Every dog owner has to deal with certain dog health problems at some point in their relationship with their pet. It is knowing exactly what to look for in order to identify specific issues that you can either treat on your own and when you need to seek the professional medical advice or treatment of a veterinarian.
Certain dog health problems can be breed specific, such as hip dysplasia (common in larger breeds), hearing related issues in Dalmatians, or skin problems common with Labs or Retrievers. A dog with long floppy ears may be predisposed to ear infections because the materials that build up in the ear tend to be trapped in the ear, and shaking their head vigorously may cause rips or tears and infections in the ear flaps.
Sometimes dog health problems may be genetic or breed specific and sometimes they may be directly related to the type of food you are feeding your dog – and the ingredients contained in that food. You can save yourself a lot of money in veterinarian costs if you keep a close watch on your dog, his behavior, and what you feed your dog.
There are times when health issues are beyond an owner’s control, but most often, there are certain precautions that can be taken. As a dog owner, there are many things that you must do as regular “maintenance” of your pet. These types of things include keeping your dog’s teeth clean, checking his ears and cleaning them, as well as regularly bathing and grooming your dog. Longer haired dogs should be brushed on a regular basis to keep mats from forming. In addition, running your hands along your dog’s body will let you know immediately if there are any lumps or issues that need a closer examination.
Cancers can begin almost immediately, and often, if you regularly feel and inspect your dog’s body, you can find a lump if it is forming on their side, head, back or leg. The sooner you notice something, the better the chance of receiving effective treatment. This can be the difference between life and death for your dog.