There is a fair bit of awareness about common canine diseases such as rabies and Lyme disease. However, many pet parents don’t have the first clue about the long list of life-threatening health conditions that can affect their dogs. Oftentimes the symptoms for these deadly conditions are subtle, which makes detecting them all the more difficult. However, no pet parent is as unprepared to deal with these conditions as someone who doesn’t know anything about them.
Knowing the fundamentals of these very serious health problems in dogs can help you prevent and treat these conditions. Without further ado, following are 4 life-threatening dog diseases you didn’t know existed. We intentionally kept the list short by not mentioning well-known conditions such as heartworm disease, cancer, and poisoning. We are also excluded diseases such as parvo, distemper, influenza, and others because they are easily preventable by administering vaccines.
Congestive Heart Failure: This is not really a disease but a heart condition that is caused by several canine diseases. CHF or congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood. If left untreated this condition is fatal. Dogs with congestive heart failure can be treated using oral medication. Unfortunately, there is little to no surgical option to cure this disease. Treating CHF with Vetmedin for dogs is a very common practice. Vets may also recommend ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure. CHF may cause fluid build up in the lungs. To combat this issue vets may recommend diuretics. The signs of congestive heart failure in dogs often remain unnoticed. They are often seemingly harmless like coughing or general lethargy. When the condition progresses other more serious symptoms appears such as fainting and collapsing.
Ehrlichiosis: This is a tick-borne disease that can be life-threatening if proper treatment is not pursued. The disease is contracted by pet dogs when it’s bitten by a tick carrying the Ehrlichia canis bacteria. Symptoms can range from fever to neurological issues. Ehrlichiosis can only be confirmed after performing specific blood tests. The antibiotics doxycycline is the got-to medication to treat ehrlichiosis. Prevention of ehrlichiosis is also possible by eradicating fleas and ticks dwelling in and around your home.
Renal Failure: Renal or kidney diseases can develop over a long time and in most cases, they are not preventable. Dogs are often genetically predisposed to develop kidney issues. While congenital kidney failure cannot be prevented, some conditions that may cause renal failure can be. Serious dental issues can cause renal problems. This happens when bacteria from the infected gum and teeth get into the bloodstream and start affecting internal organs.
Alabama Rot: CRGV (Cutaneous & Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy) or Alabama rot is a disease of unknown origins that’s plaguing dogs in the UK. Now, because little is known about the cause of this disease, there is no real medical advice on how to prevent it. The signs of CRGV includes lesions and symptoms of kidney problems. Lesions caused by the disease commonly appear on the mouth, tongue, and legs. Dogs licking these sores have a high chance of developing kidney problems within a few days. At this point, the symptoms may include vomiting and severe lethargy.