12 Most Deadly Dog Diseases

While dog diseases are less common than human diseases, they can be just as deadly. The CDC estimates that 4.5 million people get sick from the flu each year and that 24,000 dies.

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Similarly, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that dogs get sick from diseases more than twice as often as humans and that about 5-10% of dogs die from these illnesses. (As a side note, dogs also get more than 30 human diseases.)

Dog diseases can be tough to deal with, especially if you lack the medical expertise to notice the signs and symptoms early on.

That’s why it’s essential to educate yourself on the top 12 deadly dog diseases, including rabies, heartworms, parvovirus, and Distemper.

More than anything, it’s crucial to understand how these diseases are spread, so you can avoid transmitting them to your pet.

Here are some of the most common yet deadly dog diseases:

1. Heartworm

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If you have a dog, it’s crucial to understand heartworm disease’s signs and symptoms since it can be fatal if not treated.

The American Heartworm Society estimates that “approximately 6.5 million dogs in the United States are at risk for heartworm infection.”

While your dog can contract this nasty disease in any season, he is at higher risk from May to July since mosquitoes are most active during that period. Luckily, there are some easy ways to prevent heartworm disease in your dog.

2. Canine Distemper 

Canine Distemper is a disease that is transmitted by direct contact with an infected dog’s discharges. The virus is found in the throat, mouth, nose, eyes, and genital areas, as well as in the bodily shots of an infected dog.

Some of its symptoms are poor appetite, fever, lack of energy, coughing, sneezing, conjunctivitis, and inflammation of the nasal passages. If a dog contracts Distemper, it must be treated immediately, or it will most likely die.

3. Cancer

Cancer is a severe disease that has become a growing concern throughout the last two decades. It is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the most common form of life-threatening illness in humans.

In dogs, cancer is the most common cause of death. The good news is, dogs have relatively few forms of cancer compared to people.

We typically hear about dogs with cancer only when it is a very aggressive and life-threatening condition. It is one of the most deadly diseases that your fur friend can have, for your information.

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4. Canine Parvovirus 

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Parvo is, hands down, the most feared disease in the dog world, although it is rarely fatal. Parvovirus is a quick killer of dogs and puppies.

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and debilitating viral disease that can wreak havoc on a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. The virus affects all dogs, regardless of their breed or age, and is extremely dangerous to puppies.

Parvo is highly contagious and can spread quickly through the air or contact with infected feces. Once a dog contracts parvo, it takes an average of two weeks to a month for the dog to die.

5. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and animals. In dogs, rabies can cause behavioral changes, unusual aggression, or paralysis.

Dogs infected with rabies may drool excessively, act confused, and bite at their flank or rear limbs. As the disease progresses, the dog may become vicious, snapping at imaginary objects, and unable to eat or drink.

Rabies is preventable but can be fatal if left untreated. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing paralysis, brain damage, and, most commonly, death.

Rabies is almost always transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. With post-exposure treatment, the fatality rate is less than 1%. Dogs that are vaccinated and monitored can also be protected from the disease.

6. Obesity

When you’re a dog owner, it is essential to know all about dog diseases. Dogs can be prone to a wide variety of different illnesses and conditions, some of which are fatal. For example, obesity is a common dog disease.

A dog overeating food causes this or not getting enough exercise. This can cause other health problems for your dogs, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. 

Obesity is an epidemic these days, and it isn’t just humans who are affected. Dogs are becoming overweight at an alarming rate due to a sedentary lifestyle and an overabundance of treats. Obesity in pets is a serious health risk, leading to several different diseases and conditions.

7. Lyme Disease

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If you own a dog, you probably love it more than anything else in the world. You would do just about anything to make sure that your dog is happy and healthy, wouldn’t you?

That is why it is so vital that you know the dangers of Lyme disease, a condition that can affect a man’s best friends.

8. Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Most of the time, dog diseases are the result of a genetic disorder. However, sometimes a dog can catch a disease from a bite wound or contact with wildlife, another dog, or even a human.

