Just like humans need to keep up-to-date with vaccinations and their overall health, so do dogs. It’s even more important as some diseases can easily lead to death if left untreated. You can help provide your pet with an enhanced quality of life by taking a few proactive precautions. Learn about three common but preventable diseases dogs can get, and what you can do about them.
1. Canine Parvovirus Infection (CPV)
Canine parvovirus or CPV is a virus that attacks the heart and intestines of dogs. Usually, puppies age six weeks to six months get CPV. Dogs that have CPV can spread it to other dogs, and it is very contagious. They get it indirectly by coming in contact with a CPV-contaminated object, such as a toy a dog drools on or when your dog sniffs the stool of an infected dog, or from being in direct contact with an infected dog. Symptoms can include a lack of energy, fever, anorexia, and vomiting and can lead to death. The virus has no true cure, either. That’s why it’s important to be proactive and make sure your puppy gets vaccinated. The recommended vaccination schedule starts at six weeks. Two more doses are also recommended at age 9 weeks and 12 weeks. An additional shot between the ages of 14 weeks and 16 weeks is also recommended for extra protection whether or not the dog received all her previous doses. However, some dog breeds that are more prone to CPV may need vaccinations up to 22 weeks, such as German shepherds and Doberman Pinschers.
2. Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is caused by heartworms. These parasitic worms can grow up to one-foot long and live up to seven years in the blood vessels, lungs, and hearts of infected dogs. This disease can be spread from dog to dog with the help of a mosquito. Mosquitoes that draw blood from infected dogs carry the microscopic baby heartworms, which later mature into larvae. Dogs can get heartworms if they get bitten by these infected mosquitoes.
Heartworm disease is potentially life-threatening if left untreated. It can seriously damage the lungs, arteries, and heart and even lead to heart failure. The surgery to remove the heartworms can be expensive, too. The good news is that you can take proactive steps to prevent the disease with a monthly heartworm medication. You can start by consulting with your veterinarian to determine if your pet has heartworm disease and getting your dog tested. Your vet should give you a prescription for a heartworm medication, such as the Heartgard Plus Chewables for Dogs that Allivet offers.
Rabies is a dangerous and frequently fatal viral infection that attacks a dog’s brain. The rabies virus is spread when a dog comes into direct contact with a rabid animal, such as getting a bite from a rabid fox or raccoon. However, it’s also possible for the virus to spread indirectly by coming into contact with the saliva from an infected animal. Symptoms can include unusual aggression, paralysis, and seizures. The disease is so prevalent in the United States that it’s a federal law to have your pet vaccinated and required in all 50 states. Keeping your dog current on his annual rabies vaccination will help prevent the disease from spreading, and also protect him from contracting the virus. Some veterinarians also give three-year rabies shots.
Protecting your pet from diseases, such as rabies, heartworm disease, and parvo, is simple when you take the necessary precautions. Be proactive and protect your furry friend by consulting with your veterinarian and administering the recommended medications and vaccinations in a timely manner.
Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications. Listed below are some helpful resources that can provide some guidance for those looking for helpful pet supplies: