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Common Illnesses In Dogs

Common Illnesses In Dogs

There are a number of common dog illnesses that can present concerning symptoms or even be deadly if untreated. Today, our Riverside County veterinarians share advice about health problems to watch for.

Common Dog Illnesses

Dog parents need to be vigilant and prepare to visit their vet for a physical exam and diagnosis if needed. Read on to learn about 3 common illnesses that affect dogs.


Because our pets are living longer thanks to advancements in veterinary care including vaccines, therapies and treatments, we also see more incidents of certain diseases.

Causes & Symptoms

Different types of cancer affecting a dog's skin, bones, and breast tissue, malignant lymphomas, and soft tissue sarcomas can affect dogs as they enter their later years. Cancer is more common in some breeds than in others because of genetic factors, but some cancers are affected by environmental factors.

Though early detection can sometimes be difficult if little to no symptoms appear, some symptoms of cancer include:

  • Lumps or bumps
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Lameness or swelling in bones or other parts of body

Depending on the type of cancer, a tumor could be removed surgically, and there may be options to treat or cure the disease or improve your dog's comfort and longevity. Early detection and treatment are critical to survival.

Ear Infections

If your dog is suddenly scratching at their ear or shaking their head more often, whining, or exhibiting other relatively new forms of concerning behavior, a vet can examine them to find out whether they may have an ear infection.

Potential causes include moisture in the ears (a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast), allergies, autoimmune disorders, wax buildup, and more.

Causes & Symptoms

In addition to the signs mentioned above, symptoms include:

  • Swelling or redness in the ear canal
  • Dark-colored discharge
  • Pain
  • Odor
  • Itchiness
  • 'Crustiness' or scabs

It’s important to see your vet for quick treatment to keep the infection from spreading to other parts of the ear and leading to more serious conditions like facial paralysis and loss of hearing.


Dogs can contract this highly contagious viral disease from an infected dog’s feces or virus particles, which can survive in the environment for months. Though people and dogs who have not received all of their vaccines are most susceptible, many dogs who receive timely, prompt treat can be saved.

Causes & Symptoms

Symptoms include:

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

Parvovirus can be prevented with puppy vaccines and booster shots. It’s imperative that parvovirus is treated as it can lead to bone marrow damage, bacterial pneumonia, chronic heart disease and even sudden death.

Steps To Take If Your Dog Is Ill

If you see any of these symptoms appear in your dog, it’s critical to get them to a vet as soon as possible. At Providence Animal Hospital, we have onsite specialists, diagnostic services, and an emergency clinic to help diagnose and treat your pet’s most challenging health conditions.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing signs of illness, contact our Riverside County vet team to book an appointment. Our veterinarians are experienced in diagnosing and treating serious illnesses.

New Patients Welcome

Banning Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients. Our experienced and compassionate vets care about the health of animals across Riverside County. Contact us today in order to book your first appointment.

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Book Online (951) 849-3864