Dog Owner's commonly ask me the same questions repeatedly. This article aims to help dog owners prevent and find information about the most common dog health problems. Understanding the basics of these problems will go a long ways to helping your canine friend live a long healthy life.
1. By far the most common question I get asked from dog owners is a desperate call about their dog's vomiting.
Vomiting can have many causes, but the most common cause is eating garbage, or wolfing down food. In most cases the easiest cure is to withhold food from your dog for 24 hours, but continue to give water. Then after 24 hours, start by giving small meals again. This rest period will allow the stomach to heal. If vomiting continues after this you should see your veterinarian.
2. The next most common question I get asked are reproduction questions.
These questions range from breeding their dog, questions about whelping, and about raising puppies. While it is beyond this article to cover everything, here are some basics to keep in mind. Dogs come into heat every 6-7 months which is the time to breed them. The gestation length ranges from 59-63 days. Breeds that can have trouble with whelping are the pug, bulldog, Chihuahuas, Boston terriers, and the Pekingese. Whelping, the act of giving birth, can take from 2 to 24 hours. With several hours in-between the time puppies are passed.
3. Third, are questions about skin problems.
These questions range from masses and bumps, to scratches and rashes. Whenever you find a mass on your dog it is important that you show it to your veterinarian. Most masses are benign lipomas, which are fatty tumors. Another common tumor of female dogs are tumors of the mammary gland. You can greatly decrease the risk of your female dog getting a mammary gland tumor by spaying your dog. One of the most common skin tumors owners are likely to see are Mast cell tumors. Mast cell tumors can appear anywhere on the body, and can range from benign to very aggressive.
4. Fourth are questions about the musculoskeletal system.
Two possible causes of limping in dogs are arthritis and torn anterior cruciate ligaments. Arthritis is common in older dogs. To treat arthritis try some joint supplements like chondroitin. For dogs with torn anterior cruciate ligaments, surgery is needed. The anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament in the knees of dogs. Signs of this injury is when the dog is running and all of a sudden the dog whimpers in pain and starts to limp on its rear leg.
5. The fifth most common question is about allergies.
Many dogs suffer from allergies. The most common clinical signs are the dog chewing its paws, reddened skin, and scratching. For a definitive diagnosis allergy testing can be done by your veterinarian. Allergies are often treated by antihistamines and in severe cases steroids.
With a little knowledge pet owners can be more proactive in the health care of their pets. With greater knowledge you can help your veterinarian come up with the best treatment plans for your pet, and are able to give a more complete history on your pet which can lead to a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.
Short note about the author
Dr. Chris Suckow, DVM lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
To get answers for all your dog questions visit him at http://www.free-online-veterinarian-advice.com/doghealth.html .