The 7 Most Common Dog Infections

Dog infections are a common occurrence in the life of a dog. A dog infection can range in seriousness from mild to very serious as in the case of dog rabies. Always seek veterinary attention so that the proper dog medication and treatment can be administered. The following eight infections are the most common your pet is likely to catch and include distemper, parvovirus, rabies, bladder infection, ear infection, upper respiratory infection and lyme disease.

Distemper Can Be Fatal

Canine distemper is a very serious infection that can be fatal in 80% of infected puppies and 50% of adult dogs who have contacted the disease. Symptoms include nasal discharge, weight loss and vomiting, diarrhea, congested lungs and a build-up of material in the eye. As the disease worsens, this dog virus attacks the nervous system and can cause partial or complete paralysis and seizures. Distemper is highly contagious and can be prevented through vaccination.

Parvovirus Is Common in Young Puppies

Symptoms of the parvo virus manifest five to seven days after a dog has been exposed. The most common symptoms include loss of appetite, sever diarrhea, vomiting, depression, and gray or blood-streaked feces. Puppies under the age of 6 months are the most susceptible so early vaccination is key.

Rabies Is Highly Contagious

The rabies virus is fatal once symptoms appear and is a highly contagious infection. Most states and counties require a rabies vaccine by law. Some vets use a three-year dog rabies vaccine. In areas with dog rabies outbreaks, a yearly booster may be required.

Bladder Infections Are Common in Females

Bladder infections are particularly common in female dogs and can be easily diagnosed and treated. Common signs of a bladder infection include frequent attempts to urinate with little output, suddenly urinating in the house, excessive thirst, and urine that is more foul smelling or contains blood. As with any systemic issue, a bladder infection can lead to lethargy and disinterest. Treatment includes antibiotics and dietary changes.

Ear Infections Common in Poorly Groomed Dogs

Ear infections are common in dogs, especially dogs with floppy ears or those that are poorly groomed. The infection is caused by excessive fungi or bacteria in the ear that get out of control because of the elongated shape of a dog's ear and the lack of opportunity for liquid to drain out. Symptoms include a foul smell emanating from the ear, red or inflamed ears, brown or red ear wax, or the dog frequently scratching or pawing at his ears. Ear infections are easy to treat and require veterinary attention.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections in dogs manifest in different ways and have different names. Symptoms range from a dry hacking cough to inflammation of the trachea, larynx, sinuses and bronchial tubes. 10 to 20% of the infected dogs develop pneumonia. These infections are highly contagious and often spread throughout kennels or shelters due to the close contact with other dogs and stress on the immune system. Vaccination is recommended, and there is dog medication to alleviate the symptoms if caught.

Canine Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a serious infection transmitted by a bite from a tick that contains certain bacteria. Symptoms include arthritic-like movement including limping, and later progressing to lymph node swelling. Seeking early antibiotic treatment will help spare your dog from permanent nerve or joint damage. The best treatment is prevention through a regular regime of tick medicine.