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Canine Diseases and Viruses

      (Check with your vet for other conditions that may affect your dog)

Distemper:  A viral disease causing fever, diarrhea, respiratory problems, and convulsions.  Often fatal.

Hepatitis:  A viral disease that attacks the liver and other organs.

Parainfluenza:  A highly contagious, airborne virus.  Causes a harsh, hacking cough (one form of "kennel cough").  Vaccine only partially protective.

Parvovirus:  Highly contagious.  Causes severe bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.  Can be fatal.


Rabies:  A viral disease causing temperament changes, inability to swallow, and convulsions.  Ultimately fatal.  Affects almost all warm-blooded animals, including humans.

Heartworms:  Spread by mosquitoes. Dangerous disease causing difficulty breathing, coughing, lack of stamina, weight loss, rough hair coat.  Can be costly to treat and sometimes fatal. 

Hookworms:  Typically invisible to the unaided human eye.  Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, poor or no appetite, pale mucous membranes in the mouth, weakness, emaciation and poor growth.  They are “bloodsuckers” and can cause extreme stress or even death.  Easily treated and prevention measures via oral pills. 

Hot Spots:  Irritated skin area that has become inflamed and infected.  Often with visible moist oozing reddened area.  Hair loss may be seen and the dog may continue licking and chewing the affected area.  Hair is usually clipped away from the area and topical spray/cream is applied.  Antibiotics may be prescribed. 

Giarida:  Usually found in contaminated water.  Weight loss, inability to gain weight, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and greasy appearing stool.  Easily treated with medication.    


Fleas/Ticks:  Can reproduce quickly and infect dogs in the area.  Dogs may be miserable and in severe cases may be under extreme stress, suffer blood loss or tick-borne diseases.  Scratching, chewing/gnawing on body parts, weakness, irritated skin, hair loss, and anemia.  Requires vigilant prevention measures to keep fleas/ticks off dogs and out of the dog’s environment.

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