Here are 4 familiar dog diseases and their symptoms for anybody who loves dogs

From ringworm infections to kennel cough and diabetes, dogs can suffer from different diseases throughout their life cycle. As pet parents, it is essential to identify the signs and symptoms of common diseases so veterinary help can be sought in good time. We have put together a list of common dog diseases and their symptoms.

Ringworm Infection

  • Contrary to its name, ringworm is caused by a fungus and can spread to humans and other pets. The fungal infection affects the top layer of skin, hair, and nails. It can cause patchy and circular areas of hair loss. It can also lead to scaly, itchy ears. Ringworm is also known as dermatophytosis and requires anti-fungal treatment.

It is a contagious disease that can be transferred from one pet to another. The disease can also be contracted by touching a surface that an infected pet has touched. A veterinarian runs a fungal culture or a skin scrape to identify and diagnose ringworm. If your dog has skin lesions, consult a veterinarian and seek immediate medical attention.


  • Heartworm disease or dirofilariasis is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by a blood-borne parasite. Adult heartworms reside in the heart, pulmonary artery, and large blood vessels of infected dogs. The parasite is transmitted in canines through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The parasite develops and reaches its infective stage inside the mosquito. The parasite is transferred to the dog’s blood when this infected mosquito bites the dog. Once the parasite is inside the dog’s blood, it continues to grow and develop inside the dog for the next three months. As many as 300 heartworms can live and reproduce inside a dog. They can live up to 5 years.


  • The infected dog cannot run and tires quickly.
  • The dog displays a moderate cough and has difficulty breathing.
  • The dog may become exercise intolerant.
  • In case of severe infection, the dog shows signs of labored breathing.
  • As the disease progresses, the dog begins showing heart failure signs.

Kennel Cough

  • Kennel cough describes several bacterial and viral respiratory infections. In this condition, the dog’s voice box and windpipe become inflamed. It is similar to a chest cold in humans. Dogs can catch kennel cough from aerosols in the air, from infected dogs, or from contaminated objects.

Dogs that live in enclosed areas with poor air circulation, like kennels, are more likely to acquire kennel cough. Although it is not very serious, kennel cough is contagious and can be passed on to other dogs. Common symptoms of kennel cough are:

  • Dry cough with a honking sound
  • The dogs appear healthy but have a persistent cough
  • Gagging and nasal discharge
  • Fever


  • dog diseases and their symptomsDeficiency of the hormone insulin or impaired response to insulin leads to the development of diabetes in dogs. When insulin is not utilized correctly, blood glucose levels begin to increase. The consistently elevated blood glucose levels can lead to severe complications and health problems in dogs. Diabetes is an incurable but manageable disease.

Dogs with controlled blood sugar levels can lead a happy and everyday life. Excessive hunger, thirst, increased urination, weight loss, lethargy, and dehydration are common symptoms of diabetes. If your dog shows any of these signs, see your vet immediately. Untreated diabetes can lead to secondary health problems, including vision loss, cataracts, urinary tract infections, etc.

Get Professional Help With Dog Diseases And Their Symptoms

If your dog shows signs of these diseases, consult a veterinarian immediately. At Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center, we provide urgent care to your pets. We have the experience and technology to handle all types of healthcare needs of your pets. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available. Call us at 434-971-9800.