Through shared brushes, collars, bedding, etc., or by caressing or handling an infected dog before petting or handling another dog, people can also transmit various diseases (such as mange, ringworm, kennel cough, and canine influenza) from dog to dog.
Canine distemper is brought on by a virus that spreads quickly. Virus particles in the air or in the respiratory secretions of infected dogs are typically how puppies and dogs get sick. Runny eyes, fever, runny nose, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and paralysis are typical symptoms of infected dogs. Often, it ends in death.
Fortunately, your dog can be protected against this terrible disease with an efficient vaccine. Every dog should have the canine distemper vaccine, which is regarded as a “core” vaccination.
Parvo is brought on by type 2 canine parvovirus. The virus targets the digestive tract, causing fever, vomiting, and severe, frequently bloody diarrhea. It is also very contagious. Direct contact between canines as well as contaminated surfaces, bowls, collars, leashes, tools, human hands, and clothing all contribute to its transmission.
The virus is challenging to eradicate since it can also endure for years in the soil. Despite receiving intensive care, many dogs still succumb to parvo despite the high cost of therapy.
Fortunately, there is a parvo vaccine. Every dog should have it because it is regarded as a “core” vaccination.
External parasites Ticks, fleas, and mange are among the more typical dog health issues. Risks associated with dog gatherings include ticks from the environment, fleas from other dogs and the environment, and mange from other dogs.
Diseases can be spread by ticks (see tick-borne diseases below). If fleas take a ride home on your dog, they may end up infesting your home and yard and spreading various diseases and sorts of tapeworms (s).
Numerous certified products are readily available to effectively prevent and treat external parasites with dogs. For advice on the best product for your dog, talk to your veterinarian.
Dogs with “walking dandruff” (itchy, flaky skin on the dog’s trunk) due to Cheyletiella mites. They may need more rigorous treatment than fleas since they are carried from dog to dog through direct touch.
Fertilizers and pesticides
Dogs may be poisoned by some chemicals and fertilizers. Do not allow your pet to walk, run, play, or roam in areas that have recently had pesticide or fertilizer treatments.
When dogs consume or sniff polluted dirt, fungi in the soil might infect them. Even more so through a skin wound, dogs can contract an infection through the skin.
All over the country, different types of fungi are seen, with histoplasmosis being more prevalent in the Eastern and Central U.S., blastomycosis being more prevalent in the Southeast, South Central, and Midwest, cryptococcosis being more prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, and coccidioidomycosis being more prevalent in the Southwest U.S. Bird or bat droppings can spread histoplasmosis.
Typically, the fungus enters the body through the respiratory system and causes flu- or pneumonia-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, tiredness, and signs of pneumonia. Digestive issues, such as discomfort and diarrhea, may happen if consumed. Immunosuppressed dogs (dogs with compromised immune systems brought on by illness or specific drugs) are considerably more likely to contract these fungus and become ill.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and can result in heart illness, mortality, fatigue, coughing, and breathing difficulties. Thankfully, there are numerous products that have been approved to prevent heartworm infection. For advice on the best product for your dog, talk to your veterinarian.
A serious risk in warm and hot weather is heatstroke. Keep in mind that your dog always has a fur coat on, and that they are typically warmer than you. For a dog, a temperature that feels just a bit warm to a person may be too warm. The heat could be fatal for your dog if you also consider the fact that dogs at dog events are frequently engaged in play and activity.
Never leave your pet in the car on warm days. Even on a 70°F day, a car might get excessively warm. Pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, and other short-nosed breeds are more prone to heatstroke and breathing issues than breeds with normal-length noses because they pant less efficiently.
Excessive sweating and drooling, nervousness, weakness, unusual gum color (darker red or even purple), collapse, and death are among symptoms of heatstroke.
Any dog exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke needs to be transported to a cool area right once, where it can be cooled with cold, wet towels that are wrung out and rewetted every few minutes. Running cool water over the dog’s body and rapidly wiping it away can also assist (so the water absorbs the heat of the skin and is removed right away). Because heatstroke can quickly turn fatal, take the dog to the vet right away.
Conflict and harm are possible when unfamiliar dogs and/or dogs with different temperaments are mixed. A veterinarian should examine bite wounds as away, and steps should be taken to find out whether the biting dog has received rabies vaccinations.
Although excessive movement can put dogs at danger of harm to their joints, bones, or muscles, it should be encouraged for overweight dogs and dogs used to more sedentary lifestyles to become more active. Consult your veterinarian about the best plan to get your dog active with the lowest risk of harm if it is overweight and/or you plan to raise its activity level.
Intestinal parasites When dogs consume contaminated dirt, lick contaminated fur or paws, or drink water contaminated with the stool of infected dogs, parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms lay eggs that are transmitted in the dog’s stool and infect other dogs. When dogs consume fleas, lice, or rodents that have tapeworms, the tapeworms are passed to the dogs.
Due to the nutrients they take from food during digestion, these worms can result in malnutrition, diarrhea, and hookworms can result in blood loss. There are various products available to cure worms, and you should speak with your pet’s veterinarian to see which ones are best for them.
Single-celled parasites that harm the lining of the intestine include coccidia and giardia. By consuming contaminated soil or licking contaminated paws or fur, dogs can contract coccidia. Puppies are most susceptible to disease and infection.
Viruses and bacteria may work together to create kennel cough. It is extremely contagious, and if your dog comes into contact with an infected dog, it could become affected as well. In the early stages of the illness, dogs with kennel cough may not appear sick, yet they can still spread the illness to other dogs. The most typical symptoms of kennel cough in dogs are a runny nose and a dry, hacking cough.
There are kennel cough vaccines, but not every dog needs to have one. If you’re unsure whether the kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccine is appropriate for your dog, speak with your veterinarian.
Leptospirosis is brought on by different Leptospira bacteria types. Animals and people typically contract the disease by drinking contaminated water, touching contaminated soil, or eating contaminated food. The germs are excreted in the urine of affected animals.
Leptospira infection in dogs can cause fever, muscle weakness, vomiting, lethargic behavior, stomach pain, and kidney or liver failure. There is a vaccine available to protect against leptospirosis; ask your vet if your dog should get it. Leptospira vaccination is a component of certain canine distemper combination vaccinations.
Any mammal has the potential to contract the disease-causing virus rabies. Although some do not, the majority of dog parks and other formal gatherings of dogs demand confirmation of rabies vaccination. Once an animal begins to exhibit symptoms of the disease, rabies is 100% lethal and is brought on by the rabies virus.
The virus is transmitted through saliva, either through an animal bite carrying the virus or through saliva contaminating a skin wound. Additionally, there is a risk of contracting rabies from any encounter with wildlife, especially bats. In regions where dogs congregate, raccoons, skunks, and other wild animals may be present and may carry the rabies virus.
Thankfully, immunization can protect against rabies infection. Numerous state and local governments mandate routine rabies vaccinations for dogs.
Regional wildlife risks and feral animals
Dogs who interact with wildlife are more likely to contract diseases like rabies and plague, as well as the possibility of harm. Prairie dogs frequently enter dog parks in several parts of the United States.
Prairie dogs can carry fleas that can spread the plague-causing bacterium. In addition to carrying rabies and other diseases that can infect dogs, skunks, raccoons, foxes, feral cats, pigs, and other wildlife may also do so. Dogs in the wild pose health and safety issues.
Ringworm, despite what its name might imply, is actually a fungal infection of the skin. Contact with an infected dog, its bedding, or items that have come into contact with the sick dog can spread the disease. The fungus can endure in the soil as well. Because it frequently results in circular regions of hair loss, ringworm earns its name.
While some dogs may scratch the regions excessively, others might not be itchy. Although many dogs will recover without care, care is frequently given to them to stop them from passing the infection to other dogs or people.
Ticks spread a number of illnesses that can afflict dogs, including Lyme disease plus a lot more. In some parts of the United States, some diseases are more prevalent. These conditions can result in organ failure, anemia (blood loss), lameness, weakness, and even death. Avoiding tick bites is the most effective method of preventing these diseases.
There are numerous products that can kill ticks on dogs and reduce tick bites; speak with your veterinarian about which one is best for your dog. After any outdoor dog gatherings, check your dog for ticks and get rid of any that you find as soon as you can.
Several diseases can be brought on by toxic plants. Animals can be severely harmful to some ornamental plants. For dogs, cocoa mulch is poisonous. Visit the to learn more about poisonous plants ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center Web site.