The Most Common Medical Problems in Dogs.

Here in Orange County our dogs are an important part of our families. At Newport Harbor Animal Hospital they are as important to us as they are to you. Frequently our doctors and staff are asked what the most common medical problems we see in dogs at our hospital.

Continue reading to satisfy your curiosity and gain some helpful tips on the care of your dog.

10 Most Common Conditions from VPI Pet Insurance

1. Ear Infections

2. Skin Allergies

3. Skin Infection

4. Non-cancerous skin growths

5. Upset stomach

6. Diarrhea

7. Arthritis

8. Bladder infection

9. Bruise or contusion

10. Hypothyroidism

In our literature section you will find articles referencing these maladies.

Ear infections appear at number one on this list. Here in Orange County the environment and life style can contribute to this common problem. Allergies and swimming or frequent bathing will often predispose your dog to troublesome ear infections. Our doctors at NHAH will address the infection but more importantly give you some direction for maintenance care to help prevent reoccurrence of the infection. This can be a battle and we will work as a team to keep your dog's ears healthy. Routine ear cleaning will be a part of this. You can see Dr Carpenter's dog Marley getting her ears cleaned on our website How to clean your Dog's ears - Video. Routine cleaning is a great means of prevention and it also allows you to recognize problems early and come see us to have the ears evaluated.

Skin allergies and infections are a fact of life for many dogs in Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and the rest of Orange County. Needless to say, flea control is critical for all dogs in our beautiful climate (fleas love it here too). It is important to work together to pick out the best means of flea control to fit your dog's situation. Some skin infections are primary infections but others appear secondary to other illnesses such as allergies, parasites or problems with the immune system. It is very important to put all of your dog's health issues into consideration for the best treatment.

Skin tumors are extremely common as indicated on our list. At NHAH we will do a test called a fine needle aspirate on new growths. This allows us to determine if they are a threat to your dog and be sure that appropriate steps are taken.

Upset stomachs and diarrhea are common problems in many dogs. The causes can range from a very temporary upset from eating the wrong things to extremely dangerous causes like pancreatitis. Our doctors will work hard to find the cause. You can help us by carefully noting any changes in your dog including changes of diet, behavior at home and even stress. We have many tools available to differentiate between serious and not so serious causes. In some cases ongoing care with special diets will be very important.

Arthritis is a huge issue in our canine friends. It is also affected by a really common problem that doesn't appear on the list. 50% or more of the dogs we see with arthritis have weight issues and obesity. The single greatest improvement in the comfort of arthritic dogs can be made with weight control. This is one of the reasons frequent visits to our hospital is important. It is much easier to control weight when we see early changes rather that having to enroll in "The Biggest Loser". We will design a weight loss and weight control program for your pooch. It is very rewarding to see the dramatic difference this makes in your dog's life.

Arthritis can not be cured in most cases but it can be managed through a combination of treatments. Our doctors will work closely with you to be sure your dog's pain is managed.

As we go further down the list, bladder infections are often unnoticed until the condition has progressed and the symptoms are extreme. Knowing your dog's normal urinary habits is important. This will allow you to recognize a change in frequency, volume or the character of the urination as it happens. Routine laboratory work including a urinalysis helps to pick up early issues that can lead to urinary tract infections. Dr Sebzda our resident theriogenologist (OB-GYN for pets) will see anatomical problems with the vulva in many females that can lead to urinary tract infections. These can be handled in some cases by maintenance cleaning and others may need surgery. In either case the care will prevent further bladder infections.

We see many traumatic injuries at Newport Harbor. The active life style of many of our patients can lead to occasional injury. The best treatment is prevention. Control of your dog and observation of leash laws will help. Dog parks are a great socializing atmosphere and a ton of fun with your dog but extra care needs to be taken to be sure it is a safe environment. If your dog has not been around other dogs in this type of environment, start slowly and don't jump in without a leash. There are days you might need to just pass due to the number and types of dogs present. As a side note, please be sure to check with us so your vaccinations are current and you have adequate internal parasite, flea and tick prevention on board.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where your dog's body is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This is the hormone that controls the use of energy in your dog's body. It is evaluated on our regular panels and once detected is very treatable with medication.

As you can see, we have a lot to attend to here at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital. Our AAHA accredited hospital and staff are always here to answer questions and work as a team with you and your dog. Our goal in every case is a healthy pet and a happy client.

Call or come see us!

Our Pet Health Mission

Our mission at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital is: "To provide the highest quality veterinary care for our patients and the best service for our clients. Our goal in every case is a healthy pet and a happy client.

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