Pets & Animals

13 Common Dog Diseases: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

A recent study revealed that over 70% of dogs encounter health issues at some point in their life.

However, understanding different canine diseases can help pet parents prevent or detect diseases.

You can schedule appointments with online veterinarians or learn about different dog diseases.

To help you get a better understanding of canine health problems, we’ve compiled a list of 13 dog complications in this blog. 

Here, you’ll get to know about different dog illnesses and symptoms to watch out for, treatment options, and much more. 

1. Dental Disease

Dental diseases are the most common chronic pet health issues, affecting over 80% of dogs by age 3 (Source: American Veterinary Medical Association). 

The different types of dental diseases that dogs face are: 

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Tooth Resorption (FORL)
  • Enamel Hypoplasia
  • Oral Fractures
  • Abscesses
  • Malocclusion


This dog disease symptoms include bad breath, difficulty chewing, red or swollen gums, and loose teeth.

Prevention and Treatment 

Regular brushing and professional cleanings are key to prevention. 

Depending on the type of tooth problem, veterinarians might recommend root canals, tooth removal, or periodontal surgery. 

2. Ear Infections (Otitis)

Otitis is one of the common dog diseases that typically persists for a lifetime.

Ear infections occur when the inner lining of the ear canal becomes infected or inflamed. They can be caused by allergies, mites, or foreign objects. 


Symptoms in dogs of ear infections include: 

  • Head shaking
  • Scratching at the ears
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Discharge

Prevention and Treatment

Regular cleaning and moisture control can help in preventing this dog disease.

Depending on the severity of this disease, veterinarians recommend different treatment options, such as cleaning, medication, or surgery. 

3. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. 

It is a highly contagious respiratory illness that spreads easily among dogs in close quarters. 


This dog illness symptoms include the following: 

  • Hacking cough
  • Runny nose
  • Lethargy

Prevention and Treatment

Vaccination helps prevent kennel cough. 

Its treatment usually involves rest and supportive care.

4. Skin Allergies

Skin allergies in dogs are also known as canine atopic dermatitis. 

These diseases cause inflammation and irritation of the skin. 

These allergies can be triggered by food, environmental factors, or fleas. 


Itchy skin typically shows the following signs: 

  • Redness
  • Hair loss 
  • Hot spots 

Prevention and Treatment

Treatment for skin allergies depends on the cause of the disease. 

Your veterinarian will likely recommend tests to detect the underlying issues and might also recommend medications. 

5. Parvovirus

This is one of the highly contagious and potentially life-threatening viral dog diseases that affects dogs’ intestinal tracts. 


Symptoms of parvovirus include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy 
  • Loss of appetite

Prevention and Treatment

Vaccination is crucial for prevention, and immediate veterinary care is essential if you suspect parvovirus. 

You can schedule an in-person or online vet appointment for immediate professional help. 

6. Distemper

Canine distemper is among the dangerous and highly contagious viral dog diseases; it affects dogs’ respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. 


The symptoms of distemper include: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Neurological problems 

Prevention and Treatment

Vaccination is essential, and treatment focuses on managing symptoms.

7. Giardia

Giardia, also known as giardiasis, is a common intestinal parasitic dog disease caused by microscopic organisms called Giardia lamblia. It spreads through the fecal-oral route.


  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal discomfort or bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss 
  • Lethargy

Prevention and Treatment 

Good hygiene and minimizing contact with infected animals can prevent these diseases. 

Treatment options for giardia involve medication.

8. Roundworm and Hookworm Dog Diseases 

Roundworms and hookworms are dangerous intestinal parasites that can severely affect dogs’ digestive systems. 

Puppies are most at risk from these parasites, which are transmitted through the mother’s milk or the environment. 


The following are the signs of this dog disease: 

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Prevention and Treatment Options 

Regular deworming helps prevent infection. 

Veterinarians prescribe medications to treat this disease.

9. Heartworm Disease

This dog disease is spread by mosquitoes. It’s a serious condition that can lead to serious heart and lung problems. 


Symptoms typically don’t appear for months or years, but coughing, fatigue, and difficulty breathing are common signs. 

Prevention and Treatment

Prevention through monthly medication is crucial, and treatment usually involves medications. 

10. Arthritis

Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a common problem in older dogs. 

This dog disease can cause pain or inflammation in the joints. 

If not treated properly, arthritis can reduce the pet patient’s mobility and quality of life. 


Symptoms of arthritis include: 

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness 
  • Difficulty moving

Prevention and Treatment 

Weight management, joint supplements, and pain medication can help manage arthritis.

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus)

This life-threatening condition occurs when a dog’s stomach becomes distended with gas, food, or fluid and then twists upon itself. 

It is also known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). 

11. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus)

This life-threatening condition occurs when a dog’s stomach becomes distended with gas, food, or fluid and then twists upon itself. 

It is also known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). 


Symptoms of bloat in dogs include: 

  • A distended abdomen
  • Excessive drooling
  • Panting
  • Distress
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness or collapse

Prevention and Treatment 

Take care of your dog’s meal and offer him smaller portions. 

If you suspect bloat, seek immediate veterinary care.

12. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

This dog disease is a serious spinal condition that occurs when discs cushioning the vertebrae in the spine lose their strength, degenerate, or rupture. 


Symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of the disc problem.

Some common signs are: 

  • Back pain 
  • Muscles weakness 
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Neck pain 

Prevention and Treatment

Treatment may involve medication, rest, or surgery.

13. Diabetes Mellitus

This chronic endocrine disorder adversely affects the dog’s ability to regulate sugar levels. 

There are two types of diabetes in dogs: 

  • Insulin-deficiency diabetes
  • Insulin-resistance diabetes


Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus include the following: 

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Weight loss 
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Cataracts
  • Skin infections
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

Prevention and Treatment

Providing a balanced diet and feeding appropriate portions is important to prevent this disease. 

Treatment options include:

  • Diet changes
  • Insulin injections
  • Medication

Final Words! 

Remember, early detection of dog diseases is crucial for successful treatment. If you notice any concerning signs in your dog, schedule a vet visit immediately. 

Regular checkups, a healthy diet, and preventive measures like vaccinations can go a long way in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. Visit Search a Vet to schedule a vet visit with just a few clicks. Their licensed veterinarians offer personalised consultation, ensuring your dog receives the best possible treatment.

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