Dog Health Management

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From the time you purchase your puppy. You invariably signed a contract with the veterinarian. And as far as your pet’s health is concerned, he is your best friend.

Once you get the puppy, take him over to the vet of your choice and have him registered. The vet would go over him thoroughly, taking note of those things you have missed while purchasing your pet. He will also get to meet your doggy. From here, you will be given a schedule of vaccination he would need to take, and routine check ups may also be scheduled.

Vaccinations your dog would need at his early age taken care of four major diseases – Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus and para influenza (DHLPP).  After the initial two inoculations of the vaccine, he is required to come for yearly boosters.

Other vaccination include;- Rabies vaccine (but this depend on the country you live in), because the disease has been totally eradicated in some countries.


Internal (Endo) parasites – Major internal parasite in the dog include: the tapeworm, roundworm abd hookworm.

Tapeworms :- Dogs can be affected by tapeworms at any age. The tapeworm is usually transmitted from dog flies, or may be stained when dogs feed on infected sheep meat. the tapeworm appears in the faeces of infected dogs and appear like ’ rice grains’, and many times the dog itches at its anal region which is due to the worms attached tightly to this area.

Control :- if noticed, take your dogs to your vet.

Prevention:- Prevention is better than cure, and calls for stricter hygiene measures. Always use flea shampoo when washing or bathing your dog, and control the flea population in your abode by routine disinfection and fumigation.


They are almost certainly present in all puppies. Puppies become infected either through contact with contaminated feaces, or vertically, through their mother, as the worms are transmitted through the uterus

Control and prevention

Puppies can be protected by dosing the dam during pregnancy with the appropriate dewormer, this preventing materials transmission. Another option is to deworm the puppies during their third week of life and repeat during the sixth to seventh week.

The veterinary doctor will advice you on the routine deforming to carry out till the dog is 6 months old.


*  Deworming your dog is very important because roundworm infection become zoonotic ( I.e transmission of disease between man and animal). The roundworm can be the cause of a eye condition in your kids that cuddle him

*  Do not attempt to deworm your dog yourself except you are properly instructed. Overdosage could kill your pet..


By ectoparasites, we are referring to those parasites that live on the body of your pet . They include fleas, ticks and lice. The dog is highly prone to infestation with flea et all because they  reside in the environment, and the dog gets to come in contact with them everyday.


A high number of skin problems encountered in dogs can be traced back to the flea. They are small, agile and have a characteristics hopping movement. They cannot be easily seen with the naked eye, but may be viewed under the microscope in scrapings taken from the skin of the dog.

Symptoms and signs

The dog may be observed to itch and scratch itself persistently, and as flea burden grows, it becomes restless and snappy.


There are many product in the market that can be used to eliminate and control fleas. You may have to utilize the sprays available to fumigate the environment regularly because re-infestation usually occurs after a resting period.

Your veterinarian would advise you on how to administer topical application being sold safely on your dog. Non-toxic oral preparations (tablets) are also now available which are routinely given to the dog every month.


Flea control is very important because they also serve as reservoir hosts to the same tapeworms. Flea combs can also be used, but they are not recommended.


Ticks come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colours. They feed on the blood of the dog, and help to transmit many diseases ( including tick fever). When feeding on the blood, they can get so engaged as to increase in size over ten times their normal size. The adult female lays a lot of eggs, which hatch and remain in the environment, waiting for a host (dog) to attach to.


Regular washing or bathing of the dog should include the use of anti-tick shampoo preparations. Also, there are parental preparation which get into the skin and dislodge ticks. Pour on may also be used.

* the dog kennel should be routinely fumigated to get rid of tick and their eggs.


Lice are also very small insects and usually tend to occur in groups. They lay eggs which also hatch into several others and they are easily to be easily  be transmitted from dog to dog. They also cause itching in the dog.


*  General sanitation ( keep the environment clean)

*  Use of insecticidal preparations or shampoo


*  The dog may go off- feed (i.e becomes anorexic)

*  Dullness

*  Unthriftiness- the animal looks dull with starry, tangled or dull coat ( I.e the coat loses it’s luster)

*  Swollen abdomen followed by panting and salivation.

*  Continuous vomiting.

*  Diarrhea. It may contain blood or not. You can always detect diarrhea by noting the feaces-stained anal region or tail

*  Shivering and spasms.

*  Difficult breathing evidenced by a gasping dog.

*  Loss of consciousness.

*  Bleeding from body openings.

*  Signs of pain which include crying, squealing etc .

*  Lameness

*  Constipation and severe straining to pass feaces.

*  Anuria (lack of urination)

*  Pale mucous membranes ( including that of the eyes), pale gums, etc.

*  Discharge from the eyes causing the eyelids to glue to the eye, discharges from the nose etc.

*  Loss of weight or emaciation .

*  Abnormality swellings or parts of the body

*  Hair loss and itching

*  Mucus in feaces which may be a sign of worms.


knowing how to go about administering first aid to your pets, and having the items you need within your reach is an important aspect of health management. If an emergency situation arise, your knowledge of first aid would help to keep your pet going until you can get her to veterinary clinic.

Situation that may require first aid include:-

Bleeding – Bleeding may occur due to cuts from sharp objects e.g the dog may run into a sharp protrusion, or attempting to pass through a hole in a wire fence etc.

Treatment Apply pressure over the area until bleeding stops, deep wounds will require stitching and the vet’s attention will have to be called upon.

