Our Four-Legged Loved Ones

By Jo Phillips

5 Diseases That May Be Causing Your Dog Silent Suffering Right Now

The last thing we want to see is our loved ones suffering. As ageing, illness, and obvious physical problems all affect mood, quality of life, mobility and longevity, addressing these concerns as soon as possible is imperative for responsible caretakers, family members and friends.

When dealing with such conditions in friends and family members, it is rather easy to ascertain the problem. People can vocalise their illnesses, pain and suffering – but our pets do not have such luxuries. While some pet illnesses can easily be seen, heard or otherwise detected, others fly under the radar for weeks, months or even years before the problem becomes apparent.

For conscientious dog owners, it’s heartbreaking to know that our four-legged friends are in pain. Yet all too many conditions develop and manifest without obvious indicators. To help pet owners ease the suffering of their companions, let’s review five specific diseases that may be causing silent pain and damage.

Pancreatitis

One of the most misunderstood organs in the bodies of humans and canines alike is the pancreas. A vital component responsible for regulating blood sugar, converting food into energy and aiding in digestion, the pancreas can be a tricky factor in ageing or otherwise ill dogs.

Pancreatitis in dogs is a very common problem, particularly in those who have reached a mature age. Pancreatitis in dogs manifests in a variety of ways, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and reduced appetite. These symptoms may not be present for years, yet underlying damage could already be occurring.

Regular vet check-ups, blood testing and a careful observation of any behavioural changes may detect this debilitating illness before it manifests. Bella & Duke provides a variety of high-quality, healthy raw food dietary solutions designed to minimise the development of pancreatitis in dogs, all while ensuring they receive the nutrition they need. If you’re concerned about this condition in your dog, use Bella & Duke’s article to help ascertain their situation.

Kidney Diseases

Adrenal conditions are a common problem in dogs, developing usually in the latter half of life. A variety of adrenal and kidney conditions can affect pets of all ages, with some common examples being general kidney disease, kidney infections and kidney failure. Symptoms of these conditions can manifest through increased water intake, weight loss, bloody urine, vomiting, diarrhoea and bad breath.

Kidney problems may be caused by exposure to toxins or an inadequate diet reliant predominantly upon grains and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, most dogs never vocalise any pain or distress, making it very difficult to confirm these suspicions without veterinarian diagnosis. The kidneys in a dog can deteriorate by anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths before any visible symptoms are observed.

If your dog is exhibiting any of the aforementioned symptoms on a consistent basis, then proper blood-work and urine analysis from a vet is highly recommended. Many kidney issues can be treated if caught early enough, reducing the chances of an early demise for your dog.

Osteoarthritis

Painful joints are considered by some to a natural part of ageing, but unlike people who can seek treatment and remedies, dogs cannot describe this discomfort. Being aware of the indicators of this common problem is crucial in maximising the life expectancy and mobility of your canine friend.

Factors such as obesity, age, and poor nutrition naturally cause osteoarthritis, but there are other factors to consider as well. Larger dogs tend to disproportionately suffer from this condition, as more weight and stress is placed on their joints.

If your ageing dog is having difficulty getting up, jumping, running or demonstrates pain when being touched, then a vet visit is in order. A variety of joint supplements, NSAIDs and/or exercise treatments may be able to alleviate this pain in your four-legged friend.

Periodontal Diseases

Without opposable thumbs, dogs can’t exactly be expected to brush their own teeth. Yet all too many dog owners forget about dental hygiene and how it can impact them just as much as it would us. Tooth pain, swollen gums, abscesses and other forms of periodontal disease are not comfortable experiences – yet our pups cannot tell us what they’re feeling.

Regular dental cleanings with your vet can mitigate these problems if done from a young age, as can the use of a variety of chew toys and dog food selections that minimise plaque build-up. If you’ve ever experienced a sore tooth, abscess or broken molar, then you know how awful the experience can be: don’t let your puppy experience the same. 

Cancer

The prevalence of cancer in humans and dogs alike is startling. Many people aren’t necessarily aware of their cancer until it has progressed rapidly: in dogs, the situation can be even worse. While acute cancer pain may present visibly in dogs, it is often an underlying condition manifesting in a variety of subtle ways.

Given that cancer can affect any part of the body, it is possible to mistake any side-effects as related to one or more other conditions (including simple ageing). For most dogs aged seven or older, regular vet check-ups are necessary and can help detect the development of cancer-related conditions sooner than would otherwise be found. This could be the difference between life and death for your pup.

While some forms of pain and poor health can be easily seen in our four-legged friends, others hide under the surface. Our pets cannot always tell us how they feel – this is why it is vital for us to observe them, take into account any irregularities, and immediately seek treatment. These five conditions are but a few examples of health problems that may be plaguing your dog if he or she is showing a variety of symptoms that cannot otherwise be explained.

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