with the sore joint, etc.
In addition to joint pains, dogs are also prone to a number of microbial infections. Microbial infections including those caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses can inflict kidney, eye, skin, ear infections. The following are some the microbial infections that can have an adverse impact on dog health:
Kidney infection: Kidney infection is primarily caused in the dogs due to presence of microbes such as fungi, bacteria, and virus. Other causes could be presence of stones in the bladder, cancer in or injury to the urinary tract. History of surgeries can also contribute to kidney infections. If one detects blood or foul smell in the dog’s urine, a visit to the vet would result in early detection of the infection.
Canine eye infection: Eye infections are also caused by virus, bacteria, and fungi and in some cases as a result of allergic reactions. Key symptoms are redness of the eyes, inflammation, itchiness, and watery discharge from the eyes. After diagnosis, locally administered drugs like ointments and drops can help alleviate their condition.
Canine Ear infection: Ear infections in dogs are caused by the presence of abnormally high number of bacteria and fungi. Excess of ear-wax can lead to yeast infections. Dog allergies are also a likely cause of ear infections. Ear infections can be really painful for dogs and is extremely important to treat them. If left untreated, these can also lead to hearing loss. Treatment can include administering ear drops and ointments over a period of time.
Staphylococcal Pyoderma: Staphylococcal Pyoderma, is a microbial skin infection caused by the bacteria Staphylococci. Though these bacteria dwell harmlessly on the dogs’ skin, they can cause infection in case of cuts or abrasions, resulting in itchiness, formation of pustules and lesions. In severe cases, these can also lead to hair loss. Use of topical ointments will help soothe the skin and treat the infection.
There are a number of other microbial infections that can have an insalubrious effect on dog health, such as ringworm, histoplasmosis, pythiosis, etc, all caused by fungi and which affect skin, lungs and the small intestine, gastrointestinal system and the lymph nodes.
It has been said that prevention is better than cure. Small steps like shielding dogs from dehydration, getting them vaccinated on time, and kennel house keeping, can go a long way in protecting dogs from microbial infections and ensuring that they lead a healthy, disease-free, joyful life.