Human Diseases in Dogs
There are some disorders that are hard to talk about even for us as humans. We all fear the ?C? word, but when we get a reality check, we need to say it out loud. Cancer. It is a disease that has taken so many and has left many more suffering. We become more sensitive when it comes to our beloved dogs. We tend to do that because we know for a fact that no matter how hard we try, we cannot make them feel better or take their pain away. Aside from that, animals have a different way of expressing pain. They do not show it directly by screaming or asking for help. When it comes to that point, it is too late.
Bone cancer is probably the most aggressive form of cancer in both dogs and humans. It starts slow, but can extend very much in just a couple of months. Humans know for a fact that we can prevent it or at least monitor the symptoms. For dogs, that is a different story. If you think that your dog might be exposed to this disease, you will need to pay attention to some symptoms.
1. Behavioral changes
Although behavioral changes are often just signs of old age, they can also be a sign of disease. If you notice your dog getting more tired than usual, note it down and pay attention to other things that may be out of the ordinary. Aside from tiredness, you will also notice some changes in his positions, his walk and his gestures. Bone cancer is very painful and dogs will only express themselves when the pain is just too much to bare. Pay attention when you pet him. If you notice him pulling away while becoming slightly aggressive, you will want to take him to the vet.
Dog owners now have the chance to get their pet?s tested. There is a special test that detects the genes of this disease. It is a bit expensive, but it is better to know than to face the facts when it is too late. This test is usually done on puppies as the results are clearer, but you can ask your vet to perform it even if the dog is adult.
3. Obvious symptoms
Bone cancer is extremely rare and comes with a set of specific symptoms. You will need to be on a lookout for the following symptoms: joint swellings, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, sudden cries when moving, flinching at normal touch. Even the most ?silly? signs, like dragging its leg like it is broken even though he is healthy, are a symptom of this horrible disease.
All of these signs and symptoms should be taken seriously. If you notice any changes in your dog?s behavior or physique, you need to immediately go to the vet to check him out. A simple X-ray will be enough to tell you if your furry friend is in grave danger or not. Make sure that you avoid these situations by going on regular checkups.
Cushing's Disease In Dogs
Stress is a natural reaction that both humans and dogs share. So is cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the pituitary and the adrenal glands. Unfortunately, for our beloved pets, this can also be the cause for the so-called Cushing's disease in dogs. More about what is it, how does it manifest and how should you deal with it, coming up next.
What is this disease?
As previously suggested, it is caused by an over secretion of cortisol, therefore it is also known as hyperadrenocorticism or hypercortisolism. The over secreted hormone is, in general, very important to the body because, aside from helping it cope with the daily life?s stress, it also controls the body?s weight, it helps fighting infections and, also essential, interferes in keeping the blood sugar at the right levels.
Depending on what glands initially triggered it, the disease can be considered pituitary dependent, which is also the most common form, or adrenal dependent.
How can you recognize it?
Well, even experienced vets can find it hard to diagnose, but if you?re paying close attention to particular aspects about your dog and if you tell the veterinarian everything that you notice, you might catch it in time. Here is what to look for:
? The dog might start drinking more water than usually;
? Or he might seem always hungry, asking for food again and again;
? Or start peeing more often ? even though you might be tempted to ignore it because you have noticed the dog drinking more water and you would expect to take it out more often;
? The dog can also become much slower and start losing more hair than normally;
? Aside from his hair issues, the skin might also become thinner and be more vulnerable to all kinds of infections;
? Eventually, the dog will also be more tired and give up on his favorite active times, becoming rather sedentary.
Because these are, however, general symptoms, the vet will have to rule out other diseases one by one. So there is no precise diagnosing method for the Cushing?s, but taking some blood and urine samples for testing is common practice. While the tests will not directly point to this disease, they can reveal particular health problems often associated with the Cushing?s: alkaline phosphatase, infections of the urinary tract or diluted urine, high cholesterol and so on.
Is there any cure?
Since the disease is caused by the malfunction of some glands, depending on what caused the malfunction, a lifetime treatment could work. If it is a tumor, it will very much depend on whether it is operable or not. If the tumor has spread around other internal organs, the forecast can be really bad, but otherwise, a lot of dogs have a normal life, even when suffering from the Cushing?s disease, as long as they take the right medication for the rest of their lives.
Considering all these aspects, it is highly important that you pay close attention to your dog?s habits and personality, just so you can spot any sudden behavior or health changes as fast as possible.