Skin diseases are by far the most common diseases in dogs. Let’s see why. “It’s mainly due to ticks, fleas, fungal, bacterial and mange. Well, these come single as well as in mixed infections. Most common dog diseases indications for all these vary from hair loss, bald patches, scaling, dandruff and itching,” tells Dr Gaurav Pardeshi.
Other common diseases of dogs include ear infections, limping, anorexia and pyrexia, as observed by Dr Ramesh P Bopaiah.
Diseases on the rise…
Over the years, vets have seen remarkable increase in a number of diseases in dogs. For example, as per Dr Ramesh, diseases like Leptospirosis, Ehrlichiosis have shown a rise, due to improper garbage disposal in Bengaluru, which has resulted in a rise in the population of rats, bandicoots and also ticks and fleas.
While, Dr Gaurav has seen a rise in the number of lameness in forelimbs in puppies ranging from 4-12 months. “These dogs have a condition called DJD (developmental joint disease) where the joint show signs of some kind of arthritis which was limited to older dogs earlier. The reason behind DJD can be inbreeding and management problems (the way the pet parents keep their pets at puppy stage),” he adds. However, Dr Nagarajan has seen increasing cases of dermatological, urological and nephrological problems.
“This is mainly due to unawareness or complications related to severity of the problems or inability to identify the cause (especially, in kidney diseases). Sometimes, the reason can be simply due to delay in treatment,” he explains.
According to Dr Gaurav, “Though pooches can suffer from diseases in any part of the year but there are a few health problems which are specifically prevalent in a particular season. For example, the summer season attracts skin diseases and viral infections. Infestation of ticks, fleas and mange is very common in this season and some outbreak of gastroenteritis is also encountered.” He added, “Though winter is the healthiest season of the year, cases of Bronchitis and watering of eyes are common. While, rainy season is the season of Gastroenteritis and at times respiratory tract affections.” And Dr Ramesh treats more pooch patients suffering from Anorexia and Pyrexia in this time of the year.
Dr Guarav explained that each breed is unique and so are its problems. For example, breeds like Labrador, Golden Retrievers, German shepherd and Great Dane are more prone to hip dysplasia, while, giant breeds like Great Danes, Mastiff and Saint Bernard can suffer due to abnormal bone growth.
(With inputs from Dr (Capt) Ramesh P Bopaiah, private practitioner at Saras Veterinary Clinic, Cox Town, Bengaluru and served with the Indian Army (Remount Veterinary Corps) between 1992-97; Dr Gaurav Pardeshi runs Fur N’ Feather pet clinic and shop, Pune; and Dr B Nagarajan¸ PhD, Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai.)
Breed specific ailments
Here’s a list of a few breed-specific ailments for the benefit of our readers
Basset Hounds – Slip disk
Boxer- Mitral valvular heart disease, colitis
Cocker Spaniel – Scaling disorders, otitis, warts, immune mediated haemolytic anaemia, kidney disease, slip disc.
Dachshund – Hormonal dermatoses, intervertebral disc compression, jaw abnormality, slip disc
Dalmatian – Urolithiasis, cutaneous adverse food reaction, deafness
Doberman – skin- bacterial folliculitis, dilated cardio myopathy, hepatitis, E canis, bleeding disorders.
German Shepherd- From mouth to anus all gastro enteric problems (dental problems, Mega oesophagus, oesophageal diverticulum, gastric dilatation & volvulus, inflammatory bowel disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, pancreatitis, hepatitis, colitis), GSD pyoderma, atopy, malassezia, otitis, perianal fistula, maggot infestations, flea allergy, E.canis, nasal bleeding(bleeding disorders), Hip dysplasia, Bone disorders, hematoma, Epilepsy, Paralysis, Congestive heart failure, spleenic tumours
Golden Retriever- Cutaneous adverse food reaction, malassezia dermatitis, congestive heart failure, Hip dysplasia, atopy
Great Dane – Hip dysplasia, gastric dilatation & volvulus (bloat), bone disorders, vasculitis, Callous, Bursitis
Labrador – Allergic skin diseases (atopy, chemical contact dermatitis, cutaneous adverse food reaction),
Malassezia dermatitis, duodenal ulcers, dilated cardiomyopathy, hepatitis, otitis, hip dysplasia.
Pug – Cornal ulcers, pigmentary keratitis, cutaneous adverse food reaction, intertrigo (mucosal fold dermatitis), demodicosis, hypertropic pyloric stenosis
Rajapalayam – Cutaneous adverse food reaction