For many of us owning a dog is more than having a pet, it is an extension to our family. There is a special bond between a dog and his owner that is rarely seen with other animals. Most dog owners are very concerned about their pet’s wellbeing and there are a few key disorders that all dog owners should know about.
One of the common skin disorders with dogs is allergies. If you think you are the only one with allergies, well think again. Many people are unaware that their dog can also develop allergies. Dog’s can be allergic to different types of food, mold, pollen and fleas just like we can. In many cases the dog can develop skin irritations which result in loss of hair, redness of the skin and even soar on the skin due to allergies.
In most cases a change in the environment or the dog’s diet leads to the allergic reactions. The key is to recognize the problem and work with your vet on resolving the issue.
Mange is another skin disorder that should be of concern to dog owners. When most of us think about mange we think about the dog’s hair falling out in patches. However, there are two different types of mange that can affect your dog: Demodectic mange and Sarcoptic mange. Demodectic mange is where the parasites live on the hair follicles of the dog and Sarcoptic mange, also known as Scabies, is a condition where the parasites burrow themselves into the dog’s skin. Both forms of mange are treated differently and it is important that you work with your vet if you suspect your dog does have mange.
Fleas and Ticks
We are all familiar with fleas and ticks but what people don’t know is that there are cases where a dog has fleas and/or ticks so bad they develop a form of anemia. Also, fleas are known to carry tapeworms. Your dog can come down with a case of tapeworms by eating the flea and introducing the parasite into his system. Your local pet store has a variety of different foggers, dips and other products that can get rid of fleas and ticks. You should always consult with your vet if you are unsure whether a particular product is right for your pet.
Skin disorders are not the only issue that dog owners should be aware of. Your dogs eating and exercise habits could lead to a potentially fatal condition called bloat. Bloat is a condition where the dog’s abdomen becomes enlarged by swallowed air or gas production. In extreme cases of bloat, the dog’s stomach will twist, a condition known as torsion, and start to die. In order to save their pet the dog owner needs to be able to quickly recognize the symptoms of bloat and get the dog to a vet as soon as possible.