Did you know that the origins of amputating dog tails goes back to early Roman times, when writer Lucius Columella asserted that the practice prevented rabies? Today, we know this is myth rather than fact, although tail amputation remains prevalent in some circles. When you own a dog, it is important that you make sure your pet is healthy in order for it to stay happy. Here are three dog health issues you might find yourself dealing with.
1. Genetic Conditions
Purebred dogs, because they are bred from small, selective breeding pools, often have genetic conditions that can impact their quality of life. Approximately 70% of Doberman pinchers, for example, are genetic carriers for or have Von Willebrand’s disease, which is a bleeding disorder. Hip issues like dysplasia are also common among purebreds, especially pugs and german shepherds. Identify what the common pet health issues are of any breed, and check with a veterinarian to see if your dog is susceptible. Medication, therapy or surgery can often mitigate or assist with these problems.
An interesting fact to note, dogs actually have a highly developed vomiting center in their brains, which allows them to throw up more easily than other animals can. This probably dates back to the scavenger days of dogs, as a way to find out what is or is not edible. Vomiting has a number of causes, including stress, poisoning, overeating, intestinal obstruction, etc. If vomiting occurs only occasionally, it is probably not an issue. See a doctor if vomiting occurs more than once a day, it is accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea, or bloating, or seems otherwise different than usual.
Did you know that dogs without protection against heartworms are almost 100% likely to contract the disease in areas where it is well established? Worms are a common type of health issues dogs have, and they can affect multiple parts of the body depending on the worm type. Most pet owners end up dealing with hookworms, heartworms, roundworms or tape worms. Although most of these worms are not life threatening, they should still be dealt with and owners should strive to prevent them in order to reduce the risk of anemia and illness in dogs. Heartworms are particularly troublesome. If left to continue developing, they can sometimes take over the entire heart, eventually causing the dog to die.
What is your experience with the health issues dogs have? Let us know in the comments!