Your cocker spaniel Maggie seems like the picture of health. She gets top-notch dog food and daily exercise with your family. She also gets regular physical exams and dental checks from her Black Hills veterinarian. Even with Maggie’s ideal quality of life, though, she can still suffer from several common canine health problems.
Flea bites can cause poor little Maggie to frantically bite and scratch her skin, and can lead to noticeable hair loss. If Maggie loses enough blood from flea bites, she can contract anemia. Maggie might also experience serious allergic reactions from flea bites. Because fleas carry tapeworms, Maggie can become infected with this nasty parasite by swallowing an infected flea. Good thing your vet can easily get Maggie on a good flea control and prevention program.
If Maggie has ever had a vomiting and heaving episode, you won’t forget it. Maggie can vomit after becoming infested with an intestinal parasite; or because she’s suffering from heat stroke, kidney failure, or possible poisoning. If you see blood in Maggie’s vomit, or if she can’t keep liquids down and seems wiped out, get her to your vet immediately. She’s probably at risk for dehydration. Your vet will likely replenish Maggie’s fluids, and he may also prescribe medication to control her vomiting.
Perhaps Maggie vigorously shakes or tilts her head, and she incessantly scratches her ears all day. Her ear canal might have a reddish tint, her outer ear can show some swelling, and her ears might have a distasteful odor. Maggie probably has an ear infection; this can be caused by ear mites, allergies, yeast, or even hair growth inside her ear canal. Your vet can usually eradicate Maggie’s ear infection by cleaning and medicating her ear canal, although surgery might be needed for chronic ear ailments.
Dogs seem to be a magnet for parasitic worms who can take up residence in Maggie’s gut. Roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and hookworms are common offenders. Worm infestations will probably cause Maggie to exhibit diarrhea and weight loss symptoms, and she might start walking on her bottom, too. After some parasite testing work, your vet can prescribe an oral medication targeted to that parasite.
Fortunately, Maggie’s Black Hills vet is well equipped to diagnose and treat many canine medical conditions. He’ll help Maggie feel better so she can get back to her energetic, happy-go-lucky life.
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