Most Common Diseases in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Most Common Diseases in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Dogs are our best friends and therefore deserve the best care. If you are proactive, it will be rare for your pet to get sick, but even so, it is always necessary to know what type of diseases a dog can face throughout its life. From Cronoshare we tell you what are the most common viruses and diseases in dogs.

Read on to learn about the most common diseases in dogs.

Most common diseases in dogs: symptoms and treatments


Leishmaniasis or leishmaniasis is one of the most serious diseases that a dog can develop. If it is not treated in time, it can lead to death in many cases.

It is transmitted through the bite of the Leishmania infantum mosquito, which becomes a carrier after biting a dog with leishmaniasis.

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The area of ​​Spain most affected by this disease in the Mediterranean. This is so because its climate favors the proliferation of the parasites that transmit it. In particular, you should know that leishmaniasis spreads more frequently between the end of spring and the end of autumn.


Symptoms can appear several months after the bite. The most common are:

  • Slimming
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Apathy
  • Loss of hair
  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Limp
  • Abnormal nail growth
  • Dandruff
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Swollen lymph nodes, liver, and spleen
  • Eye injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Skin ulcers
  • Lack of hair around the eyes
  • Dry Skin
  •  Nosebleeds

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of leishmaniasis is made by serological tests, blood tests, a skin biopsy, or bone marrow cytology.

The prior it is analyzed, the more successful the treatment will be. This infection indeed has no cure, but the symptoms can be controlled to the point where the pet does not even notice them.

Of course, from that moment on, you will have to be aware of the pet, since it is a disease that will last a lifetime. Regarding treatments, they consist of pentavalent antimonials: methylglucamine and sodium stibogluconate, Ecclesiastes, and others such as amphotericin B, and pentamidine and ketoconazole. They are applied for several weeks orally or by injection.


It is strongly recommended to use repellent pipettes, sprays, and collars. It is also convenient to install mosquito nets in the area where the dogs sleep, especially if they sleep outside.

You should also avoid, as much as possible, night walks if you live in the Mediterranean area. And, above all, give your pet a preventive vaccine to reduce the chances of contagion.

Idiopathic epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disease that can occur in both humans and dogs. It is an intracranial dysfunction that causes both generalized and focal seizures. The first is the most serious since the dog loses consciousness and has convulsions throughout the body. The latter, on the other hand, only affects a specific muscle area.

The name idiopathic refers to the fact that it is not known what is causing epileptic seizures. If the cause is known, it is called structural.


  1. Epileptic seizures cause convulsions throughout the body and loss of consciousness.
  2. Facial tics
  3. Exaggerated salivation
  4. Shaken to some extent.
  5. Dilation of the pupils

Diagnosis and treatment

The animal is given a comprehensive physical exam, blood tests, ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRIs. Cerebrospinal fluid and DNA tests may also be done.

If it is detected that the disease is causing epilepsy, that disease will be treated to end it. But if no cause is found, it will be Idiopathic Epilepsy, and a chronic treatment will have to be followed to control the attacks.

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There are several alternatives, and the veterinarian will be the one in charge of recommending appropriate treatment for each type of dog. It is important to keep in mind that epilepsy has no cure, so the only thing the owner can do is control these attacks as much as possible.


There is no exact prevention for Idiopathic Epilepsy, since, as we have pointed out, it is not known for sure what is causing it. In any case, the attacks can be reduced or eliminated thanks to the treatment indicated by the veterinarian.


Distemper (or distemper) is one of the most common, and at the same time dangerous, diseases in puppies. It affects the respiratory tract, digestive system, and nervous system. It is highly contagious and in unvaccinated puppies, it can be fatal.

This disease is caused by the distemper virus, which is related to human measles.


Distemper symptoms can appear from several days to three weeks after infection. These are some of them, although they do not have to occur all at once:

  1. Mucus in the nose and eyes.
  2. Coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing.
  3. Phlegm in the lungs.
  4. Dermatitis
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Hard, dry, cracked paw pads.
  7. Vomiting
  8. Fatigue
  9. Loss of appetite and thirst.
  10. Fever
  11. Nervous tics, seizures.
  12. Bloody stools

Diagnosis and treatment

The veterinarian will analyze a sample of the dog’s mucous membranes, or perform a blood test or X-ray to diagnose the disease. If it is discovered in time, the dog will survive.

First of all, after taking it to the vet, you should isolate the dog from other pets. Keep in mind that this disease has no cure, but its effects can be almost completely reduced.

The treatment that the veterinarian will order will probably include expectorant medications, injectable and oral drugs, nutritional supplements, and B vitamins.

It will also be important to take care of the dog’s diet from the moment it is infected with the disease, checking that it is fed and hydrated correctly and that it takes complementary vitamins.


The best method for forestalling sickness is immunization. If your dog receives all his vaccinations since childhood and you regularly go to the vet to comply with the vaccination schedule, he should be immune to this disease.


Parvovirus is another of the most common diseases in dogs. It is caused by a virus that affects the animal’s digestive system and can be fatal, especially in puppies three months old or less. The main cause of death is dehydration.


