Top 10 Dog Diseases and How to Detect Them

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There are many dog diseases in the world. The number of dog diseases are large, just like the number of human diseases. Proper care, treatment, and detection can prevent a lot of grief and complications. Here are the top 10 dog diseases (not in any order of seriousness) and what you can do to detect them:

Obesity: Obesity is a serious medical problem in dogs. Exercise, proper nutrition, and withholding the dog’s intake of human food will help prevent obesity in your dog.

Rabies: Rabies is a virus and when symptoms start to appear, it becomes fatal. When a dog gets rabies, they may bite other mammals and pass the disease onto them. Many laws require dogs to have rabies vaccinations and booster shots as prevention.

Parvovirus (also known as Parvo): Parvo is a highly contagious, fatal disease that can happen to any dog around the world. It leads to death usually within 48 to 72 hours and symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, and depression. The only prevention is the Parvo vaccination with booster shots.

Coronavirus: Is very similar to Parvovirus, but not as fatal. Very similar symptoms, but the treatment is usually to replace lost fluids and control vomiting and diarrhoea.

Infectious canine hepatitis: Not usually fatal, but it is a possibility. Most of the time, mild symptoms like a slight fever or slight lethargy appear. Vaccinations are recommended and recovery is usually rapid.

Distemper: Considered to be the one most threatening virus to dogs worldwide, distemper is fatal in all dogs. The only prevention is vaccination and subsequent boosters.

Kennel Cough: A respiratory disease that usually spreads in kennels and shelters, symptoms can include a dry, hacking cough with inflammation of the larynx, trachea, and bronchial tubes. The recommended prevention is vaccination against four of the strains, which may be needed as often as every six months.

Leptospirosis: Lethargy, kidney inflammation, and vomiting are a few symptoms of this bacterial disease. Very few veterinarians will inoculate against this disease because the effectiveness of treatment is questionable.

Lyme Disease: Symptoms include joint pain, lethargy, and lack of appetite of this bacterial disease. Treatment includes antibiotics, and prevention is using Frontline or Advantage.

Heartworm: One of the most well-known diseases, these parasites grow and multiply and can cause easy tiring, cough, and lethargy. Can be fatal if not treated, and prevention with HartGard is recommended.


Petpals are a leading pet sitting service based in the UK, providing pet sitting, dog walking and home boarding services for pet owners across the country.

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About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi spent her time working in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions.

8 Comments

    • YEARLY SHOTS????????
      ARE YOU INSANE?
      Leading Veterinary Vaccine Researcher, Dr. Ron Schultz advises ONE vaccine at 15 weeks good for the life of the dog! To do yearly vaccines you are destroying the dogs immune system and increasing chance of advserse reactions, VACCINOSIS!
      The dog can be examined yearly but yearly vaccines have not been advocated for since 1978!!!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN UNDER A ROCK!

  1. Sad to see that obesity is not only a problem for modern humans but for our pets as well. Along with altering the diet, exercise may help. In fact, it might help both pet and human companion! There are some exercises you can do while getting your dog or cat in the act too. Though we would not recommend getting your cat TOO involved in any of these, seeing as how fickle those felines can be. Dogs, meanwhile, are usually up for anything it seems.

  2. Dogs are easy to take care of…and exercising with them is a great bonding for you and your pet.
    To avoid different diseases that can affect your pet, just always take them to the vet for regular check up and most of all love them and treat them as part of your family.

  3. There is a saying,”If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.” This is a problem we as pet owners need to take control of.

  4. This is a great article — but I have to say that I personally shy away from over vaccinating my dogs. The traditional heart worm medicine is a must no matter where you live, but there are some great alternatives for fleas, ticks and other parasites. Obesity is something that dog owners have complete control over and it’s really a matter of being a responsible dog owner by providing exercise and not giving your dog a little of everything that you eat.

    I don’t think most dog owners have to worry much about kennel cough unless they take their dog to a kennel, dog park or they recently adopted one from the shelter who is showing signs.

    I recently interviewed Dr. Shawn Messonnier, Veterinarian and vaccinations were one of the topics. His response was that “no pets require vaccinations every year. Research shows that immunity lasts at least 3 years.”

  5. Find a veterinarian you can trust and visit regularly. Ideally, routine wellness examinations should be performed by your vet twice a year. Puppies and senior dogs should be seen even more frequently. Because dogs age at a faster rate than us, many subtle changes can develop over a six to twelve month period. Routine visits allow your vet to closely monitor changes before your dog’s health gets out of control.

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