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Common dog health problems

Common dog health problems

  • Heatstroke

    Heatstroke can be fatal, often occurring if a dog is kept shut up in a house or car without shade, ventilation or water. It can also occur after vigorous exercise in warm weather and following stress or over-excitement.

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  • Worms

    Most puppies are actually born with worms, which they contracted from their mother’s milk. Other worms are obtained from fleas or the environment. Treatment for worms is vital for all dogs to keep them fit and healthy.

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  • Treating ticks, fleas and other parasites

    Dogs and cats are adorable, warm and furry. This is why ticks, fleas, lice and mites love them almost as much as we do! Outdoor cats and dogs in particular have a fairly high probability of coming into contact with these parasites at some point. But with a few tips, you can try to control and treat them.

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  • Food allergies

    True food allergies can occur at any age but are usually diagnosed in younger dogs. The signs of an allergy are not specific and may indicate another problem. Always consult your vet without delay if you observe these signs.

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  • Digestive problems

    To help maintain your dog’s digestive system in good health, monitor your dog's appetite and always know what you are feeding - and what everyone else in the family may be feeding! While most of the time it does not cause a healthy dog any problems there are times when it needs some help and support to ensure it makes best use of the food you feed your pet.

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  • Ear problems

    There are many reasons why ear problems might occur. Your dog's ears should always be clean and without any thick brown or green waxy discharge. There should also be no redness, itchiness or offensive smells. Your vet will be best placed to examine your dog’s ears safely and advise on any tests or treatment that might be needed.

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  • Skin problems

    Skin and coat condition are a good general indicators of health. Skin should be smooth, and pink or black and the coat should be clean and in good condition. A visit to your vet will often be needed to diagnose the cause of a skin allergy.

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  • Eating grass

    It is not uncommon for dogs to eat grass. Although the reasons are not clear there are several possible explanations that have been offered for this behaviour. Essentially, grass eating is a normal behaviour, and is not a concern unless your dog does it excessively or this is a sudden change in your dog’s behaviour. If you are concerned, we would recommend that you discuss this with your vet.

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  • Eating dog faeces (copraphagia)

    Eating faeces (coprophagia) is a habit exhibited by many dogs at some stage in their lives. Some eat their own faeces as puppies, but not when they grow older as they have access to quality food supplied by their owners. Nevertheless, if they get the chance many dogs will attempt to eat horse and other farm animal manure. For a long-standing problem you will need to be extremely vigilant and may require the help of an animal behaviourist.

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  • Kidney problems

    There are a number of causes of kidney failure including certain diseases and tumours. However, some dogs may develop some degree of kidney failure as they get older, due to the gradual deterioration of the parts of the kidney that do the work.

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  • Harmful substances and foods

    There are many food and non-food substances, including plants, which can be potentially poisonous for your dog. Some of these will be obvious to most owners but others will not. For example, some foods and medicines can be eaten or taken by humans with no ill effects but can be very toxic and in some cases life threatening for dogs.

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