Common Ailments in Dogs
Ear Infections in Dogs
Ear infections in dogs are, unfortunately, common, and most dogs may suffer from this painful issue. But, sometimes, you cannot tell whether your pet dog is indeed suffering from ear infection or not. In order to observe it on time and have it treated, we present you some more or less obvious signs that your dog may have developed this condition.
The symptoms may not always be visible, but the most obvious ones are:
? The dog keeps scratching the ear and the area around it. Now, this is very obvious, as you can see the dog sitting around and nervously scratching the ear and turning it red.
? Bloody discharge, sometimes yellow or brown, from inside the ear. This is visible, as well, because you may notice this when you pet him. If the discharge has a bad smell, as well, this is an obvious sign of ear infection.
? Your dog loses hair around the ear, because he rubs it on the floor and the furniture. This may be the reason why you may find hair on the floor and near the bed or table.
? The ear may be swelling and turning red. Crusts may be inside or outside the ear, as a sign of scratching and rubbing it to the furniture.
As less visible signs, for the owners who have to keep a keen eye on their pets in order to notice them, we have:
? The dog has a strange walk. He runs in circles and has unusual eye movements. Perhaps you will notice that he loses his balance and has problems with hearing you calling him. He may shake his head and tilt it obsessively.
Now, that we saw the symptoms, it is very important to act. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice more than two signs that your dog may have ear infection.
Dogs that have allergies and non-erect outer ears are predisposed to ear infections. Those that have a lot of hair grew inside the ear are, again, susceptible to this condition.
A vet will diagnose the ear infection by checking the ear canal and the ear drum, using a magnifying ear cone. If the dog is violent during the consultation, the vet will sedate him, especially if the infection is developed and painful. He will, as well, examine a sample of ear discharge and he will look for bacteria and parasites. If he finds an infection, then he will send the sample further to a lab for a more detailed analysis of the bacteria.
There are lots of causes that occur in the development of an infection in dogs, so the vet has to be professional concerning the consultation, so he may give the right diagnosis. Most commonly, ear infections can be treated by a professional cleaning at the vet or at home, if you handle it well, and by some special medication offered by the vet. It is important to go to the consultations regularly, in order to check if the infection is gone.
Dogs with Flea Allergies
Just like humans, dogs can also be allergic to various things. Their body reacts whenever their immune system encounters an allergen that he finds dangerous.
The factors that cause your dog?s allergies might be some very common ones that can be found in all environments and normally are not causing any harm to other animals. But if your dog has allergies, he will have an extreme reaction to these factors. The dog?s body will try to eliminate this factor, making him show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin or eyes or ears, paw chewing, snoring, sneezing and most likely increased scratching.
Allergies can appear for any breed of dog and at any age, but usually they appear after six months of age. It is more common for dogs with flat face to develop allergies, though.
You dog can be allergic to the same things as people are, like pollens, dander, mold, perfumes, cleaning products and fabrics, but also to some less common things like smoke and feathers.
Once you get to suspect that your dog is allergic to something in particular, you should visit your veterinarian where he will get a physical investigation. If the doctor cannot identify the source of the allergy after such an investigation, next he will probably recommend blood tests and skin tests.
Your dog can also develop an allergy to flea bites. This means that he will get an inflammation in the spot where he was bitten. Flea saliva is one of the most common allergens. If, for a normal dog, a flea bite means only a local irritation, for the allergic one the itch will be very severe and he will scratch and bite himself a lot, even getting to remove his hair from the itchy area. This means that you need to pay much attention to flea prevention.
This type of allergy is also known as FAD or flea allergy dermatitis, and it mostly appears during summertime, but in regions with a warmer climate it can appear even all year round.
It seems that dogs which are often exposed to flea bites develop their immunity and do not have allergic reactions anymore. Of course, putting your dog under a flea attack will not be the best solution to solve his allergy.
You might believe that if your dog does not have fleas, he cannot develop FAD. Well, this is wrong. Getting in touch with one or two fleas? saliva can cause him a bad itch that can last longer than even the life of the fleas.
Combing your dog often with a special flea comb will help you check if he has fleas. Do this while having him sit on a light colored towel, on which you could see the fleas or, more easily, their feces. If you pour some water or alcohol on it, it will release a red color. This way, you will not confuse it with dirt.
Also, bathing your dog more often will keep the fleas away and your dog away from his allergy.