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Most common diseases in dogs and their symptoms

Knowing in general the most common diseases in dogs helps us know how to take better care of our pets and quickly detect any symptoms of discomfort. Let’s not forget that early detection greatly improves the chances of almost any treatment.

In this article of Animal Expert we will make a general review of all these diseases, pointing out the particular details of each one to help you identify them. We will also talk about parasites (fleas, ticks and mosquitoes) or common ailments such as diarrhea.

Do not forget that prevention is the best way to prevent your dog from suffering any disease. Find out what the vaccination schedule for dogs is like and follow it strictly to prevent any health problems.

You may also be interested: Most common diseases in cats


  1. Parasitic diseases
  2. Viral diseases
  3. Hereditary diseases
  4. Neurological diseases
  5. Bacterial diseases
  6. Other common diseases in dogs

Parasitic diseases

We will start the article of the most common diseases in dogs talking about parasites, which can be internal or external, depending on where they stay:

External parasites

  • Fleas : Fleas are very small parasites that frequently affect canids. They are easily transmitted and reproduced with amazing ease. We can easily observe them through the observation of the mantle. Discover in ExpertAnimal how to eliminate fleas from your dog .
  • Stable fly : these parasites are common in rural settings and feed on the blood of animals, which usually also causes severe anemia if not treated properly.
  • Ticks : there are many different tick species and some are truly dangerous, and can cause a paralyzing effect on the dog. They should never stretch as we could leave animal remains in the dog’s dermis. Find out all about ticks in dogs .
  • Leishmaniosis : these parasites are transmitted through a vector, the phlebotome, and multiply in the white cells of the dog. The most common symptoms of leshmania are the thinning of the dog, fever, anemia, arthritis … There is no effective treatment to cure leishmaniasis, however, with veterinary follow-up a good quality of life can be offered to the dog that suffers from it .
  • Scabies mites : it is a skin disease caused by mites. There are two different types of scabies , the sarcoptic and the demodectic. It is a parasitic disease that is transmitted very easily but that has treatment. In some very serious cases it can leave marks for the rest of the dog’s life.
  • Toxoplasmosis : it is an intracellular parasite. In general we can talk about a slight risk, since the treatment is very simple, however, we must worry when it affects pregnant bitches. It can be identified by neuromuscular, respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms. In most cases it appears in dogs under 1 year.

Internal parasites

  • You had : they are flat worms that lodge in the intestine of the dog, feeding on the own food that the animal ingests. Animals are usually spread by coming into contact with contaminated feces, raw or undercooked meats. In the early stages it is difficult to detect.
  • Worms : there are various types of worms that can affect our dog. It is possible to notice an infestation of parasites through feces, which show small worms, similar to grains of rice.

The vet will help us prevent an infestation by parasites by following a deworming calendar . There are many products available in the market, such as pills, necklaces, pipettes … However, the most important thing is that they are always veterinary prescription products. In addition, it will be essential to strictly follow the guidelines offered by the professional.

Most common diseases in dogs and their symptoms - parasitic diseases

Viral diseases

There are diseases that are caused by a virus such as:

  • Coronavirus : is a viral and infectious disease that affects all types of dogs, but especially puppies not yet vaccinated. It can be detected at the moment we see that the dog has abundant diarrhea, vomiting and we even observe weight loss. There is no vaccine for canine coronavirus , it will be the veterinarian who counteracts the symptoms caused by the disease.
  • Hepatitis : mainly affects the liver and can have different causes, including viral. The main treatment is based on relieving the symptoms and if it is not cured it can become chronic, causing liver failure. Find out more about hepatitis in dogs .
  • The distemper : distemper is a very contagious disease that mainly affects young unvaccinated or elderly dogs. There is no treatment so the veterinarian will perform a series of care for the infected dog to counteract the effects of distemper, basically identified by nasal discharge in addition to other symptoms such as fever or dehydration. Vaccination is the best way to prevent this disease.
  • Parvovirus : It is rare that affects vaccinated adult dogs, this deadly virus appears especially in puppies and lasts for 10 days in which, if the dog does not receive the correct treatment, it has a fatal outcome. Like almost all viral diseases, it does not have a specific antidote, but is based on trying to relieve the patient’s symptoms. The symptoms are depression, fever and dehydration. Discover everything about canine parvovirus in Animal Expert.
  • Rabies : known and feared, rabies is a tremendously lethal disease. It is transmitted through bites, direct contact with the mucous membranes or saliva. It is identified by extreme violence without provocation. There is a rabies that should be administered when they are puppies, because once infected, the dog is considered sentenced to death, there is no vaccine that can treat it. Currently, fewer and fewer countries have cases of rabies.

