You need to take an active interest in your puppy’s health. Certainly every dog can get sick occasionally, but there are steps you can take to safeguard your puppy’s health throughout his life. Here are some dog diseases and conditions you might want to be aware of, so that you can prevent or deal with them effectively.

You might have heard of distemper as a common dog condition, but you might not be sure what it means. Distemper is a disease that can damage the lungs, brain, or spinal cord of the dog. It is similar to polio in humans. The best way to prevent distemper is to make sure your puppy gets the distemper vaccine.

Rabies is another disease that dogs can get, and they can also pass it on to humans, with fatal results. Any animal that gets rabies will die of the disease, so it needs to be prevented. The way rabies is passed is through the infected animal’s saliva. It is transmitted when the infected animal bites another.

The most common sign of rabies is that the animal will foam around the mouth. If you suspect that your dog might have gotten infected by rabies, have him checked by the vet right away. Make sure that your dog is gets the rabies vaccine as a puppy. Then get booster shots every few years as recommended by your vet, to keep the immunity current.

Another condition that can be passed from dogs to humans is leptospirosis. Because of the close contact between your puppy and your family members, you should be sure to prevent this condition, especially if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. Your puppy can get the disease from animals such as raccoons and opossums. There are vaccines available for leptospirosis, so you can protect your puppy and your family.

Dogs can also pick up worm infestations, a very disgusting condition, and unpleasant for the dog as well. Check with your vet on medications or other preventatives for worms.

Your dog can get heartworm by being bitten by an infected mosquito. Outdoor dogs especially are in danger of this. Your vet can give you a monthly medication to prevent heartworm. It comes in chewable tablets, so that it is easy to get your dog to take it. If your dog already has heartworm, don’t give the tablets, but get to the veterinarian right away because it can be deadly to your dog.

Check your dog’s stool on a regular basis, to see if you see any worms. Also, diarrhea can be a warning sign of worms. If you get preventative medications from your vet right away, you will not have to do this checking of your puppy’s deposits.

Just like people, dogs can get sick from various diseases. There is a lot you can do to prevent the common dog diseases, so check with your veterinarian. You can save yourself a lot of heartache and costly vet bills later by preventing these conditions now.

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