Your dog is your best friend and it is only normal to worry about his health. Even though there are times when you’ll notice that something isn’t right, it’s important to look out for what he’s trying to tell you. As his owner, you are responsible to look out for certain red flags and make visits to the vet. Dogs can suffer from a number of diseases, many of which are preventable

An owner might opt for a DNA test and discover any medical conditions your pet might suffer from. With the help of this test, risk factors are identified to take the necessary measures for prevention. This test might also reveal the male and female lineage, as well as the breed purity percentage.

Parvovirosis

Puppies are commonly vaccinated against the parvovirus, but it is possible for them to catch the virus before immunization (or, of course, when the vaccination did not take place). The virus is easily transmitted from one dog to the other, or through their feces. You should always make sure that Fido is vaccinated, as this prevents the spread of such infections.

The initial symptoms include vomit, diarrhea and a state of general malaise, followed by subsequent weight loss. The viral infection presents a higher risk of death and even when supportive care is offered, the puppy might still remain with sequelae. The survival chances depend on the age of the dog, rapidity of treatment and infection severity.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a medical condition which causes seizures, accompanied by foaming around the mouth, muscle tremors, and confusion. It is quite distressing to witness your dog having a seizure, especially since there is nothing you can do. The best thing to do is seek out an accurate diagnosis, identify the underlying condition or the potential genetic inheritance.

A DNA test identifies the risk of congenital disorders, such as epilepsy. Certain breeds, like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Beagles present a higher risk of epilepsy, as modern research shows. The treatment is generally standard, in the form of anticonvulsant medication. However, such dogs present a considerable risk of premature death, so you need to take all necessary measures to keep the seizures under control.

Heart disease

Heart conditions are hereditary – for example, both Spaniels and Dachshunds are at risk for valve disease. This condition leads to coughing, muscular weakness, breathing difficulties, and eventual collapse.

Other breeds, such as Greater Danes, Boxers, and Dobermans, are genetically predisposed to cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). This causes the heart to weaken, with an abnormal function.

Boxers and Bulldogs are prone to other forms of cardiomyopathy, in which the ventricular heart muscle is affected. These changes lead to an irregular heartbeat, with an increased risk of collapse and heart failure. Sudden death is also a potential consequence of genetically-inherited heart conditions in dogs.

Apart from the DNA test, which identify risk factors and genetic predispositions for such problems, it is important to take your dog to the vet for regular checkups. If a heart condition is identified, the doctor will recommend a suitable treatment (arrhythmic drugs, medication for heart failure, etc.).

Kidney disease (renal failure)

While it’s true that kidney disease can occur as a complication of other medical problems, like Lyme’s disease, it’s also hereditary. Pet parents should take advantage of the DNA test to find out whether their pet has any genetic predispositions. Based on the results, they can make lifestyle changes for their pet, especially diet-wise.

It’s essential to stay cautious about the connection between gum and kidney diseases. If dental problems aren’t carefully treated, bacteria will enter the bloodstream and reach the kidneys, causing a lot of damage. So, you need to keep your pet’s teeth clean and go to the vet for a regular examination.

If your furry pal is diagnosed with kidney disease, you need to start treatments with medication that encourage the production of urine. Fluid therapy is recommended, as well as medication for additional problems (gastrointestinal, blood pressure). Dialysis is an option for chronic renal failure, especially for aging dogs. Unfortunately, it might come to a point when it’s too late and your pooch is euthanized.

Cancer

Unfortunately, the number of dogs suffering from cancer has increased staggeringly in the past few years. The age of your pooch is a big factor but genetics play an important part in that as well. It is important to take your dog to the vet for regular checkups, as the early treatment of any form of cancer can guarantee a better survival rate.

Always notice even the slightest changes in your dog’s habits, including the loss of appetite, state of lethargy or weight loss. You can also palpate his skin and identify any lumps, as these are signs of lymphoma, a highly-treatable form of cancer. The genetic markers for cancer are identified through DNA testing, so it is worth considering this option as well.

It’s important to take good care of your older dog diagnosed with cancer. You need to offer your pet friend all the supportive care he needs, as well as quality food, water and medical treatment. Listen to the recommendations of the vet and follow his advice accordingly.

In conclusion, these are some of the conditions your pet friend might suffer from, with a high potential for a fatal outcome. Do not hesitate to visit your vet for periodical examinations and also take a DNA test, so that you know what you are up against. And, remember, you are responsible for your dog and you need to make sure that he maintains the best possible state of health.

 

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