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The Most Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms and Treatment

Common dog illnesses are concerning because they can lead to fatalities if the signs aren't spotted early. In this post, our Fort Worth vets offer advice about how to identify dog illnesses and symptoms.

Common Dog Illnesses

Dogs can die from common illnesses if they are not cared for properly. Some common illnesses are difficult to identify, so it is important to bring your dog in for regular checkups to keep them healthy. 

Bookmark this blog post about dog illnesses and symptoms, and use it as a quick checker. Please don't hesitate to contact our Fort Worth vets if you notice any concerning signs of illness. Here are three common dog illnesses and their symptoms that pet owners should look out for.


There are different types of cancer, including skin, bone, and breast cancer, malignant lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcomas. These all can plague dogs as they enter their older years. Cancer is more common in some breeds than in others because of genetic factors. Environmental factors can also cause cancer in pets.

Thanks to research, dogs can live longer today than they did years ago. Advancements in veterinary medical care and various vaccines have also been made. We also see more incidents of certain diseases.

Causes & Symptoms

Early detection can sometimes be difficult if little to no symptoms appear. This is why pet owners should be aware of these classic symptoms of cancer:

  • Lumps or bumps
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Lameness or swelling in bones or other parts of the body

Depending on the type of cancer your pet is diagnosed with, your vet may recommend having it removed surgically. There may also be options to treat or cure the disease to prolong your dog’s life. Early detection and treatment of cancer is critical to survival.

Ear Infections

If your dog is constantly scratching their ear or shaking their head, whining, or exhibiting other concerning behavior, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Your vet can examine your dog to confirm whether they may have an ear infection.

Potential causes include moisture in the ears, allergies, autoimmune disorders, and wax buildup.

Causes & Symptoms

In addition to the signs mentioned above, symptoms include:

  • Swelling or redness in the ear canal
  • Dark discharge
  • Pain
  • Odor
  • Itchiness
  • “Crustiness” or scabs

It’s important to see your vet for quick treatment to keep the infection from spreading to other parts of the ear and leading to more serious conditions such as facial paralysis and deafness.


Dogs can contract this highly contagious viral disease from an infected dog’s feces or virus particles, which can survive in the environment for months. Though people and dogs who have not received all of their vaccines are most susceptible, many dogs who receive timely, prompt treatment can be saved.

Causes & Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (usually bloody)
  • Fever
  • Weakness

Parvovirus can be prevented with puppy vaccines and booster shots. Parvovirus must be treated as it can lead to bone marrow damage, bacterial pneumonia, chronic heart disease, and even sudden death.

What to Do if Your Dog is Ill

If you see any of these symptoms appear in your dog, it’s critical to get them to a vet as soon as possible. At  A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel, we have onsite specialists and diagnostic services, and an urgent care clinic to help diagnose and treat your pet’s most challenging health conditions.

Our Fort Worth veterinarians are experienced in treating serious illnesses. Book an appointment today if you are seeing signs of illness in your dog.

New Patients Welcome

We're accepting new patients at A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals in Fort Worth. Get in touch today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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