In the course of your dog’s life, he’s quite likely contract an infectious disease or develop a health condition. Although vaccinations aren’t available for every canine health concern, knowing the cause of your dog’s condition can help you provide him with the proper treatment.

Infectious Diseases in Dogs

A dog can contract diseases from a number of different hosts, including other dogs, fleas and ticks. Distemper, leptospirosis and parvo are diseases that dogs get through contact with an infected dog. These are easily preventable if your dog receives the proper vaccinations. Generally, vaccinations for these dog diseases and others like rabies and lyme disease are administered to puppies in stages during the first year of their lives.

However, vaccinations aren’t available for every type of infection that your dog may get, especially those contracted from fleas and ticks. If your dog is infected by ear mites, he may develop an ear infection.

Alternatively, your dog may develop a skin condition like rashes or hot spots if fleas and ticks plague him. The best way to prevent these infections is to clean your dog with pest-control products and check him frequently for the presence of ear mites, ticks and fleas.

A further concern is that some dog diseases, known as zoonotic diseases, are easily transmitted to humans. Rabies,ringworm, mange and intestinal parasites, such as hookworms and roundworms, are common zoonotic diseases. The best way to prevent these infections is keeping your dog up to date on his vaccinations and seeing your veterinarian annually and whenever you have concerns.

Developed Conditions

Dog health conditions, unlike dog diseases, are particularly hard to prevent in that they aren’t contracted and generally exist without many visible symptoms. In most cases, dog owners figure out that their dogs suffer from some kind of condition only when the condition is firmly established. Treatment depends on the specific condition but can require medication, life style changes or surgery.

Although conditions like arthritis and heart disease tend to be associated with a dog’s age, other conditions are correlated with a dog’s breed. For example, Bulldogs are more susceptible to heart disease and skin conditions, while Dalmatians are more prone to hip dysplasia and congenital deafness.

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