Most Common Dog Sicknesses Vets See

Sometimes our dogs seem invincible, but they are just as prone to falling ill as we are. From minor problems to emergencies, your local vet has probably seen it all. Take a look through some of the most common illnesses and injuries vets encounter.

Diarrhea and vomiting

It’s no surprise that gastrointestinal issues top the list. While dogs can stomach quite a bit, sometimes they find something that doesn’t sit well. Aside from an upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting could also be a sign of illness, ingestion of toxins, or something lodged in their intestines. Excessive diarrhea and vomiting should be addressed by a vet promptly.

Skin Infections

It’s not uncommon for dogs to develop skin infections. Rashes, bumps, and increased itching could mean an allergic reaction, fungal infection, or bacterial infection of the skin. Sometimes these spots, rings, and rashes can pass from dog to human, so it’s best to be cautious of unknown skin conditions until your vet checks it out.

Limping or immobility

When your dog isn’t walking properly on all fours, there could be various reasons why. Just like humans, dogs can twist or sprain their shoulders, knees, and wrists. They can also pull and tear muscles, joints, and ligaments. In some cases, limping and lameness could be a sign of a larger underlying issue like arthritis or dysplasia.


Dog play can get rough, which can sometimes lead to an unexpected trip to the vet. It isn’t uncommon for a vet to treat broken bones, torn muscles, lacerations, bite marks, or more. It’s also quite common for vets to see dogs who’ve been involved in a car accident.

Hormonal Disorders

It might be surprising to find that many dogs suffer from hypothyroidism, diabetes, and adrenal gland syndromes. Dog owners usually notice this due to unusual weight gain or loss despite a healthy diet, which can trigger questions and a trip to the veterinarian.

Behavioral Issues

Not all bad behavior is due to a bad dog or poor training, especially if it has not acted out like that before. Some behavioral issues can be an early sign of a health or mental issue that may require medication or treatment plans. Urinating in the house, for example, could be a sign of bladder issues or separation anxiety, which can cause a dog to chew up household items and bark.

Digesting Toxins

It seems as if almost anything can pass through a dog’s stomach, but sometimes, they get their mouth on something that could be dangerous and maybe even deadly. Digesting human medications, certain plants (like lilies), or chemicals, can be life-threatening. So, it’s best to bring your dog in if you think they’ve gotten into something toxic.

Eating Non-Edible Items

Aside from getting into toxic materials, our dogs like chewing other items—chew toys, shoes, and pillows. In some cases, your dog may not only tear apart an object but will actually swallow it, which can cause obstructions in the intestines. Digested objects usually need to be surgically removed.

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