dog on grass

Five Most Infectious Diseases Among Dogs

It’s no surprise to know that Americans love dogs. It’s estimated that 68% of the population has at least one dog. These dogs can do various things for their owners, such as provide companionship, perform tricks, help with mental and physical therapy, guide the blind, and much more.

Dogs can also be a huge responsibility despite their many talents and benefits. They must be fed and watered daily, taken on walks or runs, played with, and trained. Additionally, owners have to be weary against all sorts of diseases.

If you’re a dog owner, you know they’re susceptible to various diseases. Some of these diseases can be deadly if left untreated. Here are five of the most infectious diseases among dogs and what you can do about them.

Parvovirus

Parvovirus is a deadly virus that dogs can get. It comes from the parvovirus B19, which infects humans. The virus attacks a dog’s intestinal tract and white blood cells, and it can cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy.

Parvovirus has no specific cure, but it can be treated with aggressive supportive care. This includes fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea medication, and pain relief. Treatment can be expensive, and you must take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect they have the virus. You should also get your puppy vaccinated, just in case.

A dog's visit to the veterinarian

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a virus that affects dogs of all ages, but puppies are most susceptible. The virus attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, watery eyes, diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures.

There is no specific cure for canine distemper, but treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting the dog’s systems. Unfortunately, treatment can be expensive and requires hospitalization. Vaccinations can also significantly decrease the chance of infection.

Canine Parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza is a virus that affects the respiratory system of dogs. It’s closely related to the viruses that cause human influenza (the flu). Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, and runny nose.

There is no specific cure for canine parainfluenza, but you can treat itd with supportive care. This includes fluids, rest, and antibiotics if the dog has secondary bacterial pneumonia. It isn’t as lethal as the other diseases above, but it requires constant care. It only becomes lethal if other complications are in place, such as heart disease.

Canine Adenovirus

Canine adenovirus is a virus that affects the respiratory and ocular systems of dogs. It’s closely related to the viruses that cause human infectious conjunctivitis (pink eye) and kennel cough. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, watery eyes, and coughing.

There is no specific cure for canine adenovirus, but you can treat it with the same supportive care above. Additionally, you can clean your dog’s eyes with a saline solution to help relieve symptoms. It’s not lethal, but it can cause blindness if left untreated.

Rabies

Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system of mammals, including dogs. It’s usually transmitted through saliva from an infected animal, such as a bat or another dog. Symptoms include fever, weakness, paralysis, and aggression.

There is no specific cure for rabies, and it can be hard to treat. Supportive care can certainly help, but dogs with rabies usually must be euthanized. That’s why it’s essential to get your dog vaccinated against rabies. It’s required by law in many states, and for a good reason.

You can help your dog avoid these infectious diseases by doing the following things:

Proper Training

Properly trained dogs are less likely to run off and come into contact with other animals. They’re also less likely to be aggressive, which can help prevent them from being bitten by another animal that might have one of these diseases. If you’re willing to let go of your pet for a few days, you should enroll them in a dog training and boarding program. This program is about immersing your dog in a safe and controlled environment where they can learn good behavior. This will help them identify essential behaviors to protect them from the virus.

Vaccinations

As mentioned above, vaccinations are vital for preventing these diseases. You should talk to your vet about which vaccinations are right for your dog and ensure they’re up to date on all of their shots.

Proper Hygiene

You should always clean up after your dog, especially if they’ve been in contact with other animals. This means scooping their poop, wiping their feet off with a wet towel, and washing their bedding regularly. You should also wash your hands after petting them or coming into contact with their saliva.

Taking care of your dog should be a priority if you get one. These simple tips help keep your dog healthy and avoid these infectious diseases. It can also lead them to live healthier lives.

Scroll to Top