how to protect your dog from 10 diseases

Throughout his life, our dog is exposed to more or less serious illnesses. Ten of them are more frequent, but there are ways to act preventively.

1 – THE SQUARE DISEASE

In dogs, canine distemper, which is viral, causes 50% mortality in adults and 80% in young dogs. If the animal survives, the after-effects can be serious. There is a vaccine to be given at about two months of age, with a booster one month later and then every year.

2 – PIROPLASMOSIS

This infection is caused by a tick-borne parasite that destroys red blood cells and can cause death. For this reason, the vaccine is recommended, with two injections one month apart in the first year, followed by annual or even biennial booster shots in high-risk areas. In addition, your dog should be protected against ticks with antiparasitic drugs and inspected after returning from a walk.

3 – LEISHMANIASIS

This parasitic disease is transmitted by a biting insect from the south of France. In case of declared affection, the treatment relieves the dog, but does not cure it. This is why in the south, it is better to have him vaccinated (count three injections three weeks apart, followed by an annual booster). The vaccine is not 100% effective but limits the risk of serious chronic disease. Another useful measure is to equip it with an active anti-parasite collar for five months, which paralyzes and kills the sandfly before it bites, or, for dogs staying occasionally in the south, to use an insecticide spray during its stay.

4 – DERMATITIS

This inflammation of the skin responsible for itching, redness and irritation can have several causes: food intolerance, allergy to flea bites, infection due to a fungus or bacteria, reaction to natural elements (sea water, sand, snow) or not (shampoo). Dermatitis is one of the most frequent reasons for consultation and the cause is not always easy to find. It is easier to prevent it by choosing good quality food, hygiene products adapted to dogs and by treating fleas preventively.

5 – CONGENITAL DYSPLASIA AND DISLOCATION

Hip dysplasia is more common in medium and large dogs, while patella dislocation is more common in small dogs. In both cases, the joint does not develop properly. This may limit the animal’s movements later on, or even require an operation. Before buying a puppy, it is best to check that its parents are free from it. Then avoid feeding him too much food (weight gain increases the risks) and avoid giving him inappropriate exercises. Finally, it is advisable to have your puppy wear a joint protector in case of benign dislocation of the patella.

6 – ARTHROSIS

70% of dogs over 7 years of age are affected by this irreversible age-related damage to cartilage and bone. The protection of the skeleton starts with a quality diet as soon as the puppy is weaned and overweight is hunted. The puppy should not exercise too much during its growth. For dogs in the early stages of osteoarthritis, certain food supplements are recommended: chondroitin sulfate and Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) which contribute to the proper lubrication of the joint.

7 – DIABETES

Diabetes particularly affects sedentary obese dogs. Prevention is therefore simple: encourage your dog to exercise every day and prevent him from putting on weight

8 – HEART FAILURE

Congenital malformation, old age, high blood pressure or a defect in the closure of heart valves are all causes of heart failure. Some can be prevented. For example, an obese dog that receives too much salty food is more at risk. A dog living in the Mediterranean region or Corsica may have been bitten by a mosquito and contracted dirofilariasis (known as heartworm disease). All anti-insect biting measures are therefore good to take.

9 – HYPOTHYROIDISM

Hypothyroidism makes dogs irritable, tired, anxious and/or uncomfortable. When the thyroid is functioning slowly, there is no choice but to give thyroid hormones, but if the results of blood tests are limited, dietary supplements with natural digestive enzymes can help your dog. This should be discussed with your veterinarian.

10 – VASCULAR DEMENTIA

An old dog is not immune to dementia affecting its memory. Foods for seniors provide omega 3 and selenium, which can delay brain aging. When the disease is not too advanced, treatments for humans in Parkinson’s disease and depression have shown results in dogs.

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