What are some illnesses affecting dogs?

Sick Dog

There are a number of diseases dogs are prone to and I’ll talk about some of them here. I’ll also try to include specific breeds of dog that are prone to certain illnesses and diseases.

I would advise you to be aware of your dog’s normal behavior. Signs of illness can be lack of appetite, decreased activity, weakness, not drinking much, not grooming, bad breath, sleeping more than usual, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, trouble breathing, frequent and/or bloody urination. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or any behavioral changes and you are unsure of what to do, seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Things you need to know:

The normal color of a dog’s gums is pink. Pale, white, blue or yellow gums, contact your vet at once.

Normal temperature for a dog is 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Less than 99 degrees or over 104 degrees, contact your vet immediately.

A dog’s heart rate slows and speeds with each breath. This is not abnormal. You can check the heart rate by finding the femoral artery inside the back leg. Small dogs and puppies heart rate is 120-160 beats per minute. Dogs that are about 30 lbs. have a rate of 60-120 beats per minute. The larger the dog, the slower the heart rate.

A dog’s normal respiration rate is 10-30 breaths per minute. Panting can be up to 200 pants per minute.

To check if your dog is breathing, hold a tissue or mirror up to his nose. If there is movement or breath on the mirror, your dog is breathing, but get him to the vet immediately.

Problem signs are using the abdominals to breathe, gasping, loud noises, shallow breaths, difficulty exhaling. Call your vet immediately.

If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

Note: Many new pet owners do not know about the availability of pet health insurance. Insurance for your dog is a great safety net to have for unforeseeable emergencies or illnesses. It is also helpful in covering routine shots and exams. Some plans start at just five dollars a month. To compare pet insurance plans in your area check out the link above.

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