6 Most Common Dog Health Problems

Our dogs are faithful companions, and they depend on us for good care. To help your canine friend live a healthy life, it helps to know some of the most common health problems dogs face, their signs, and what you can do about them.

Common Dog Health Problem: Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common canine health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have with an ear infection include:

  • Head shaking or head tilting
  • Ear odor
  • Vigorous scratching
  • Lack of balance
  • Unusual back-and-forth eye movements
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge

A professional cleaning may be all your dog needs to clear up a painful ear infection, though surgery could be necessary if head shaking gets forceful enough to rupture a blood vessel. Ear infections can hurt, so always check with your vet about the best treatment for your pooch.

Common Dog Health Problem: Worms

Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are common internal parasites in dogs. And although any worm infestation can make your pooch uncomfortable, some, like hookworms, can be fatal in puppies. Signs your dog may have worms include:

  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Weight loss
  • A change in appetite
  • A rough, dry coat
  • Scooting
  • An overall poor appearance

The best way to diagnose a worm problem is with a visit to the vet. Treatment depends on which type of worm your dog has, but generally includes an oral medication and may require follow-up. Don't try treating worms yourself: A medication that kills roundworms, for example, doesn't kill tapeworms.