Diseases like Parvo and DistemperDistemper are deadly and can spread quickly among dogs at a boarding kennel, shelter, or daycare.

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9. CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is the gradual loss of kidney function for several months to years in humans, dogs, and cats. As the kidneys lose their ability to filter toxins from the blood (creatinine), they build up in the body.

Chronic Kidney Disease is characterized by the slow and progressive loss of kidney function, which is generally irreversible. In most cases, Chronic Kidney Disease is slowly advanced and is usually caused by a long-term (chronic) disease or disorder.

10. Kennel Cough

Before we start our discussion about kennel cough, it is vital to understand that there is a difference between dog cough and kennel cough.

Dog Cough is a generic term used to describe a dog’s cough and is usually not serious. Kennel Cough is a specific disease that is caused by a virus and is contagious.

It is also essential to understand that not all dogs with a cough have kennel cough, just as not all dogs that have kennel cough are coughing.

Kennel cough is a common respiratory infection in dogs caused by several different viruses. Like the common cold in humans, it is characterized by a hacking cough, runny nose, and sometimes a fever.

The disease is easily transmitted between dogs and can cause more severe infections in puppies and older pets.

11. Fungal Diseases

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Fungal infections are the most common infectious disease in dogs. Fungal infections can be difficult to cure, but it’s important to start treatment early, as some can be fatal.

Once you suspect your dog has a fungal infection, speak to your vet. They will likely recommend a skin scraping, which will be examined under a microscope to determine the presence of a fungal infection and prescribe the proper treatment.

12. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. Dogs and other domestic animals are commonly affected, with dogs being a major carrier of the disease.

The disease is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted to humans. Humans can get leptospirosis from infected animals, specifically rodents, dogs, and other wild animals.

Usually, the disease is contracted during exposure to contaminated water, which is a major risk to people working outdoors, such as agricultural workers, sewage workers, and farmers.

It is important to remember that leptospirosis is a kind of zoonotic disease, wherein it is transmitted to humans from animals.

That means that it cannot only be transmitted to your dog but that it can be transmitted to you, as well. If you are in contact with your dog’s urine or another potentially infected animal bites your dog, you can become ill.

These are just some of the deadly diseases that your dog can acquire, but there are more that you need to look out for. You need to make sure that your pet is healthy and protected.

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Keep Your Dog Friend Healthy and Active

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One of the most important things you can do is keep them healthy if you have a dog.

Taking care of your dog’s health is one of the best ways to make sure they stick around for as long as possible, which is why it’s so important to make sure that you and your vet are on the same page when it comes to your dog’s treatment plan. (A dog with a health condition can cause problems in several ways, so the dog must get the care they need.)

Your dog is your best friend; there is no denying that. But why not take it to another level and take care of your dog’s health?

If your dog is sick, you can take it to the vet, and he will give it the care it needs. But what if you can give it the care it needs at home?

If you take proper care of your dog, you can be sure that your dog will be active and healthy for the rest of its life.

Keeping your dog healthy and active isn’t just about feeding her the right dog food, doing her exercise, or letting her have the occasional treat.

Dogs can get sick, just like humans, and when they do, the proper treatment is essential to your pet’s long-term health. The key to a healthy and active dog, then, is taking action before your dog’s health issues start to get out of control.

One of the biggest issues facing dog owners is the struggle to keep their dogs physically fit. Most dogs will require some exercise level each day to maintain their health, which can be difficult to get depending on how much time you have and where you live.

For example, if you live in a small apartment, your dog may not get enough exercise. This is when many owners choose to enroll their dogs in doggy daycare. (Some dogs may also benefit from the companionship of a playmate.)

As dog lovers, we all want what is best for our dogs. This includes everything from the food we feed them to the toys we buy and even what games and activities we play with them.

And while most of us want to keep them happy, healthy, and active, it is always hard to know how to achieve that. But by learning some of the basics of dog health, you can better protect your pup.

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