Common health problems in dogs and cats

With a good and varied diet, sufficient exercise and regular check-ups at the vet, you can do a lot as owner to ensure good health for your animal. Despite all the good care, there are sometimes health problems. We discuss some common health problems in dogs and cats and give tips on how to deal with them.

Common Dog Health Problems

Several factors are important for good health in your dog. For example, your dog needs enough exercise to stay fit and feel good. A healthy and varied diet is also important. Finally, by having your dog checked by a veterinarian at least annually, you can detect any problems in time and respond to them.

Some common common health problems in dogs include:

  • Hotspots: A hotspot is an open wound that is caused by the dog itching and excessive licking or biting. Hot spots are mainly found on the abdomen and head, but they can also occur in other areas. A hotspot is a red spot that may bleed and is warm. It’s important to treat the spot, because if you don’t, it could get infected. You can ask the vet for advice on the treatment. In any case, it is important to keep the spot clean with lukewarm water, remove the hairs around the hot spot and make sure that the animal cannot reach it, so that the spot can heal.
  • musculoskeletal problems: Musculoskeletal problems include various conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation. These joint problems stand in the way of smooth movement. Hip dysplasia is the most common of the various conditions. Treatments for the various conditions include pain relief, but surgery is also possible. This way a joint can be replaced if necessary. Such operations are often drastic and expensive.
  • Gastric Problem: A stomach twist or torsion is not necessarily a common occurrence, but when it does it can be very dangerous if not treated immediately. A gastric torsion can be fatal and is very painful for the dog. During a gastric torsion, the stomach rotates on its axis. This closes the entrance and exit of the stomach and constricts blood vessels. You can recognize a gastric torsion by restless behavior, vomiting without anything coming out, whining and a distended abdomen. It is important to take the dog to the vet as soon as possible.
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Common Cat Health Problems

Of course, every owner wants his cat to be in good health. As an owner, you can play a role in this by ensuring a healthy and varied diet, coat and dental care, sufficient exercise and annual check-ups at the vet. There are also several health problems with cats that you can deal with. Among other things:

  •  Bladder Grit or Bladder Stones: Bladder stones and bladder stones are unfortunately common health problems in cats. It means that there are small or large crystals in the cat’s urine. The symptoms resemble those of a bladder infection. For example, your cat will often go to the box, there may be blood in the urine and your cat may meow when urinating. Bladder stones can often be treated well with a special diet. Bladder debris (or stones) can clog the urinary tract. If the cat does not urinate on the box but does try, it is important to see a vet as soon as possible.
  • Combat abscesses: cats that go outside can sometimes have a conflict with a neighbor of their own kind. Sometimes this ends in a fight. The cats lash out at each other or bite each other, resulting in scratching and biting wounds. Bacteria from the nails or teeth can cause dirty wounds. The wounds are also a source of all kinds of infections. Sometimes an abscess develops at the site of the wound. That is a cavity under the skin, filled with pus. The skin there is swollen, red and may feel warm. Consult a veterinarian for treatment. Has your cat been injured in a fight? Make sure you clean it immediately by washing with lukewarm water and if possible also shaving the fur around the wound.
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Parasites in dogs

Dogs can suffer from various parasites. You can think of fleas, lice, ticks and worms. Some parasites themselves cause nuisance. For example, fleas cause terrible itching and sometimes even an allergy. In addition, parasites are often hosts of various nasty diseases and other (internal) parasites, which they can transmit to your dog. Fortunately, parasites can be effectively combated in various ways. Think, for example, of regular deworming, but also of checking for and removing ticks and the various (preventive) products that are available against fleas.

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Parasites in cats

Cats can also suffer from parasites and this can also cause harmful health problems for them. There are several options for cats to protect them from parasites or to help them once they are bothered by them.

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Vaccinate your dog

There are diseases that are highly contagious and can also be very dangerous for your dog. In dogs, for example, the diseases parvo, distemper and Weil’s disease are dangerous and nasty diseases. You can vaccinate your dog against this and protect him that way. How long the vaccination works depends on several factors. For example, puppies need to be vaccinated more often than adult dogs with a basic vaccination and different vaccinations have different periods of effectiveness. You can choose to repeat the vaccinations after a fixed period, but you can also do a so-called titer determination. This involves checking how many antibodies are present in the blood against a particular disease. If necessary, the vaccination can then be repeated.


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Vaccinate your cat

There are also some diseases in cats that are standard vaccinated against to prevent infection. The basic vaccination is against cat sickness and cat flu. In addition, cats can also be vaccinated against rabies, feline leukemia (leukosis), infectious feline peritonitis (FIP) and chlamydiosis

Outdoor cats have a higher risk of infection than indoor cats. But some diseases can also be carried inside as owner. It is therefore advisable to always give your cat the basic vaccination. The vaccination against cat flu should be administered annually, the vaccination against cat flu every three years. It is also possible for cats to apply a titer determination to discover whether it is already time for the booster vaccination.


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Your senior dog’s health

Just like with humans, the health of animals also deteriorates as they get older. A common health problem in older dogs is osteoarthritis. That is, wear and tear on the joints. Osteoarthritis makes movement more difficult. It is not curable, but with timely treatments you can slow the process and ease the pain. An older dog requires different care than a young dog. in the blog ‘Caring for an older dog’ we give you tips to make your pet’s old age as pleasant as possible.

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Your senior cat’s health

As the years pass and your cat gets a little older, age-related ailments can come with it. Sometimes these ailments are logical and harmless, but there are also health problems with more influence that occur in an older cat. Cats can also suffer from osteoarthritis. You can recognize this by the fact that your cat moves more slowly or maybe avoids the hard-to-reach places. Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, but the wear and tear process can be slowed down with the help of treatments and the pain can be alleviated. A vet can help you deal with this as best as possible.

Another health problem in older cats is kidney failure. Many cats suffer from this. It can be recognized by drinking a lot and urinating a lot. Vomiting and a loss of appetite can also be among the symptoms. Kidney failure can have several causes. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian for appropriate advice and treatment. Other health problems that can affect an older cat include diabetes, an overactive thyroid and dental problems. In the blog “What to look out for in an older cat?” You can read much more about caring for an elderly cat.

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