Common problems that affect dogs health include gum inflammation, vomiting, cysts, diarrhea, constipation, anal irritation and worms. More rare problems include heart disease, gastric torsion, fits, diabetes and kidney disorders.
Most of the common problems are treated by your vet and do not have a long-term treatment or poor prognosis. Gum inflammation can be avoided by feeding your dog a large raw bone occasionally to massage the gums and keep the tarter from forming on the teeth. Dry dog food does the same thing; just make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available. Do not give too many bones, as this can cause constipation. Gum problems usually arise when your dog ages and many owners actually clean their dog’s teeth daily, to maintain gum health.
Cysts are more common in older dogs, but sometimes a grass seed can bury itself under your dog’s skin and cause a cyst. Anal irritation is caused by an accumulation of secretion in the glands and is more common in male dogs. The dog will scrape its tail along the ground. Your vet can treat this problem. Worms only occur if you neglect to regularly worm your dog. In some countries heartworm is a problem and regular worming will save your dog from this illness.
The more serious diseases can be from age, genetics and diet. Gastric torsion can be lessened by not feeding your dog after heavy exercise. Deep chested dogs like the Doberman are more prone to this problem and immediate surgery is required, so do not hesitate in seeking help. Signs of torsion are a distended stomach and pain. Diabetes can be avoided by watching what you feed your dog. An overweight dog is just as susceptible to diabetes and heart disease, as an overweight human. Giving scraps from the table, bacon rind, biscuits, chocolate and ice-cream, may feel like you are giving your dog a special treat, but you are better off giving fruit or vegetables.
With any dog health problem that you notice, record the symptoms and do not hesitate to ring your vet for advice. He/she will soon tell you to take the dog in for examination if the symptoms you describe alert the vet to trouble. Early treatment is cheaper and your dog responding to treatment is quicker. Do not try the wait and see approach. You may find you sought help too late.