9 Most Common Dog Diseases You Need to Know About

Have you ever wondered about what are the most common diseases that affect dogs? Believe me or not, there are several ailments that dogs are susceptible to that are fairly common and can be easily treated. Some of these ailments are not serious, but if left untreated, some of them can pose serious health risks for your dog.

It is important for pet owners to be informed of the signs and symptoms of these diseases so that their pets can be treated as soon as possible. In this blog post, I will share 9 common dog diseases and their corresponding symptoms and treatments.

Let’s get started.

Related: What to Get Someone Whose Dog Died

The Most Common Dog Illnesses

Below are some most common dog diseases with their symptoms and treatment. I want to make sure that your little pup is okay.

1. Dog Flu

Dog Flu

Dog flu is one of the most common illnesses. It is also known as the canine influenza virus (CIV) and it is a highly contagious disease. This disease can be transferred from dog to dog through contact with bodily fluids, such as nasal discharge and saliva, which may occur during the course of normal activity such as sharing food bowls or toys or playing together.

Symptoms of Flu

Following are some symptoms of dog flu:

  • High Fever or Temperature
  • Tiredness
  • Eye Discharge
  • Runny Nose
  • Cough

If your dog shows these symptoms, you should take him/her to the vet as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.

2. Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure in dogs is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, just as it is for humans. One form of heart disease that commonly affects older dogs is congestive heart failure (CHF). With CHF, the heart becomes unable to pump enough blood throughout the body to meet its needs.

Which causes fluid to build up in various parts including the lungs and abdominal cavity. This causes breathing difficulty and bloating which are two primary symptoms associated with CHF. If your dog has congestive heart failure then you should do proper treatment because the survival time is expected to be between 6 and 14 months.

Symptoms Heart Failure

The following are the most common symptom of CHF.

  • Cough that has either no cause or cannot be controlled
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Increased respiratory effort
  • Nasal discharge
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Fatigue
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Fainting spells

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Related: Kennel Cough in Dogs & Things You Need to Know

3. Parvovirus


This disease often referred to as canine parvo is an extremely contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It can be transferred to other pets through contact with feces containing the virus.

This may be brought on by playing in areas where other dogs have recently defecated or through contact with an infected dog’s bodily fluids. It is also called deadly dog disease because till now there is no treatment for parvovirus.


The symptoms of parvovirus are very serious that can lead to the death of your pet.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (often severe)
  • Lethargy
  • High fever
  • A painful abdomen
  • Loss of appetite

Some cats are also vulnerable to this disease so owners should keep their cats away from any areas where they might come into contact with contaminated feces. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for parvovirus.

4. Giardia


Giardia is caused by an intestinal parasite called Giardiasis which is acquired when dogs ingest the feces of infected animals or come into contact with contaminated water sources. It infects older dogs but more frequently infects puppies.

Symptoms of Giardia

Symptoms of giardia are not easy to trace but below are some most common you can see.

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss despite normal appetite
  • Poor coat condition
  • Chronic intermittent diarrhea

If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, make sure to go to a vet. The good news is that this disease is curable and your dog can fully recover from their giardia infection within 1 to 2 weeks.

5. Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

This disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia which is transmitted through the bite of infected ticks. Most cases are reported in the U.S, but can also be found in other areas around the world including Canada, Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and China.

Your pet may come into contact with these ticks while playing outside or they may even pick them up on their fur during their daily outdoor routines.


Symptoms of Lyme disease are the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Lameness (involving one or more legs)
  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If your dog has symptoms of Lyme disease, you can give him/her antibiotics that will kill the bacteria. But it is a good practice to visit a vet for confirmation.

6. Toxoplasmosis


Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled organism, Toxoplasma gondii, capable of infecting both dog and owner alike. This disease affects pregnant dogs just as it does humans and cats.

Toxoplasmosis Symptoms in Dogs

Since protozoa are found in all body tissues, the symptoms of this illness are different from other.

  • FeverDiarrhea
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Paralysis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Coughing or breathing difficulties
  • Eye inflammation

If you can get to the vet on time, there is a 95% chance that your pet will recover from toxoplasmosis however, if their symptoms have advanced beyond the first stage then they may need to stay on the medication indefinitely.

7: Heartworm Disease

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is caused by parasitic worms called Dirofilaria immitis which reside in the heart, pulmonary arteries, and blood vessels of your pet. Heartworm disease is a very serious condition that can lead to death if left untreated.


Although many dogs show no symptoms of heartworm disease during their first year of infection, about 20% will exhibit some type of clinical sign. But still there are some common symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Bulging ribs

If you notice any respiratory problems such as shortness of breath or rapid breathing then make an appointment with your veterinarian at once.

8. Cryptococcus


It is a fungal disease that affects an animal’s respiratory system and nervous system. Discharge from the eyes and nose, loss of appetite, depression, fever, coughing, and abnormal breathing are all symptoms.

Symptoms of Cryptococcus

In general, symptoms of cryptococcosis include following:

  • Chest pain
  • Dry cough
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Unusual and excessive sweating at night
  • Swollen glands

The list of symptoms is long so make sure to act as soon as you discovered any of this in your dog.

9: Dermatomyositis


Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of skin and muscle tissue which can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Your dog’s muscle tissue becomes weak as a result of this disease, so they may not be able to stand or walk properly let alone do normal activities such as fetching or running around.


If your dog is experiencing any of the following symptoms then they may have dermatomyositis:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor appetite
  • Stiffness in their legs or abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate

Since there isn’t any medication that can cure dermatomyositis in dogs, your vet will run tests to determine if your pet has this type of disease through the use of blood tests and X-rays.

Frequent grooming is also necessary for your pets. So ask your vet about the best way to groom them at home. If you’re unable to take care of this yourself then make sure to take them on a regular basis to get groomed by professionals at least once per month.

Related: Bathing Your Dog Like a Pro-Vet

Final Words

There are so many diseases that can affect your pet, it’s important to remain vigilant of any changes in their behavior and appearance. It may be difficult at first but make sure to create a checklist before you visit the vet for an examination.

One final note of caution is that many illnesses are fatal if left untreated which means you should take your pet to the vet immediately for a diagnosis instead of trying home remedies or new supplements you found online that may end up harming them even more.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q. How to Identify Dog Illness Symptoms?

Ans: It’s important for you to know the warning signs of dog illness so that you can get your pet the help it needs as soon as possible. Here are a few of the most common symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Changes in behavior, such as becoming lethargic or inactive, refusing to eat or drink, panting more than usual, acting restless or irritable coughing and sneezing.
  • Swellings or lumps on the body
  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting of one specific area
  • Abnormal bleeding, such as from the nose, mouth, rectum, or eyes
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, don’t wait – take him to the vet right away. Many illnesses can be treated successfully if caught early, but if left untreated they can lead to much more serious health problems. So keep a close eye on your pup and be prepared to take quick action.

Q. How Many Dog Illnesses Are There?

Ans: There are many dog illnesses out there, but according to the Animal Welfare Institute, there are more than 20. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some can even be deadly if not treated properly.

It’s important to keep your dog healthy by taking him or her for regular checkups at the vet and also by being aware of the most common canine illnesses. That way you can nip them in the bud before they have a chance to take hold. Stay vigilant and your pup will always be wagging his tail.

Q. How Long Does Old Dog Disease Last?

Ans: It’s hard to say exactly how long old dog disease will last, as the illness can vary depending on the individual pet. However, most dogs eventually recover within two to three weeks – though it’s important to provide them with plenty of supportive care during that time.

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