Deadly Dog Health Problems That Can Be Prevented

Dogs usually suffer in complete silence, and even if they have aches or pains, there is no way for them to let their owners know. As a pet parent, especially for first time dog owners, it is imperative to take care of your furry buddy even if they can’t tell you what is wrong in the first place.

For this reason, it is best that you make yourself familiar with common dog health issues and how you can prevent them to avoid the worst case scenario.


This is among the core vaccines that must be given to puppies, and this means that majority of dogs shouldn’t suffer from this preventable viral disease which can attack the heart and intestines. Puppies in shelters or breeding facilities have higher risk of getting in contact with infected dogs.

Many dogs contract parvovirus when they come into contact with a contaminated dog’s poop, either indirectly or directly. Symptoms of parvo include weight loss and severe diarrhea, lethargy, and vomiting. Chance of survival is very low since more than half of canines that contract parvo die.

In order to prevent parvo, vaccine can help just like with most extremely deadly diseases that are part of the key vaccinations, such as rabies, hepatitis, and distemper.

Renal Failure or Kidney Disease

Renal failure can develop during the lifetime of a dog or as a complication from diseases or medications. Sadly, a kidney disease which develops over the lifetime of a pet cannot really be prevented. Dogs with genetic predisposition to renal failure have higher risk.

But, one cause of a chronic renal failure that you can actually prevent is dental disease. During advanced dental disease stages, bacteria from the gums of dogs can get to the bloodstream and end up damaging vital organs.

To prevent it from happening, make sure your dog’s teeth are clean. Brush on a regular basis and give bully sticks or hard chew toys to get rid of plaque.

Bloat or Gastric Torsion

Does your dog finish his meal in seconds? If yes, they are at risk of bloat. Basically, this is an enlarged stomach which can get more complicated when the stomach turns as well. It can prevent air and fluid from escaping the stomach that prevents the canine from vomiting or belching. Symptoms can include inability to vomit or retching, restlessness, enlarged stomach area, and salivating. Make sure your pet eat slowly to prevent from inhaling the food and reducing the risks of bloat.

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm in dog heart

Paying for heartworm medication right now is a better option compared to enduring a painful and costly treatment later on. Unfortunately, many people do it the other way when it fact, preventative meds are much cheaper. All it will take is for your pet to get a heartworm from just one bite of an infected mosquito. When you are living in a place with heartworm endemic, a place with mosquitoes, it is a must to prevent heartworm as much as possible.

There are now cost effective heartworm medications you can find in the form of injections, topical, and pills, some of which can also help prevent other kinds of worms.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease on dog

Yet another preventable disease, this tick-borne illness is brought about by a bacteria that has been transmitted by the slow-feeding deer ticks which attached to a canine for a minimum of 18 hours. This is the most common out of all tick-related illnesses. When left untreated, Lyme disease can cause kidney issues, including kidney failure. There are antibiotics that first time dog owners can give their dogs. While symptoms are often cured in four weeks, these might not completely go away.

It is a good idea to keep your pet away from areas prone to ticks but the best way of preventing Lyme disease as well as other similar illnesses is by using preventative tick medicines.

Fungal Disease

Fungi thrive in soil and these are often transmitted by the airborne spores. This means that your dog can suffer from a fungal disease if he inhales contaminated soil. There are fungi worse than the rest, while others affect only the skin, and some can affect the whole body, including lungs, liver, and brain, and this is the worst of them all as it can also be deadly.

There are four fungal diseases which can attack the whole body, namely cryptococcosis, valley fever, histoplasmosis, and blastomycosis. The disease can lead to death when a dog develops several respiratory symptoms. Blastomycosis in particular is commonly misdiagnosed, and this can cause serious permanent damage, or worse, death. Aside from keeping your dogs from digging here and there, getting a blasto test soon can save you from regrets in the end.

Chocolate Poisoning

Everyone, including first time dog owners, probably knows that dogs can’t and should never eat chocolates. But, it is surprising how there are still lots of dogs who get a bite of this infamous treat, making it among the common culprits behind dog poisoning. The amount of chocolate your pet eats and the specific type of chocolate are the two primary problems here.

Chocolate poisoning symptoms include panting, shaking, diarrhea, pacing, and vomiting. Cases that are more serious could cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, or death. When you suspect your pet has eaten chocolates, go to the vet right away. Of course, the best form of prevention is to not give him any chocolates at all.


Canine cancer comes in different types, and it seems that their cases are constantly on the rise. The sooner you identify and cure cancer, the higher the chance of survival. If you see some changes in the habits or behavior of your dog, make sure you let your vet know about it right away. You have to know what is normal and what is not with your pooch for early diagnosis of cancer. Some of the common signs of cancer are weight loss, lethargy, change in appetite, lumps on skin, and unusual odors.

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