Hereditary diseases

Hereditary or congenital diseases are those that develop due to the dog’s own genetic inheritance. The most commons are:

  • Hip dysplasia : it develops over time, from 4 or 5 months of age, although it usually appears in elderly dogs. It affects large or giant dogs generating lameness or difficulty of movement and, although it is a hereditary and degenerative problem, factors that can aggravate it, such as rapid growth, overfeeding or intense physical exercise. Find out more about hip dysplasia .
  • Arthrosis : osteoarthritis is another inherited disease that involves wear of the dog’s joint. That causes difficulty in their movements and pain that must be treated by anti-inflammatories prescribed by the veterinarian.
  • Rheumatism : affects the joints and cartilage of these, is a degenerative disease. The symptoms are stiffness, inflammation and pain. The veterinarian may prescribe glucosamine condoitin and other treatments that will relieve and improve your condition.
  • Glaucoma : This is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the dog’s eye. It can occur spontaneously since it is an inherited disease but it also develops in dogs that have suffered excess pressure on the neck (usually associated with the animal’s collar). Discover all about glaucoma in dogs .

Most common diseases in dogs and their symptoms - Hereditary diseases

Neurological diseases

Neurological diseases are those that affect the central and peripheral nervous system, which includes the brain, cranial nerves, nerve roots, muscles … Although they are rare, it is vital to detect them:

  • Epilepsy : Epilepsy in dogs is an electrochemical discharge of the brain that can appear at any time. Crises are repeated almost throughout the life of the dog that suffers. The episodes can be controlled by medication prescribed by the veterinarian.
  • Vestibular syndrome : in the vestibular syndrome (which is actually a symptom) the inner ear, the cochlear vestibule nerve, the vestibular nucleus and the anterior and posterior middle tract can be affected. We will observe that the dog has balance problems, the head is crooked or in circles.
  • Meningitis : Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that line the brain. It is an unusual problem but it must be treated urgently as it can have fatal consequences for the dog. The most common symptoms are the loss of coordination of the dog and high fever.

Bacterial diseases

Caused by bacteria, these types of diseases can be treated with the use of antibiotics :

  • Canine leptospirosis : it is transmitted through the urine and both dogs and rats can be carriers, storing the bacteria chronically without developing the disease. If it is not treated in time it can cause death. Some of the symptoms are fever, diarrhea and vomiting with blood and dark urine. Find out more about canine leptospirosis .
  • Periodontitis : affects the periodontium (gum, tissue, bone and ligament) and is derived from the accumulation of tartar and plaque, which makes possible the proliferation of bacteria. These, gradually invade the sac, the cavity where the root of the tooth is and end up causing serious infections or loss of teeth. The best way to avoid this disease is prevention.
  • Pyrometer : it is a bacterial infection that is characterized by the appearance of pus inside the uterus cavity or womb. The symptoms of the pyrethrum are the secretions of pus through the vagina. In the past, the treatment was only surgical and the ovaries or the dog’s womb were removed. Today we have medications that make it possible to study before removal.
  • Cystitis : is a disease caused by bacteria that affect the dog’s urinary system by inflaming his bladder. Cystitis should be treated promptly to prevent it from becoming chronic.

Most common diseases in dogs and their symptoms - Bacterial diseases

Other common diseases in dogs

In addition to those mentioned above there are other diseases such as:

  • Cancer : It can affect all types of dogs although it is common to occur in older specimens. The most common is to detect the presence of tumors in the dog’s skin but they can also develop internally. It is very important to go to the veterinarian for the analysis of the lump.
  • Gastric torsion : Gastric torsion usually occurs when the dog eats and drinks excessively, performs exercise after eating or has a history of gastric volvulus. It is very important to be treated urgently to save the animal’s life.
  • Skin allergies : Like people, dogs can also suffer from skin diseases such as allergy. We must be careful and go to the veterinarian if we observe that our dog suffers from it.
  • Diabetes : the list of prohibited foods for dogs includes sugar, not only because it promotes the onset of blindness but also because it causes diabetes. Consult your veterinarian about the treatment your dog needs if you observe extreme thirst, weight loss, cataracts, increased appetite and urination frequently.
  • Cryptorchidism : consists in the incomplete descent of one or two testicles. It should be diagnosed as soon as possible and requires surgical intervention. In some cases it is hereditary.
  • Otitis : this is the inflammation of the inner, middle or outer ear. It can appear due to allergies, bacteria, parasites or foreign bodies. Your veterinarian will investigate the itching, redness or infection that your dog may have, cleaning it carefully and offering you a treatment according to the reason for which it occurred.
  • Diarrhea : It is a very common problem, especially when we change our dog’s food or offer him human food. Discover home remedies for diarrhea in dogs .
  • Cold : Like people, dogs are susceptible to colds when they are subjected to low temperatures. The cold in dogs is very easy to treat but if the symptoms persist it is important to go to the veterinarian.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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