The subject of dog health is a well researched area in modern veterinary medicine. There are literally hundreds of breeds of dog and their individual histories and quirks which can be studied to lead to improvements and discoveries. In the past, dog health was often treated as an afterthought by veterinarians, with little concern given to it. This has changed dramatically over the last few years with more attention being paid to dog health than in the past.
The biggest area that has changed is the area of natural dog health care. Veterinarians have known for some time that certain breeds of dog are prone to particular conditions or may be predisposed to certain diseases. For many years it was simply brushed off as one of those cases of nature overcoming them. Now there is enough evidence out there to suggest that dog health care needs to be taken very seriously indeed.
Parasites are probably the most common cause of disease in dogs and yet despite all the knowledge we now have about parasites there are still a lot of debate about their cause and their control. It is thought that dogs may become infected by ticks and fleas although this is not proven. Toxoplasmosis is a cause of infection by bacteria which is found in many environments including the home. This too is an environmental parasite but there is no evidence that cats or other wild animals carry it.
There are other factors apart from parasites, which are now being looked at in relation to dog health care needs. Many vets now carry out microchip vaccinations, which will give your dog a tag to wear so that if they ever get lost they can be found. These vaccinations are normally only given to dogs over the age of two but they are a real security to have for your pet dog.
Veterinary medicine is also looking into the effect of diet and food on the progression of cancer and dog obesity. One of the causes of dog obesity is a change in feeding habits. It is thought that the introduction of tinned food which contains more meat, milk and sugar has led to an increase in the cases of obesity in dogs. Veterinary nutritionists are working closely with the food manufacturers to develop foods that are nutritionally balanced and yet do not contain any artificial flavours or colours. It is hoped that over time the results of these experiments will see an end to the problem of dog obesity.
The relationship between fleas and heartworm is also being investigated in relation to canine illness and disease. Fleas transmit parasites to dogs through their bites and the heartworm disease that they cause is particularly severe in dogs that have a predisposition to it. An important part of fighting this disease is getting flea control into the routine of your dog’s vet. It is now understood that fleas are the main cause of heartworm disease in dogs and that controlling your dog’s environment so that there is no chance of your dog coming into contact with the parasites is one of the most effective ways of stopping your dog suffering from heartworm. It is always recommended that you consult with your veterinary doctor before beginning any treatment for your pet.