Common Dog Illnesses: Symptoms & Treatment

Our dogs can fall ill for several reasons. Today, our Grenada vets explain some common illnesses that could lead to a dog not feeling their best.

Common Dog Illnesses

As proud dog owners, we’re constantly aware that illnesses can appear with either subtle or concerning symptoms. Below are a few common dog illnesses and their symptoms that we often see in internal veterinary medicine.


Virus particles can lurk in another dog’s feces or survive in the environment for months. Dogs and people who have not received their full slate of vaccinations are most susceptible to this highly contagious viral disease, but many dogs who receive immediate treatment can be saved.

Symptoms include:

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

Puppy vaccines and booster shots can prevent your dog from contracting Parvovirus. Dogs that are afflicted must be treated as it can lead to chronic heart diseases, bone marrow damage, bacterial pneumonia, and even sudden death.

Ear Infections

Have you noticed your dog suddenly shaking their head or scratching their ear more often, or whining? Perhaps other relatively new symptoms have appeared. They could have an ear infection and need to visit a vet.

Allergies, autoimmune disorders, wax buildup, moisture in the ears (which allows yeast and bacteria to thrive), and more can potentially cause ear infections.

Here are more symptoms that may indicate an ear infection:

  • Itchiness
  • Pain
  • Odor
  • Dark discharge
  • Scabs or “crustiness”
  • Swelling or redness in the ear canal

Because there’s a risk of the infection reaching other parts of the ear and leading to more serious conditions such as deafness or facial paralysis, ear infections must be quickly treated by a vet.


Thanks to various vaccines, advancements in veterinary medical care, therapies and treatments, and innovative research, our four-legged friends are living longer - but we’re now seeing more incidents of certain diseases.

Various types of cancer can strike dogs as they hit old age, including soft tissue sarcomas, breast, skin, bone cancers, and malignant lymphomas. Though some breeds are more likely than others to suffer from cancer due to genetic factors, environmental factors can also play a role.

If little to no symptoms appear, early detection can sometimes be difficult though owners should watch for these classic signs of cancer:

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

Depending on the type of cancer, a tumor can sometimes be surgically removed, and there may be options to treat or cure this disease or prolong your dog’s life. Early detection and treatment are essential to survival.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Ill

If any of these symptoms emerge in your dog, they must see a vet as soon as possible. At Veterinary Associates, our onsite specialists, emergency clinic, and diagnostic services are ready to help diagnose and treat your pet’s most challenging illnesses and conditions.

Does your dog seem to be showing signs of an illness? Contact our Grenada vets today to have your pup diagnosed and treated.