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The Most Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms and Treatment

The Most Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms and Treatment

As a dog owner, it's important to pay attention to your furry friend's health. Some common illnesses in dogs can be serious and even deadly if left untreated. That's why our veterinarians at Clarksville want to share information on the most common health problems in dogs, including their symptoms and treatments, to help you keep your dog healthy and happy.

Common Dog Illnesses

As a dog owner, it's important to stay alert and ready to take your furry friend to the vet for a checkup and any necessary treatment. Here are common illnesses that dogs can experience, along with their symptoms and typical treatments recommended by veterinarians.


Our dogs live longer than ever because of better veterinary care and vaccines. But because they are living longer, they are also more likely to develop diseases like cancer during their lifetime.

Causes & Symptoms

Dogs can develop various types of cancer as they age, such as skin, bone, breast, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcomas. Certain dog breeds may be more susceptible to cancer due to genetic factors, while environmental factors can also play a role. Recognizing cancer in dogs can be challenging since symptoms may not be evident, but common indications of cancer in dogs include classic symptoms of cancer include:

  • Lumps or bumps
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Wounds that don't heal
  • Lameness or swelling in bones or other parts of body


If your dog has cancer, there may be different ways to treat it depending on the type of cancer they have. Surgery to remove a tumor could be an option, and there may be treatments that can help cure or manage the disease and improve your dog's quality of life.

Your dog may also need help managing pain and discomfort, and there are various treatments available, such as hot and cold packs, acupuncture, or topical medications, that can be tailored to your dog's specific needs. 

To increase your dog's chances of survival, detecting and treating cancer early is important. Regular wellness exams with your vet can help catch cancer at its earliest stages and help your dog live a longer, healthier life.

Ear Infections

If you notice your dog scratching their ear, shaking their head a lot, whining, or showing any other unusual behavior, it could mean they have an ear infection. Taking your dog to the vet to get checked can help identify the cause of the problem, which could be due to things like allergies, excess wax, or moisture in the ear. 

Causes & Symptoms

In addition to the signs mentioned above, symptoms include:

  • Swelling or redness in the ear canal
  • Dark discharge
  • Pain
  • Odor
  • Itchiness
  • "Crustiness" or scabs


If your dog is diagnosed with an ear infection, your vet will take the time to clean your dog's ear with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications appropriate for treating your pet's ear infection. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a topical medication and instruct you on how and when to apply it to your dog's ear at home.

With treatment in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within just a week or two. If your dog's ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment may be more challenging and may take months to resolve. In many cases, more severe cases result in chronic ear infections in dogs or repeated ear infections over the course of the pet's lifetime.


Dogs can get a very contagious virus from infected dog poop or virus particles that can last for months in the environment. Even though dogs and people who haven't gotten all their vaccines are more likely to get sick, sick dogs can still be helped if they get treatment right away.

Causes & Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (usually bloody)
  • Fever
  • Weakness


Parvovirus is a serious illness that can harm your dog's bone marrow, heart, and lungs, and even cause sudden death.

The best way to treat it is to prevent it from happening in the first place by getting your pup vaccinated and getting booster shots. Unfortunately, if your dog does get sick with parvovirus, there is no cure.

However, your vet can provide supportive care to help your dog recover from symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Your dog may also need antibiotics to fight off other infections that can happen when their immune system is weak.

It's important to make sure your pup stays hydrated and nourished during this time. 

What to Do if Your Dog is Ill

If you see any of the symptoms of the above three illnesses in your dog, it's critical that you get them in to see a vet as soon as possible. At Sango Veterinary Hospital, we have the services and diagnostic capabilities to help treat your dog's most challenging health conditions. 

Are you seeing signs of illness in your dog? Our veterinarians at Sango Veterinary Hospital are experienced in diagnosing and treating serious and illnesses. Book an appointment today.

New Patients Welcome

Sango Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clarksville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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