Top 3 Dog Health Issues

Pet Health and Safety  •  Pam Karkow  •  Wednesday, May 20, 2020

In our last post, we covered three common cat ailments, so let’s make it even and discuss some common issues that plague dogs.  There is some overlap, with cats and dogs alike being susceptible to vomiting and diarrhea.  Add to that those pesky fleas and recurring ear infections and you have two more conditions that tend to affect dogs as well.

Vomiting and diarrhea

Vomiting/diarrhea can be handled in dogs much the same way it is handled in cats.  Dogs who eat too quickly, overeat, or simply choose the wrong thing to chow down on are likely to suffer regular bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea.  However, if your dog’s vomit has blood in it, or your dog is lethargic, weak, or refusing to eat, it is important to take him to the vet immediately.  Other causes of vomiting and diarrhea may be food poisoning, intestinal parasites, and/or liver or kidney disease, and your dog needs to be checked out quickly to rule out any of these more serious complications.


Fleas are parasites that cause itching and scratching in dogs and chances are, if your dog spends any amount of time in your backyard, at the kennel, or in the woods, he will come into contact with fleas at some point.  According to Jennifer Kvamme, DVM, “Anytime your pet goes out into the world -- even if only for short walks around the block; play dates at the local dog park; a visit to the veterinarian; a stint at the boarding kennel; a trip to the groomer; a ride in the car; etc. -- she is being exposed to the opportunity for fleas and ticks to hop aboard.”  So, it is important that you prevent the fleas before they have a chance to hitch a ride on your dog’s fur.  PetPartners Wellness Plans can help cover flea and tick prevention.  You can also help prevent flea infestations by checking your dog’s fur for flea dirt (black specks) which are actually flea fecal matter.  I’d go with the preventative.

Ear infections

Ear infections are a common ailment that plagues my dog, often after she goes swimming or receives a bath.  Ear infections are caused by bacteria, yeast, and allergies.  Our post, Fall Allergies in Dogs, gives tips to stave off fall allergy symptoms in your dog.  Signs that your dog is suffering from an ear infection include head shaking, pawing at his ears, and/or a foul odor coming from his ears. Using an ear flush can maintain your dog’s ear health and prevent ear infections from occurring.  Once your dog has developed an ear infection, it is important that you see your vet so he can prescribe medication to treat the infection. 

Tips for a healthy pet

These are just three common issues your dog may encounter in the span of his life.  Being informed, enrolling in pet insurance, and keeping regular vet checkups can ensure you give your dog the best possible life.  Of course, cuddles and walks help too.  Here’s to a happy healthy pooch!


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