  • Strong diarrhea
  • Soft spot.
  • Dehydration
  • Bloody stools
  • Vomiting.
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Hollow eyes.
  • Apathy and sadness.
  • Lack of appetite.

Diagnosis and treatment

At the slightest suspicion of parvovirus, you should visit the vet immediately, since in some cases the dog can die within just 24 to 48 hours. If it is discovered in time through analysis, there are chances of survival.

As in the rest of the diseases mentioned above, there is no definitive cure. But you can control your symptoms and avoid dehydration.

Treatment may include isotonic fluid therapy, blood transfusions, antibiotics such as penicillin, vitamin B, and antiemetic drugs. It will also be necessary to control the dog’s diet, offering it soft and easy-to-digest food such as broths and boiled chicken.


There is a vaccine against canine parvovirus. This should be applied as soon as possible and it is important to renew it according to the vaccination schedule. The vaccine will greatly reduce the risk of contagion.

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Other measures that can be applied are maintaining hygiene in the dog’s home, deworming it, preventing it from ingesting feces from other dogs, and avoiding buying puppies in stores since their facilities are usually unsanitary and overcrowding of animals can cause them to proliferate the parasites.


Canine mastitis is one of the most common diseases in lactating bitches and, to a lesser extent, in non-pregnant bitches. It is an infection of the breasts, caused by the lowering of defenses that the mother suffers after the birth of the puppies.

The lowering of defenses allows staph germs to settle in breast milk, causing a very painful infection in the dog’s breasts.


  • Lack of appetite.
  • Sadness and apathy.
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore nipples.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Increased heart rate.

Diagnosis and treatment

It is necessary to diagnose the disease as soon as possible since, in addition to the visible discomfort of the bitch, it can even affect the puppies. If the bitch is in pain, she will stop feeding the puppies. Or if, on the other hand, she feeds them suffering from this infection, she can give them toxic milk that can lead to death.

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The vet will perform a physical exam, blood work, and bacterial culture to check for infection. The treatment will consist of administering antibiotics to end said infection and it will also be necessary to apply hot water compresses directly to the breasts.


 To avoid the appearance of mastitis and other infections, it is important to clean the bitch’s mammary glands with moist gauze regularly. It’s also a good idea to try to carefully trim the puppies’ nails, as they can cause wounds to the mother where germs can enter.

Intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites are organisms that feed on another living being. In dogs, the most frequent are worms of various types, which settle in the internal organs. The most normal thing is that they reside in the intestine, but they can also reach the lungs and even the heart.

Dogs can become infected with these parasites in various ways: licking and sniffing the ground, through mosquito bites, during pregnancy through the placenta or lactation, and by eating another living being that carries the parasite (such as a flea).


  • Loss of appetite
  • Slimming
  • Soft stools
  • Hair loss
  • Vomiting.
  • Intestinal obstruction.

Diagnosis and treatment

If any of the symptoms mentioned above are detected, it is necessary to quickly take the dog to the veterinarian. A quick diagnosis will prevent the parasite from causing irreparable damage to the animal’s body. Sometimes these damages are difficult to heal and even deadly.

The treatment consists of the application of intestinal antiparasitics, always under the supervision of the veterinarian. Never give laxatives or other digestive medications to a pet with parasites, since the only thing you will achieve is to destroy its bacterial flora.


 The best forecast is to deworm the dog every three months, keeping it protected throughout the year.

From its first check-up as a puppy, it should be internally and externally dewormed, to ensure its health from the first months of life.


Scabies is a skin disease caused by various types of mites. It is generally spread straightforwardly from one more contaminated creature. There are several types of scabies, but regardless of this, the most important thing is that you go to the vet as soon as possible to treat its symptoms in time.


  • Itching and burning of the skin.
  • Constant scratching.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Redness and inflammation of the skin.
  • Hair loss
  • Wounds and sores on the skin.
  • Skin rash.
  • Flaking of the skin.

Diagnosis and treatment

Scabies can be cured with proper treatment, although the process is usually slow. It is best to make a diagnosis in time, going to the vet as soon as the first symptom appears.

There are different types of scabies and each will be treated differently, but treatment usually includes oral, topical, and/or injectable medications with selamectin, moxidectin, ivermectin, and milbemycin oxime.


To prevent scabies, the most important thing is the hygiene of the animal and its environment. The ideal is to bathe him once a month with a suitable shampoo. In addition, you should try to keep the area where you live clean.

It is also important that your vaccination schedule is followed. And, of course, we must avoid our dog’s contact with animals that may be infected with scabies.

Dirofilariasis or heartworm

Canine Dilofilariasis or heartworm disease is a disease caused by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. It is passed from one host to another through mosquito bites.

In the last stage of its life cycle, this parasite resides in the heart of the host. He can stay there for several years, but in the end, the guest dies of cardiac arrest.

It is a life-threatening disease for those infected dogs that are not treated. There is a risk even for those who do receive treatment. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the parasite.


