The Most Common Dog Diseases

Suddenly your beloved four-legged friend doesn’t want to eat anything anymore, he is weak or he howls with every step. As a caring master or mistress you know immediately: Something is wrong. But what could the dog have? We give you an overview of some of the most common dog diseases and their symptoms or treatment options.

Allergy/feed intolerance

Not only people suffer from allergies. Also more and more dogs react allergic for example to certain feed materials. As our survey of the most popular wet and dry food brands has shown, about one in six dogs suffers from food intolerance. But also contact or skin allergies can arise with the quadrupeds.


Allergies become noticeable in completely different ways. A feed intolerance causes among other things the following:

  • Itching
  • Wound areas
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea

With other allergies, the quadruped possibly develops red bumps in the fur. Outflow or pus from nose and eyes are also possible.


Often the cause of this dog disease is quickly found. As soon as you know the diagnosis, you should avoid further contact with the allergenic substance. For example, change your dog’s shampoo or choose a natural tick protection for your dog. You may have to dig a little deeper into your pocket to do this, but the change can be worth it.

An exclusion diet provides clarity if you don’t know what feeds your coat nose will react to. There is now a large selection of special dog food on the pet market. This is then cereal-free or contains only one source of meat. If you want to find out more about this topic, you can read our article Dogs with food intolerance: symptoms, diagnosis and treats.

Arthritis/arthrosis in dogs

Arthrosis is a painful joint disease that can also occur in dogs. It is caused by age-related wear and tear, genetic predispositions, overweight or intensive dog sport. The following areas are most frequently affected by this dog disease:

  • Knee
  • elbow
  • shoulder
  • vertebral column
  • hip

The risk that these dog illnesses appear with your darling increases with age. With arthrosis, the cartilage tissue continues to wear out, so that the joint cartilage painfully rub together. If there is joint inflammation, it is arthritis. Both types of joint disease cause severe pain and restrict the dog’s movement.


Dogs with arthrosis or arthritis increasingly move stiffly. Sometimes they even refuse to stand up at all. Is your usually very agile four-legged friend hardly able to get out of the basket? Does he howl when he gets up? These are clear signs. You can recognize this dog disease by the fact that the joints swell partially or you hear a crack when the animal moves. In any case, you should have the vet check it.


You have a sick dog, so what can you do? Unfortunately, there are no medicines that can cure him yet. However, you can alleviate the symptoms of these dog diseases by administering anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs to your pet.

Natural foods such as the green scarf or green-lipped mussel are also supposed to counteract the increasing wear and tear of the joints. You as dog owners can do even more to make the four-legged friend feel better soon! Put him on a diet if he is too heavy and avoid him jumping too much or climbing stairs. However, the dog still needs exercise. Short but more frequent walks and swimming trips are just right.

Eye diseases (eye inflammations & cataracts)

Whether by draughts while driving, light soiling and injuries or by congenital malpositioning of the eyelid: dog eyes can ignite quickly. It is important that you react immediately. Does the dog often rub his reddened eyes or even cloud his lens? This could indicate a cataract condition. Then it is best to go to a vet quickly. If he does not treat severe inflammations or progressive cataracts, the eye can be permanently damaged.


If there is an inflammation, your dog has red, glassy, watery or dull eyes, possibly even injuries to the eyelid. Outflow or pus on the eye are not uncommon. The animal also often rubs its eyes or blinks constantly. In cataracts, however, the lens becomes clearly cloudy and becomes milky to greyish.


Inflamed eyes can usually be easily treated with eye drops or ointments. Cataracts, on the other hand, can only be removed surgically. Whether this is possible with your coat nose, you discuss individually with the veterinarian. He will carry out examinations, make scans of the lens and weigh the risk in relation to the general health and age of your animal.

One thing is certain: the sooner eye diseases and their symptoms are detected in dogs, the more likely they are to be cured.

Hip dysplasia (HD)

In this case, the head of the femur does not fit properly into the socket. This causes friction on the loose hip joint, causing cartilage and bone to wear out. At an advanced age, osteoarthritis is the result. Large dog breeds in particular tend to this dog disease, although it is mainly hereditary. Although poor posture and nutrition may promote hip dysplasia, the malposition can be prevented by conscientious breeding.


Hip dysplasia usually develops within the first 15 months of life. Many dogs show few to no symptoms at this stage. On the one hand, dogs are considered to be quite pain-resistant, on the other hand, the suffering becomes worse if the joint wear increases. However, there are some signs of disease in your dog, especially at an advanced stage:

He is less active.

His gait changes so that the pelvis moves slightly sideways as he walks.

At the latest when your dog howls when he moves and feels his joints, or when he hears a slight crack, you should take him to the vet. With x-rays and special tests he can diagnose the severity of the dog’s disease.


You cannot heal HD, but you can only alleviate the symptoms with painkilling or anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, you can delay the progression of the disease similarly to osteoarthritis:

  • No climbing stairs or big jumps
  • swimming or small walks to prevent further joint damage or muscle weakness
  • Adjust diet in consultation with veterinarian
  • artificial hip insertion

Liver inflammation (Hepatitis contagiosa canis – H.c.c.)

Hepatitis contagiosa canis, abbreviated H.c.c., is a form of liver inflammation that can only be transmitted from animal to animal. This means that the dog disease does not spread to humans. Infection with the viruses occurs through faeces, urine and saliva.

Many dogs do not show any symptoms after the infection, but automatically form antibodies. If your four-legged friend actually falls ill, the liver inflammation shows up within two to five days. This infectious disease occurs very suddenly and acutely.


Possible signs of hepatitis in dogs are:

  • Fatigue
  • fever
  • apathy
  • stomach pains
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • feed refusal

Yellowish discoloration of the mucous membranes (jaundice, advanced stage)

An inflammation of the liver always progresses differently, so that the symptoms can also vary. In puppies and young dogs that have not yet been vaccinated against H.c.c., the infection is usually fatal.


Hepatitis contagiosa canis cannot be treated causally, but you can relieve the symptoms. If bacteria are involved, the veterinarian usually prescribes antibiotics. In addition, infusions ensure that the four-legged friend remains supplied with sufficient fluid. However, the best treatment is prevention: H.c.c is one of the obligatory vaccinations for dogs.