Seeing your pooch sick is no fun. You feel powerless. Fortunately, some of the most common and serious canine diseases can be avoided with vaccinations starting in the first few months of your pet's life, with updates as she grows. It also helps to know red-flag warning signs of some of the most life-threatening diseases -- cues that you should call your vet immediately:
Caused by: Canine distemper virus (CDV)
Symptoms: Eye discharge, either watery or pus-like. Symptoms escalate to coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and fever. If virus spreads to nervous system, it can cause seizures and possible paralysis.
Caused by: Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2)
Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea (may be bloody), loss of appetite, dehydration, lethargy, and fever. Most infected dogs die within 2 to 3 days of the first signs of infection, so take immediate action.
Caused by: Canine coronavirus (CCV)
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, reduced appetite, increased thirst, and weight loss. Similar to parvovirus, but generally more treatable.
Caused by: Leptospira bacterium
Symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice. Dogs who recover may have permanent kidney damage.
Caused by: Canine adenovirus 1 (CAV-1)
Symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain; can also cause lasting kidney damage.
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