Dog Ailments & Symptoms

Updated July 19, 2017

Dogs suffer from injuries and ailments, just as people do. The majority of these problems can successfully be treated with medicine, therapy or surgery. Preventive care and vaccines are crucial for a healthy dog.


Distemper is a highly contagious disease. It can be passed on through the air, by contact with urine or faeces, or by contact with bedding, toys or other objects. Symptoms of distemper include congestion, coughing, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Food Allergies

Many skin problems are caused by food allergies. Common signs of an allergy include itching, causing scratching, biting or chewing around the ears, eyes, muzzle, paws, groin and anus.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an illness transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease is primarily characterised by arthritis. Fever, lethargy and loss of appetite can also be present.


Heartworm is caused by a parasite in the heart. It is transmitted by mosquito bites. Preventive medications can be prescribed by the vet. Common signs of the progressed disease are coughing, heavy breathing and fluid build-up in the abdomen.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are parasites that infest the ear canal. The most notable symptom is severe itching. Affected ears usually have crusty debris, either black or brown, in the ear canal, and the dog will be almost constantly scratching its ears or shaking its head.

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About the Author

Meadow Marie is an Industrial Organizational Psychology student, who is working on her masters degree. She has enjoyed working as a freelance writer for the past year. She primarily writes for eHow and has a particular interest in writing about alternative medicine. She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist.