These days, DCM and dog food is the talk around town for pet owners. The spike in canine DCM cases in recent years is to thank for this. But even with this severe increase in the frequency of DCM, this heart disease is still extremely rare. Of course, it’s important for you to be aware of the disease as a pet owner, but the likelihood of your canine developing dilated cardiomyopathy is very low.
There are other more common diseases affecting dogs these days, and these are the ones you should be more concerned about as a pet owner. It’s time to stop worrying so much about DCM – unless your pet has a predisposition and genetic history of the disease – and start focusing more on these common canine diseases affecting pooches around the world.
The rabies virus affects animals – and humans – around the world, and it is way more common for a dog to contract rabies than it is to develop DCM. It is common for pet owners to invest in a rabies vaccination for their pets, and even for themselves. This disease is transmitted through bites from a rabies-infected animal. When gone untreated, rabies can cause seizures, paralysis, aggression, and even death.
Vaccinating your young dog against parvovirus is extremely important. When a dog contract parvo, vomiting, and diarrhea are the first symptoms. American Kennel Club says that this disease is “transmitted by exposure to contaminated feces. Causes vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment is intensive, requiring intravenous fluids and medications. Mainly a disease of unvaccinated puppies and dogs; younger pups are more likely than older dogs to die.”
Bordetella is not extremely common, but it is still more common for a dog to contract Bordetella than it is to develop dilated cardiomyopathy. Bordetella is transmitted from animal to animal through nasal secretions and it causes severe sneezing and coughing. The best course of treatment is through antibiotics, which can be prescribed by your vet.
Because dogs spend so much time outside, it is highly likely that your pup will come in contact with a tick over the course of its lifetime. Ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, and they love to latch onto dogs since these tiny creatures can hide within a dog’s fur for long periods of time. Lyme disease is 100% treatable when caught early enough, and just requires a hefty dose of antibiotics.
Leptospirosis is contracted from contaminated water that has been infected with the Leptospirosis virus. Without treatment, Leptospirosis can cause kidney and liver disease. Having your dog screened for this every now and then is extremely important since the symptoms often go unnoticed.
Distemper is transmitted the same way as Bordetella, but the symptoms are very different. Distemper in canines causes pneumonia and severe seizures and it is the leading cause of death in dogs. There is no cure for the disease, so it is crucial to vaccinate your pet with a distemper vaccination.