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The Most Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms & Treatment

The Most Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms & Treatment

Dog illnesses can be fatal if left untreated. In this article, our Carrollton vets offer advice about health problems to watch for in your dog.

Common Dog Illnesses

Dog owners need to be vigilant and prepare to visit their vet for a physical exam and diagnosis if needed. Here are 3 common dog illnesses and their symptoms.


Thanks to research, advancements in veterinary medical care, and various vaccines, therapies and treatments, we can see more incidents of this.

Causes & Symptoms

Different types of cancer - from skin, bone, and breast cancers to malignant lymphoma and soft tissue sarcomas - can plague dogs as they enter their elder years. Cancer is more common in some breeds than in others because of genetic factors. Environmental factors can also occur.

Though early detection can sometimes be difficult if little to no symptoms appear, classic symptoms of cancer include:

  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Lameness or swelling in bones or other parts of the body
  • Lumps or bumps
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Depending on the cancer, a tumor could be removed surgically, and there may be options to treat or cure the disease or prolong your dog’s life. Early detection and treatment are critical to survival.

Ear Infections

If your dog starts displaying sudden behaviors like increased scratching of the ear, frequent head shaking, whining, or other unusual signs, it is advisable to have a veterinarian evaluate them for a possible ear infection.

There are several potential causes for ear infections in dogs, including the presence of moisture in the ears (which can foster bacterial and yeast growth), allergies, autoimmune disorders, excessive wax accumulation, and other factors.

Causes & Symptoms

In addition to the signs mentioned above, symptoms include:

  • Odor
  • Itchiness
  • “Crustiness” or scabs
  • Swelling or redness in the ear canal
  • Dark discharge
  • Pain

It’s important to see your vet for quick treatment to keep the infection from spreading to other parts of the ear and leading to more serious conditions such as facial paralysis and deafness.


Dogs can acquire this extremely contagious viral illness through contact with infected dog feces or viral particles that can persist in the environment for extended periods. While individuals and dogs who have not completed their vaccination regimen are particularly vulnerable, timely and proper treatment can often lead to the successful recovery and preservation of many affected dogs.

Causes & Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea (usually bloody)
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting

Parvovirus can be prevented with puppy vaccines and booster shots. It’s imperative that parvovirus is treated as it can lead to bone marrow damage, bacterial pneumonia, chronic heart disease and even sudden death.

What to Do if Your Dog is Ill

If any of these symptoms manifest in your dog, it is crucial to promptly bring them to a veterinarian. At Providence Animal Hospital, we offer the expertise of on-site specialists, diagnostic services, and an emergency clinic to effectively diagnose and address your pet's most complex health issues.

Our Carrollton vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating serious illnesses. Book an appointment today.

New Patients Welcome

Carroll County Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Carrollton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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