Some Health Issues in Dogs

Kennel Cough (Parainfluenza) and its effect on dogs and puppies

The Parainfluenza virus is the most common cause of Kennel Cough among dogs. However, Kennel Cough normally includes a host of other related viruses.

Although a dog can get Kennel Cough quite badly it is not generally, by itself life-threatening. Of course, should your dog be weak from another condition, complications can arise.

The virus is however very contagious and is easily spread amongst groups of dogs where one dog has the infection. Therefore, if a dog at a kennel has the virus, it can spread rapidly. I guess this is how Kennel Cough derived its name.

Symptoms are very much like you would expect from a dog with a severe cough. Symptoms start with a dry cough which can progress into a deep racking type cough. Often when coughing it will appear as if something is stuck in the affected dog’s throat, or that it is going to vomit. This is, however, the severity of a cough.

If your dog has a severe cough it is advisable to take the dog to a vet. Normally, the dog can recover by itself, but it is definitely not worth the risk. Other more serious diseases can show similar symptoms to Kennel Cough and you may misdiagnose your dog’s illness to its detriment.

A vet can treat Kennel Cough quite effectively with the range of antibiotics that modern vets have at their disposal.

Vaccinations are available to reduce the chances of your dog contracting Kennel Cough. However much like humans with flu injections, dogs can still pick up a different strain or still contract Kennel Cough, but normally with less intensity.

Most vets seem to recommend vaccinations against Kennel Cough, and I go along with that thinking. Why expose your dog to any more risks than necessary. Be wise and vaccinate against Kennel Cough (Parainfluenza)

Parvovirus Infection in dogs.

The origins of this serious dog-related disease, are a little baffling. It may be that a mutation of panleukopaenia or feline enteritis is the cause of this contagious enteritis of dogs. Feline enteritis cannot affect dogs, but the virus is so similar to the one that affects dogs, that it may be a result of a mutation.

However it came into being, one thing is certain, it quickly has become a serious disease which affects dogs worldwide. It is a relatively new disease, before the late seventies Parvovirus was unheard of, but has since spread rapidly.

Initially, there were two forms of Parvovirus. The first affected puppies and caused death. However, with time puppies gained some immunity from their mother’s antibodies. This first form is no longer widely prevalent, but the second form of Parvovirus is still a great threat to your dog’s well being. This second form can affect both puppies and adult dogs.

Symptoms of Parvovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Parvovirus can result in the dog’s death particularly in young pups. Parvovirus can infect the bowel, but can also attack the heart, causing heart failure especially in pups.

Vaccination is a safe and effective measure to ensure that your dog does not suffer the effects of Parvovirus Infection.

If however, your dog shows any of the symptoms, please consult your vet immediately. Vaccination will not help at this stage, but your vet will probably treat your dog, by way of an intravenous drip to ensure hydration, together with vitamins and analgesics.

Please note the above symptoms, do not necessarily point to Parvovirus Infection, as these symptoms can occur in other conditions. However if your dog shows any of the above symptoms or you have reason to believe that your dog has been in contact with a sick animal, please do not hesitate to consult a vet immediately.