Sores – A dog may develop sores on its skin for several reasons. Some of which include flea bite, persistent itching, allergic reaction to an internal or external substance. Many times, sores are -inflicted due to the dog’s preoccupation with an itch.

Treatment : Eliminate cause. More often than not, flea are the cause of itching, and dog should be treated for fleas.

Bite wounds Dog fights often result into one or both of the dogs sustaining severe injuries.

Treatment :- Because most dog bite wounds are deep ( puncture wounds), they are prone to infection, and the animal will require antibiotics shots. Clean the wound with saline or clean water. Apply pressure to stop aby bleeding, and get the animal to the veterinary clinic.

Burns :- could be cause by electrical shocks, chemical substances or heat. Symptoms include blistering, exudation, redness and swelling of the skin.

Treatment :- flush the area with copious amounts of cold water. If available, aplly ice wrapped in a towel over the burnt area for some minutes. Get the animal to the vet.

*    seizures :- seizures could be due to several reasons. Symptoms include violent muscle spasms, salivation, unconsciousness etc.

Treatment – place the animal in a safe area to prevent him from injury himself. Keep the area as quiet as possible to enable the animal remain calm, and call for the veterinary attention.

Vomiting :-could be the result of several factors including obstructions.

Treatment :– withhold food for 12-24 hours. Allow it to take water after the vomiting stops if it shows interest. Call for the veterinary attention.

Shock : your dog may go into shock after bien involved in an accident causing severe infury. Signs include irregular breathing and dilated pupils.

Treatment :- rinse lower body to allow blood flow to the brain, and keep animal quiet and warm. Call for immediate veterinary attention.

Fractures: fractures would occur when your pet is involved in an automobile or domestic accident. Signs include limb spread out in an awkward fashion, favoring of limb, pain etc.

Treatment : control any bleeding that may occur, and give support to the point of fractures to prevent further complications.

* Do not attempt to set or repair fracture. Get the dog to the vet immediately.

Heat stroke or exhaustion

Dog become prone to heat stroke during very hot weather, more so, when ventilation is poor e.g leaving them inside a hot room or car during summer without air conditioning.

Signs include labored breathing, panting, high body temperature. Etc


A case of heat stroke should be approached as an emergency  and immediate resuscitation is required. Place animal in a bath tub containing cold water. Use your hand to work the water into its coat properly. Do not stop until the dog shows some sign of normal breathing.

Snake bite and insect bite: dogs may get bitten when they attempt to attack or ‘play’ with  snake e.g  when they are roaming in the garden. It is usually for you to know if you are not present.

Signs and symptoms include;-

– swelling up of the dog’s face

– Breathing problems e.g panting.

Treatment locate the bite wound and thoroughly wash, before ‘hurrying’ the dog the vet. Do not attempt to ‘suck out’ the venom yourself. Insects such as the bee and wasp ,ay also sting your dog. Apply soothing cream or ointment to the spot. You may seek for veterinary assistance if it swells up and seems out of control.


Dogs are always picking thing up to chew them e. g toys, bones, sticks etc. they sometimes get there materials stick up in their throat, leading to choking etc.

Signs include blue tongue, difficult breathing etc.


Open the mouth to view and see if you can locate the foreign object. Try removing it with tweezers if it is not lodge too deep into the throat. If deeply lodged, you may have to get the dog to the veterinary clinic for sedation and removal.


Your dog may get poisoned by picking up and eating some stuffs in the house meant for your use. E.g medicines (e.g aspirin), paint, detergents, chemicals (e.g fertilizer), rat poison, cigarette ends etc.

Signs and symptoms include  vomiting, salivation, spasms or convulsion, weakness etc

Treatment ; obtain some samples of the ingested material if possible, and call on your vet immediately. The sample you go along with could assist the vet in knowing how exactly to treat your dog.

Content of a mini First Aid Box

  1. Cotton wool
  2. Bandage (both gauge and adhesive)
  3. Scissors
  4. Thermometer
  5. Syringes
  6. Antibiotics cream or ointment
  7. Soothing cream
  8. Forceps
  9. Eye drops etc


Zoonotic diseases refer to those infections which can be transmitted between man and animals i.e an infected animal with any of these diseases poses a health risk to man and vice versa.

* The zoonotic disease of prime importance between man and dog is rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that occurs in dogs. Dogs may become infected after being bitten by another rabid dog, coyote or bat. Normally , dogs are vaccinated against for virus when they are about 3 months, and thus inoculation is usually repeated annually ( ie an yearly booster doze is given)

If purchasing an imported dog, ensure that you cross check all the health particulars to see if the rabies vaccine has been administered. If nit, get the vet to carry out the innoculation. If you are veer bitten by a strong dog, ensure that you get to the hospital to lodge complaints, because the dog might well be rabid.

* Toxocara infection(Toxocara canis) this is a roundworm of dogs which is essentially present in the puppies. Children playing with the dog might become infected with the worm through contact with the infected  feces.

This can actually lead to blindness!

Action –

  1. Puppies should be routinely deformed until they are 6 months old
  2. Strict hygiene should be practiced especially with the disposal of dog feces.
  3. Children who cuddle puppies should always wash their hands thereafter.

* Ringworm – ringworms may sometimes cause patches on your dog. Contact with this  may cause the establishment of this disease on the skin of man.

*  Flea – are usually common on dogs. Through contact, they may migrate to man an cause irritation which will lead to itching. 

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