This disease usually causes symptoms of heart failure:

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Tiredness.
  3. Slimming.
  4. Cough
  5. Fainting
  6. Nosebleeds
  7. Ascites

However, dogs do not usually show signs of infestation during the first 6 months of the pre-dormancy period, before the maturation of the worm. Although diagnostic tests can indeed detect the pre-latent period.

There have been cases, albeit very isolated, in which a migrating larva has been lost and has ended up in unusual places such as the eye, the brain, or an artery. This can cause unusual symptoms such as blindness, seizures, and lameness.

Diagnosis and treatment

Heartworm is a treatable disease if diagnosed early. In any case, it is better to prevent the disease than to treat it; in an advanced state, it is very difficult to solve.

To diagnose it, the veterinarian must perform a complete blood test. This way you can detect the parasite and also check the health of the dog. The treatment to be applied will depend on the point at which the disease is found and the state of health of the pet.

Treatment usually lasts several months. Usually, the first thing is to apply injections to eliminate adult worms. Once it has worked, the dog is given medication to expel the microfilariae and larvae. Finally, it is necessary to provide him with vitamins and a diet that will help him recover his health.


There are several preventive treatments.

One of them is the vaccine, which is applied once a year, at the time of greatest activity of the mosquitoes. Before supplying it, it is necessary to carry out a study on the dog to verify that he is not sick. If you are vaccinated carrying the worm, it can cause an anaphylactic reaction and/or mass death of the parasites. This, in turn, could cause serious problems for the animal, even death.

Prevention can also be carried out with pills or tablets. The dog must take them once a month orally. Some pipettes contain the specific antiparasitic for this disease.

Canine leptospirosis or dog typhus

Canine leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium leptospira that primarily affects dogs. It is especially dangerous because it is a zoonosis: which means that it can spread to people.

It is spread when a mucosa or skin break comes into contact with water contaminated by the urine of an infected animal. It is important to detect it early because it can cause death.


The most widely recognized side effects of this illness are:

  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhea that may contain blood.
  • Dark urine
  • Symptoms of pain when urinating.
  • Dehydration
  • Ulcerations in the buccal mucosa.
  • Lethargy.

Diagnosis and treatment

The vet will probably do a general exam and will test the urine and blood. In this way, he will be able to determine if the dog suffers from this disease.

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Being a bacterial disease, leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics. It is also necessary to keep the dog hydrated and monitor its symptoms.


The main way to prevent this disease is vaccination. Contact a veterinarian to recommend the best system to keep your pet healthy.

It is also very important to keep the environment in which the animal usually moves clean and disinfected.

Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Both arthritis and osteoarthritis are joint-related diseases. They mainly affect older dogs.

In the case of arthritis, we speak of an inflammation of the joints, while osteoarthritis has to do with their aging and wear. In both cases, the cartilage that covers them is disappearing. This results in intense pain.

Arthritis can have several causes: an infection, a blow, genetic causes, or old age itself. In the latter case, this disease is known as degenerative arthritis. In the case of osteoarthritis, it is, as we have said, a problem due to aging and it is chronic.


Some of the symptoms that arthritis produces are:

  • Stiffness and limited movement: actions as simple as lying down or getting up may be impossible for you.
  • Joint inflammation. In very advanced stages, even deformity can be seen.
  • The joints crack or click when the dog moves.
  • Joint pain. It is a symptom that is sometimes difficult to detect because many dogs do not complain.

Those of osteoarthritis are also very similar: pain, lameness, and limitations of movement.


Arthritis is a very difficult disease to cure, but there are treatments to improve your pet’s quality of life. Here are some of the most common solutions:

  • Drugs: Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and analgesics.
  • Food supplements: Chondroitin sulfate, antioxidants, or fatty acids, such as Omega 3. Its function is to protect the cartilage and prevent further deterioration and help its regeneration.
  • Surgery: In some cases, the veterinarian may consider that an operation is a good solution to improve your dog’s situation.

You can also combine this treatment by offering your pet a balanced diet to prevent it from gaining weight. You can also help with some moderate exercise.

In the case of osteoarthritis, in addition to the nutritional supplements that your veterinarian may indicate, you can relieve your pet’s pain with various techniques. You can add heat to painful areas using hot water bottles or something similar. You can also help by massaging those areas gently.


To prevent these diseases you can follow some of the advice we have already offered you as a treatment.

It is important to control the weight of the animal and avoid being overweight as much as possible. It is also important that you exercise moderately and avoid wearing yourself out by playing with too much intensity.

You can also offer them food supplements, such as Omega 3.

Contact the veterinarian before any symptoms

This guide is informational only. Faced with any strange symptoms in your pet, the first thing you should do is go to your trusted veterinarian. Just as self-medication is not good for a human being, it is not good for a dog either. For this reason, the opinion of an expert should always be heard before taking any action.

At Cronoshare we can offer you the help of hundreds of trusted veterinarians. You just have to explain your problem through this link, and you will receive in your email an offer from the best professionals in your area. It is very fast and, above all, simple. Don’t hesitate to leave your best friend’s health in the best hands!