Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing


The Most Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms and Treatment

Many common dog illnesses and symptoms can be cause for concern, or even fatal if left untreated. Our Seymour vets offer advice about health problems to watch for.

Common Dog Illnesses

Dog parents need to be vigilant and prepare to visit their vet for a physical exam and diagnosis if needed. Here are 3 common dog illnesses and their symptoms.


As our pooches live longer thanks to research, advancements in veterinary medical care, and various vaccines, therapies, and treatments, we also see more incidents of certain diseases.

Causes & Symptoms

Dogs can develop a variety of cancers as they age, including malignant lymphoma and soft tissue sarcomas as well as skin, bone, and breast cancers. Due to genetic factors, some breeds of dogs are more likely to develop cancer than others. There may also be environmental factors.

Though early detection can sometimes be difficult if little to no symptoms appear, classic symptoms of cancer include:

  • 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 cancer, a tumor could be removed surgically, and there may be options to treat or cure the disease or prolong your dog’s life. Early detection and treatment are critical to survival.

Ear Infections

A veterinarian can check your dog to see if they have an ear infection or if they are suddenly scratching their ears, shaking their heads more frequently, whining, or displaying other relatively new types of alarming behavior.

Potential causes include moisture in the ears (a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast), allergies, autoimmune disorders, wax buildup, and more.

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.


The highly contagious virus that causes this disease can live for months in the environment or be spread by infected dogs' feces. Although unvaccinated individuals and dogs are more vulnerable, many dogs who receive prompt, timely treatment can be saved.

Causes & Symptoms

Symptoms include:

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

With puppy vaccines and booster shots, parvovirus can be avoided. Parvovirus must be treated because it can cause sudden death, bacterial pneumonia, chronic heart disease, and damage to the bone marrow.

What to Do if Your Dog is Ill

It's imperative to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms. To help diagnose and treat your pet's most complex medical conditions, Providence Animal Hospital has on-site specialists, diagnostic tools, and an emergency clinic.

Are you seeing signs of illness in your dog? Our veterinarians at Seymour Veterinary Hospital are experienced in diagnosing and treating serious illnesses. Book an appointment today.

Get In Touch

Questions about your pet's medical care? Need to book an appointment? We're always happy to hear from our clients, so contact us today!

Contact Us

Book Online (203) 888-5668