Common Illnesses & Symptoms

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to all kinds of ailments. The key is recognizing symptoms early so you can act quickly. We’ve compiled a list of some common pet health issues and recommendations.

Symptom: Vomiting or diarrhea
What it could be: Similar to people, dogs and cats may vomit or have an upset stomach on occasion without it being a serious issue. It could be as simple as playing too much after a meal or as a result of eating leaves outside. The pet will often return to their normal selves after this experience. If a pet vomits several times in one day and has additional symptoms such as lethargy, fever and loss of appetite, this could mean something more serious. More serious warning signs also include diarrhea that lasts longer than a couple of days as well as vomit or stool with blood.
What to do: One episode of vomiting is not typically a reason to rush to the vet. But
if the symptoms are more serious and / or there are accompanying ones, you should consult your vet.
How to prevent: There are a number of causes of these symptoms and there aren’t preventions for some of them. In general, keeping your pet on a regular, high quality diet formulated for their characteristics will help.

Symptom: Persistent dry cough
What it could be: A dry cough with a “honking” sound may be a sign of Bordetella also referred to as Canine Cough, which is like the common cold for humans. Other symptoms may include fever and nasal discharge. These could, however, also be symptoms of one of many other respiratory infections dogs are susceptible to. If it lasts longer than two weeks, it’s a good idea to let your vet know.
What to do: In most cases, these infections clear up on their own with no complications. Plenty of rest is important during recovery, as well as isolating your pup from other dogs to avoid spreading the illness. Your vet may also prescribe some medication to help the cough.
How to prevent: Make sure your pup stays up-to-date on his Bordetella shot as an immune system booster and try to limit your dog’s contact to only dogs who have also received the immune system booster as well as dogs who are not exhibiting signs of illness.

Symptom: Itchy skin and constant scratching, chewing or licking
What it could be: All dogs scratch, but if it’s an ongoing problem it’s a sign of something else. It could be a food or environmental allergy, fleas, dry skin, or even an infection. Atopic dermatitis is quite common and there are several treatments to soothe your pet.
What to do: There are a variety of remedies available for skin conditions, but it may be best to first consult with your vet to see what they recommend. They could prescribe a medicated shampoo, antibiotic ointment, medication that helps stop itching, etc. There can be a number of reasons your pet is itchy, so getting a proper diagnosis is the best place to start. It’s good to get itching under control before further irritation and hot spots develop.
How to prevent: There are so many reasons for itching, so it’s hard to provide a full list of preventions. However, regular bathing and brushing will keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. Flea and tick control is important as well.

Symptom: Shaking head, discharge or redness in ears, pawing at ears
What it could be: Ear Infection
What to do: Ear infections are common in dogs, especially in ones that spend a lot of time outside. You’ll want to take your pet to the vet to determine what type of infection and what they can give you to treat it, such as topical treatments, ear cleansers, or antibiotics.
How to prevent: Cleaning your pet’s ears on a regular basis can help keep ears free from infection. Use a cotton balls and ear wash to gently clean ears.

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to simply call your vet for their opinion or recommendation for your pet when you are concerned! Ask to speak to our spa staff for recommendations on coat, skin, teeth and ear maintenance programs.