It is no surprise that dogs big and small could face a multitude of health problems in their lifetime, in the same way, that humans do. From short- to long-term conditions, they can appear over time or suddenly, and can sometimes alter the way of life for our beloved pets.
While no pet parent wants to hear that their dog is experiencing a health problem of some sort, some things can be done to help alleviate and treat them. If you are in the position where you would like to increase your knowledge of potential health problems you might be facing with your small dog, or are in the process of finding ways to help treat a health problem, you are in the right place!
Detailed below is a short list of health problems that small dogs may face in their lifetimes and how you could treat them. Keep reading for more!
Tracheal Collapse/Breathing Problems
This particular health problem is prevalent among smaller dogs that have flattened muzzles, including the likes of French Bulldogs and Pugs. Over time, the windpipe in these dogs gets more and more restricted and is often seen in dogs that are obese or those that live with those who smoke cigarettes.
This is a relatively easy health problem to notice in small dogs, for there will generally be some sort of wheezing, coughing, and general difficulty in breathing present. When treating this as a condition, most veterinarians suggest that you encourage weight loss in your dog and trialing certain medications. In some cases, surgery or sedation is also an option, mainly if the windpipe is incredibly restricted.
Unknown to many people, but smaller dogs are more prone to experiencing problems with their knees. Patellar Luxation, also known as a displaced kneecap, is considered the most common orthopedic problem in small dogs and is also present in 7% of puppies. This is quite a common ailment in breeds such as Boston and Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians and Chihuahuas, and is easier to notice than some other health problems. If your dog is suffering from Patellar Luxation, they will have trouble putting some or all weight on the injured leg, and there are a range of ways that this can be treated.
If you are noticing that your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort when putting weight on their leg, it is recommended they see a veterinarian. From here, they will be able to recommend specific medications or supplements, or in severe cases, surgery. As a pet parent, there are numerous things that you could try, to prevent any further injuries, and to strengthen the joints in your four-legged friend’s legs! To ease pain, consider the use of painkillers and gentle massaging of the area, while joint supplements for dogs will help increase the joints’ mobility in your dog. Provided by numerous companies, including the likes of YuMove, you can go forth confident that you are doing what is best for your dog and contributing towards their recovery while preventing future injuries.
Regulation of Temperature
Have you spotted a small dog on your walks wearing a stylish jumper? While these are undoubtedly great items for making your dog look fashionable among their peers, there are also other reasons why a small dog would be wearing one, particularly in the colder months. Smaller dogs – along with indoor dogs, short-haired, senior dogs and puppies – have difficulty monitoring and regulating their body temperatures; they generally, feel cold even when in a comfortable environment, and overheat quickly in the warmer, summer months.
Like the previous points about health problems that small dogs face, there are things that you could try as a pet parent, to alleviate the symptoms that your dog might be facing and putting a jumper or jacket on your pet is one of them! By wrapping your dog up in a similar way that you would yourself, you help prevent your dog’s internal temperature from dropping too much when exposed to the cold. While we are confident that you would be doing this anyway, in the summer months, ensuring that your pet has a shaded area with plenty of water is an effective way of ensuring that they can keep cool when overheating. If it is hot outdoors, and you are concerned about keeping your pet cool, then keeping them indoors during these times might be preferred.
We hope that these suggestions have shed some light on the potential health problems you might need to be prepared to face if you are a small dog owner. If you are extremely concerned about your dog’s health at any point, contacting your registered veterinarian is a great way forward. They will be able to guide you in the right direction and suggest a course of treatment.