If you own a dog, then you might be enjoying one of the most rewarding relationships it’s possible to have – it’s not for nothing that dogs are called ‘man’s best friend!’. They’re loyal companions, they can be reassuring guardians for your home, exercise buddies, and curious partners to explore the world with. For all of the great pleasure you can get from your pet dog, there’s also a darker side. If your dog is sick, or gets injured, it’s your responsibility to spot the problem and get them the help they need.

It’s natural for this to spark worry and anxiety – a sick dog is serious business. Today we’re taking a look at some of the most common health problems that dogs can suffer from so you can be prepared!

Upset Stomachs

Sickness and diarrhoea in dogs is more common than you might like, and it has all sorts of causes – from eating something that disagrees with them to trying them on new food to more serious health issues.

If your dog has an upset stomach, then it’s likely it will soon resolve itself, and the best thing you can do is keep them hydrated during this difficult time. Feeding them on small, easily digestible meals will help to keep them nourished until they can return to a normal diet. If you are trying to introduce a new or different food, do this slowly and cautiously to avoid upsets!

If your dog’s digestion doesn’t return to normal within 48-72 hours, or if you spot other symptoms like blood in the stool or urine, evidence of pain, or other signs that worry you, then something more serious could be amiss and you should get to the vet without delay.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are common for dogs, especially those that spend a lot of time outdoors and explore in undergrowth taller than they are. It’s easier for dogs to pick up infections, or foreign bodies like seeds that can lead to an infection. Look for signs like scratching, unusual head shaking and general discomfort.

This is something to take to a vet right away! Though an ear infection will likely clear up quickly with treatment, without it can linger for a long time and cause permanent damage to the ear!

Cataracts

It’s not just humans that suffer from cataracts – they’re also a common condition in dogs. This problem, which causes the lenses in the eyes to become cloudy, is most common for older dogs – as it is for older humans – but they can develop in dogs at any time of life. Even puppies can suffer from cataracts!

Look for cloudiness in your dog’s eyes, clumsiness, and apparent difficult seeing, especially in low light. If you start to notice these symptoms it’s time to take a trip to the vet. They might be able to at least prevent further progression of the condition, and depending on how your dog specifically is coping, may recommend canine cataract surgery!

These are just a few of the more common health conditions that can affect dogs – remain vigilant for signs and symptoms or discomfort, and don’t feel bad about taking your dog to the vet if something seems to be wrong – you know them better than anyone, and you might be spotting the first signs of something serious!

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