Are you prepared to recognize common dog health problems your pup might encounter? A new and informative study identifies them so you can better prevent them.
You already know preventative care is essential in maintaining your pet’s good health and well being. And that’s why you’ll want to read the 2016 “State of Pet Health” Report from Banfield Pet Hospital.
Compiled from the nearly 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats seen in Banfield hospitals in 2015, the report lists the top 10 most common diagnoses in dogs and cats. Additionally, it details six specific health conditions that are increasingly affecting our pets and have a considerable impact on our pet’s overall health.
The health issues outlined in the report are below, along with notable highlights. What’s significant about these conditions is they’re preventable. With awareness of symptoms to watch for in your dog or cat, and preventative measures to discuss with your vet and put into action, you can help your pet stay healthy.
Find a link to the study in its entirety below and read about symptoms, preventative treatments and a breakdown of the health concerns by a dog or cat’s age, breed and geographical location.
Named the most common disease in dogs and cats, dental disease affects 76% of dogs and 68% of cats over age 3, and its prevalence is on the rise with an 8% increase in dogs since the initial report five years ago. Dental disease includes tartar, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other conditions affecting the teeth and gums, and in severe cases, it can lead to bacterial infections that impact the heart, liver and other vital organs.
Prevention: Regular teeth cleaning, weekly brushing (try a piece of gauze wrapped around your fingertip if a toothbrush sounds too daunting), chew and rope toys that promote dental health and other dental cleaning options (see Woof Report’s past tip for more on the topic).
Otitis Externa (Ear Infection)
The second most common medical condition affecting dogs and cats in the study is otitis externa, or inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal; its prevalence has increased 9.4% in dogs and 34% in cats since 2006. According to the report, it’s significant because it’s common and can become a chronic condition, which is expensive to treat, and uncomfortable for your pet. Worse yet, if left untreated, the infection can spread further into the ear and eventually lead to hearing loss.
Prevention: Weekly ear cleaning (particularly for dogs that love to swim or spend time outdoors, and those with longer floppy ears) and other preventive care techniques your vet may recommend as needed.
Diabetes mellitus, linked to obesity, is a serious health concern which for adult, mature adult and geriatric dogs and cats. Just as diabetes is increasing in humans, Banfield hospitals saw a 79.7% increase in canine diabetes since 2006.
Prevention: Manage your pet’s healthy weight through proper nutrition and exercise (see Woof Report’s favorite site for useful info and tips for pet weight control, petobesityprevention.com). Also, monitor your pet’s health and see your vet regularly so he or she can detect any early signs of diabetes.
Luckily the prevalence of some preventable health concerns is decreasing.
Since Banfield first published their State of Pet Health report in 2006, the prevalence of the following health concerns is actually decreasing overall.
Fleas and Ticks
Prevention: Choose and regularly administer an EPA-approved spot-on treatment, chewable pills, shampoos, rinses or other treatments. In addition, check your dog for ticks when returning from the outdoors where ticks may be present.
Prevention: Annual heartworm tests for dogs and year-round preventative medications. (A heartworm test is required prior to receiving a prescription for preventatives since the medication cannot be given to dogs that test positive).
Prevention: Deworming medication as needed and administered by a vet.
View or download the 38-page “State of Pet Health” report its entirety.
Thank you to maskedcard on flickr for the photo of Piper.