Dogs can suffer from many of the same illnesses as their human friends. They may experience allergies, seizures, dementia, and more. The list of health issues a dog may face are long and many people are unaware that their pet may face chronic health issues and have no idea what to do when they receive a diagnosis.
Dogs can be allergic to many different things and may have symptoms that are as severe as those experienced by humans. An allergen can trigger a reaction when it is inhaled or touches the dog’s skin. As their immune system begins to fight the perceived threat they may experience respiratory, skin, or digestive issues. Secondary complications are common in dogs with allergies and may include yeast or bacterial infections of the skin.
Any dog is capable of developing an allergy but the breeds who commonly suffer from allergies include retrievers, terriers, setters, bulldogs, and pugs. Some of the most common allergens include mold spores, pollens, dust mites, feathers, foods, household cleaners, and cigarette smoke.
The preferred treatment of allergies in dogs is removal of the allergen from the environment. When that is not possible doctors may recommend allergy injections or supplements. In extreme cases, cortisone may be needed but these are usually a last resort.
Seizures in dogs often begin by a normally functioning dog becoming confused and unsteady. They will then typically fall to the floor and appear unconscious and begin moving in a way similar to treading water. If this happens on a regular basis, the dog may have a seizure disorder.
If a dog begins to have a seizure it is important to move him away from any potential danger such as stairs or furniture. Be careful to stay away from his mouth as he may unintentionally bite. There is no reason to attempt to put anything in the dog’s mouth. If possible, time the seizure because if it lasts for more than a few minutes it may be necessary to cool him down with cool water or a fan as dogs quickly overheat while seizing.
Seizures can be caused by many different things, including ingesting poison, changes in blood sugar levels, liver or kidney disease, anemia, strokes, head injury, electrolyte imbalance, and encephalitis. Depending on the cause, the vet may prescribe medications.
As in humans, diabetes in dogs is a growing epidemic. The cause of diabetes is not known. There are a number of biological factors that may play a role, including obesity, some medications, genetics, and issues with the pancreas.
Obese dogs and female dogs appear to run a greater chance of developing diabetes in their older years, between the ages of 6 and 9. Some breeds also appear to have an increased risk such as schnauzers, poodles, and dachshunds.
Preventing and treating diabetes in dogs is similar to the way humans are treated. Increased physical exercise, strength training, and a modified diet can be powerful tools in the fight against the disease. Many people find it easier to battle the disease with the help of their pet.
Finding out your dog has a serious health problem can feel both scary and overwhelming. While it may mean they will require some extra care, most issues can be treated. Addressing any concerns as they arise is the best way to ensure proper treatment and the best outcome.