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Golden Retriever on an exam table having its heart checked by a vet. Approved by Denise Flaim May 2018. Getty Images #525965743
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Conscientious Owners Can Keep Their Dogs Disease-Free

Many common canine diseases can be prevented or treated with available vaccines.

Dogs are susceptible to many diseases transmitted by contact with infected dogs or wildlife. Here are the common canine diseases:

  • Rabies — Transmitted by bites from infected animals. Symptoms can include seizures, paralysis, aggression and lack of coordination. Unless treated quickly, rabies is often fatal.
  • Distemper — Transmitted by contact with secretions from an infected dog’s nose. Causes pneumonia and seizures. There is no cure for the disease. Several vaccines exist that prevent the disease. Distemper is the leading cause of infectious disease death in dogs.
  • Parvovirus — Transmitted by exposure to contaminated feces. Causes vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment is intensive, requiring intravenous fluids and medications. Mainly a disease of unvaccinated puppies and dogs; younger pups are more likely than older dogs to die.
  • Hepatitis (Adenovirus) — Virus is found in feces and saliva. Causes fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Treatment consists of aggressive fluid therapy. Often fatal, but prevented through vaccination.
  • Parainfluenza — Transmitted by nasal secretions. Causes coughing and sneezing. Antibiotic treatment helps speed recovery.
  • Bordetella — Transmitted by nasal secretions. Causes coughing and sneezing. Antibiotic treatment helps control symptoms.
  • Lyme disease — Transmitted by ticks. Causes fever and joint inflammation. Treatment with antibiotics usually successful.
  • Leptospirosis — Picked up from water contaminated by infected urine. Causes kidney and liver disease. Many infections go unnoticed; severe infections are often fatal.
  • Giardia — Picked up by drinking contaminated water. Causes diarrhea. Treated with antibiotics.

A version of this article originally appeared in AKC Family Dog.
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What are all these vaccines for?

Learn about the most common canine diseases that are preventable with vaccines.
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