Cover your dog for common illnesses

Dogs of all ages can suffer from a range of medical problems and illnesses, and we've put together this handy list of common conditions, how to spot them and how they can be treated.

Ear infection

Symptoms: Excessive head shaking, scratching, pawing at ears, complaining

Cause: Infection, foreign objects and parasites

Treatment: Medicated drops or medicine

Inflammation of the ear canal is common in dogs with long and floppy ears, affecting up to 20 percent of dogs and representing one of the top reasons dogs are taken to the vet.

Skin or food allergies

Symptoms: Hypersensitivity, itching, dry skin, inflammation, excessive scratching, bald patches, diarrhea, vomiting, prone to ear/skin/ infections

Cause: Allergic reaction

Treatment: Medicated creams, tablets, change in diet (depending on cause of allergy)

Allergies are reactions to something  the body recognises as foreign. Reactions occur following exposure to the allergen. Food allergy is an increasingly common problem in dogs which can start at any age, even if the ingredients aren't new to them.


Symptoms: Open or bleeding wounds

Cause: Trauma

Treatment: Stitches or surgery in extreme cases.

A severe cut or laceration is a wound produced by the tearing of skin and other body tissues. Minor trauma may damage the skin only, while major trauma may damage deeper muscles and tendons and have the potential for haemorrhage or infection.

Skin infection

Symptoms: Itching, dry skin, inflammation

Cause: Various

Treatment: Medicated creams and tablets

A skin infection is a bacterial infection can cause intense itching leading to discomfort. The underlying cause of the skin infection may also have a negative health impact on the dog, depending on the disease.

Hip dysplasia

Symptoms: Pain, lack of mobility, whining.

Cause: Deterioration of the hip joint

Treatment: Medicine and surgery

Hip Dysplasia is a painful, crippling disease that causes a dog's hip to weaken, deteriorate and become arthritic. It stems from abnormal development of the hip joint in where the head of the femur does not fit properly into the socket. It can be severe and cause crippling arthritis and is most common in large dog breeds.

Urinary infection

Symptoms: Inflammation, pain urinating

Cause: Inflammation of the urinary bladder

Treatment: Medicine or surgery in extreme cases

Urinary infections are typically caused by a bacterial infection. Most cases of bacterial cystitis are "ascending," meaning that the offending bacteria arise from the dog's own intestinal tract and "ascend" to the bladder.


Symptoms: Inflammation or swelling around joints, limping, soreness and reluctance to move. 

Cause: Wear and tear within the joints.

Treatment: Medication or surgery.

Arthritis affects the smooth cartilage of the joint, which is the covering of bone in the joints that is responsible for the smooth, non-painful motion of joints. When it becomes worn, raw bone surfaces become exposed and rub together. It can occur over a lifetime of wear or as a result of injury.


Symptoms: Breathing difficulty when walking, inability to tolerate heat or exercise.  

Cause: Dietary or hormonal issues.

Treatment: Various. 

Obesity is defined as the excessive accumulation of body fat. Between 25 and 40 percent of dogs are considered obese or are likely to become obese, making it one of the most common nutrition-related health condition in dogs in our society.

Dental disease

Symptoms: Pain when eating, reduced appetite, weight loss 

Cause: Inflammation in teeth and gums

Treatment: Controlled diet, dental treatment.

Dental Disease is the inflammation of the structures that support teeth and gum tissue. It's one of the most common infectious diseases in the world in dogs and is caused by bacteria that make up plaque.


Symptoms: Acute vomiting and diarrhoea

Cause: Infection or inflammation of stomach

Treatment: Medication or surgery.

Acute vomiting and diarrhoea are characterised by a sudden onset and short duration of less than two to three weeks. An occasional bout of vomiting and diarrhoea is quite common in dogs however, severe, acute vomiting and diarrhoea is not normal, and can be associated with life threatening illnesses.

Stomach inflammation (gastritis)

Symptoms: Acute vomiting and diarrhoea

Cause: Infection or inflammation of stomach

Treatment: Medication or surgery.

The most common sign associated with Gastritis is vomiting. Although signs may be mild and self-limiting in some cases, they can be debilitating and even life threatening in others, necessitating hospitalisation and intensive supportive care.

Kennel Cough

Symptoms: High pitched or honking cough, followed by retching.

Cause: Infection.

Treatment: Medication.

Kennel Cough is a highly contagious, and is associated most often with dogs housed in a boarding kennel. The infectious agents can be transmitted through the air or by contact with contaminated surfaces.

Protect your dog

These are just a selection of the most common conditions that your beloved dog is susceptible to.

Dog insurance  can cover your dog if should they develop one of these conditions, or conditions not listed above. It offers financial protection against costs associated with your dog getting the veterinary care that they need.

Pet Insurance can offer different cover options to suit your dog's needs and provide cover for accidents, illnesses, surgeries, hospitalisation and much more.

Get your dog insurance quote


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