Dog Diseases

Dogs are at risk for a number of diseases. They are susceptible to both viruses and bacteria. Most dog diseases are not transferable to humans, but diseases like rabies and Lyme can be passed to humans.

Many dog diseases can be prevented through vaccination. One of the most important things you can do to improve your dog’s health is to keep him up-to-date on vaccinations.

Some vaccines need to be given every year, while others can last up to three years. Your veterinarian can make recommendations for vaccinations for your dog. However, even if your dog only gets some vaccines once every three years, it’s important to continue taking him to the veterinarian for a yearly check-up. During yearly examinations, veterinarians can catch problems and diseases early on, when they are easier to treat.

Core vaccines are vaccines that are recommended for almost all dogs. These include:

  • canine adenovirus-2 (hepatitis and respiratory disease)
  • canine parvovirus-2
  • distemper
  • rabies.

Other vaccines may also be recommended, depending on the types of dogs your dog comes into contact with, his age, the environment your dog lives in and a few other factors.

In this section, we’ll discuss all aspects of dog diseases, including symptoms, treatments, how to protect your dog and more. We’ll cover distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, corona virus, bortadella, rabies, giardia and Lyme disease.


Rabies is one of the most dangerous and harmful diseases a dog can get. The disease has no cure and can be transferred to humans through a bite or scratch. Dogs should be vaccinated against the rabies virus yearly.

Rabies affects a dog’s brain and is always fatal. Dog owners are required by law to vaccinate their pets yearly against rabies.


Distemper is a serious disease that affects a large number of dogs. The virus causes respiratory and nervous system problems and has symptoms that range from fever to diarrhea to seizures. Distemper will eventually cause death in most dogs that are infected.

Distemper is very contagious. Dogs can acquire it through the air, through urine and feces or through food and water sharing. Contact with toys or bedding of an infected dog can even spread the disease.

Because the disease is one of the most prevalent and widespread dog diseases, it’s important to vaccinate your dog against distemper.


Parvovirus, which is also known as parvo, is a very contagious dog disease. It can cause depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea and can even lead to death. The most common way a dog gets parvovirus is through contaminated feces or a cage that has carried an infected animal. Dogs can also transmit the virus through their feet and hair.

Parvovirus affects puppies more often than older dogs, but dogs of any age can be affected and there is no cure for the disease. Symptom relief is the only partial treatment.

Without any treatment whatsoever, this disease can kill in just a few days. This is why it’s so important to vaccinate dogs against parvovirus.