Most common dog diseases that a pet parent should take care of

Most common dog diseases| how to care for your dog| defects in dog breeds| genetic defects in dogs 

Canine Coronavirus

It is a highly contagious disease and one of the most feared diseases among the pet owners these days. Although it is not possible to find out exactly whether the virus developed inside the dog’s body or he may have received it through any surface contact but a positive detection of the coronavirus in a dog means that a small piece of the genome was detected in a sample.


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Symptoms - Its most common in old dogs where there can be no symptoms and if there is mostly vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea.

Medical care - Isolation and quarantine of the dog is required and the vet should be informed immediately for the symptoms.

Canine Distemper

It is one of the nightmares for a pet owner as there is no known cure for Distemper once it has infected the dog which is why it is recommended to get your pet vaccinated against it. It a virus born infection which is contagious and spreads from air to air contact from one dog to another hence serious precaution should be taken treatment of distemper patients.


Distemper causing eye infection 
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Symptoms - Fever, heavy breathing, running nose, coughing, lethargy, vomiting, eye problems.

Medical care - Patients are to be treated in isolation as they may infect other dogs so the vet should be informed well in advance.


Cataracts may be caused due to genetic defects or dogs which are suffering from diabetes. Cataracts cause turning of the lens in the eye of the dog into grey or crystalline colour which hinders the vision of the dog and if not treated, may lead to permanent blindness. This occurs because of the breakdown of the protein in the lens of which it is made up of making the lens crystalline white.


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Symptoms - Cloudy white or grey appearance in eyes of the dog.

Medical care - Canine ophthalmologist has to be consulted with and lens has to be replaced with artificial one. 


Canine Hepatitis

This another virus born disease that is mostly caused by infection due to contact with urine, saliva, or feces of infected dogs which makes it different from distemper and pet owners most of the time is confused between the two. While distemper virus spreads in the air, the hepatitis virus spreads only through contact with other infected dogs.

Symptoms - Enlarged liver, Abdominal pain, lethargy, jaundice, coughing, fever.

Medical care - Intravenous fluid therapy, hospitalization may be needed depending on the severity of the disease.

Canine influenza

It is the disease that can cause kennel cough in dogs. It is also contagious which can spread when dogs are in close contact with each other. It can be caused by equine influenza virus H3N8 which was discovered in 2004 hence dogs are not immune to it.

Symptoms - Coughing, Excessive Sneezing, Runny eyes, and nose.

Medical care - Plenty of water to drink and a comfortable place to rest along with antibiotics if bacterial infection also occurs.


It is a defect that involves drooping out of the lower eyelid exposing the pink pigmented skin inside the eye. This results in excessive tears from the eye making it more susceptible to eye infections. It may also lead to inflammation of the cornea.

Symptoms - Visible protrusion of lower eyelids along with increased tear production in eyes.

Medical care - Surgery is needed and eyes should be kept clean.

Kennel Cough

It is one of the diseases interfering with respiration and is infectious through the air. Chances of contamination are high in places such as shelters, dog shows, or dog boarding facilities.

Symptoms - Honking cough, lack of appetite, can also lead to pneumonia.

Medical care - It does not have specific treatment but certain home remedies can be used such as Raw honey.


It is the disease caused by a bacterial infection which is mainly caused due to contaminated water. So pet owners have to take serious precautions that their dogs do not drink dirty contaminated water from potholes, ponds, lakes while taking them on a walk or playing. It is one of the canine diseases that are contagious to humans as well.

Symptoms - Depression, Blood in urine, Muscle pain. It can also affect the kidneys and liver.

Medical care - Antibiotic treatment and hospitalization are needed and leptospirosis has a 90% survival rate.

Parvo Virus

It is a life-threatening contagious disease caused due to a virus. It is transmitted from dog feces, water bowls, carpets, contaminated surfaces. This virus can stay on surfaces for months. It is very important to get your dog vaccinated for parvovirus which if caused is not curable as such.

Symptoms - Bloody diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting, severe weight loss.

Medical care - Extravenous fluid therapy and hospitalization. Surroundings should be sanitized to kill the virus.


 It is the disease that has been traumatizing people who have been bitten by dogs even if it is a noninfectious one. It has been a misconception that people who have been bitten by a dog will be infected with rabies but that is not true actually. Only bite from rabies-infected dogs will lead to rabies in humans which is mostly fatal if not treated. A dog is infected with rabies because of the bite from a fox or a bat or contact of an open wound with the saliva of these animals in dogs.  


Rabies inflicted aggression 
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Symptoms - These can be of two types majorly. One which can cause aggressive behavior or the one which causes paralytic symptoms in the body of the dog.

Medical care - The disease is mostly fatal which is why vaccination is necessary for the dog.

Chronic hip dysplasia

It occurs in the ball and socket hip joint in canines. This causes depletion of cartilage in the ball and socket joint of both or one of the hip joints which results in uneven movement of the joint which results in extreme pain. This is most common in large breed dogs and may depend on genetic factors including size, weight, diet, and others.

Symptoms - Dog becomes inactive and does not perform activities such as running, jumping which would otherwise cause him pain.

Medical care - Vet supervision with X-rays and anti-inflammatory medicines will suppress the pain.

Congenital Deafness

This is a deformity with which dogs a born deaf or become deaf within a few months of birth which is most common in white coloured dogs because of two genes which are merle and piebald gene. Some breeds are more prone to this defect than other breeds because of these genes present in them.

Symptoms - Unresponsive to sound or call, inactive during playing.

Medical care - Many hearing aids have been developed but dogs with such defects generally lead a happy life.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia is caused in the abdominal or the belly region because of swelling or uneven protrusion of intestines and abdominal parts causing them to get trapped and hence a soft swelled region is created. This is most common in puppies but can occur in any stage of life for a dog.

Symptoms - A protruded swelled region on the body is seen and may or may not be painful for the dog.

Medical care - Small hernia can cure on their own but a bigger hernia has to be surgically removed.

Respiratory problems

This is most common in punch faced dogs or brachycephalic dogs such as pug, Shih Tzu, bulldogs, and others which have short nostrils which make them difficult to breathe and create several respiratory diseases.

Symptoms - Excessive panting, shortening of breath, less active.

Medical care - Although there is no certain cure for such defects apart from surgically widening nostrils but avoid these breeds to come in contact with extreme temperatures.

Canine Epilepsy

Epilepsy is mostly genetic in dogs and causes seizures in them for a varied period of length. These seizures may cause the dog to loose his senses and become unconscious for a while. At the time of seizure, the dog has to be calmed down which otherwise could also turn out to be fatal if unattended.

Symptoms - Frequent seizures observed making the dog unconscious.

Medical care - Certain dog therapies have been found very helpful in epilepsy.

Most common dog diseases| how to care for your dog| defects in dog breeds| genetic defects in dogs 




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