Human diseases inevitably alter peoples’ lives and families every day. Many pet owners think of their cats and dogs as members of the family, which is why feline and canine diseases can often affect pet owners’ lives in a similar manner. Pet owners should acquire a basic knowledge of potential life-altering pet diseases in order to prevent or cure the illnesses as soon as possible. Here is a list of common diseases found in both cats and dogs.

Upper Respiratory Diseases

Just like humans, cats and dogs endure flu and cold-like illnesses too. Upper respiratory infections are a common malady for our feline and canine friends. The most common dog version is often called “Kennel Cough,” while the cat version is simply called the “Cat Flu.”  Upper respiratory diseases cause many similar symptoms to the human flu and cold. The cat may exhibit symptoms such as fever, inflamed eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and difficulty swallowing and breathing. The disease is much milder in dogs as a dry, hacking cough is usually the only symptom. Treatment is effective.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

These viral diseases are often difficult to treat, and highly contagious in both cats and dogs. Separate canine and feline strains exist in the Parvovirus. Feline panleukopenia or Distemper is the feline strain that often includes symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Canine parvovirus causes similar symptoms, and it is also very deadly and difficult to treat. Corona virus in dogs has similar symptoms to the parvovirus, but Corona is easier to treat. Vaccination is available.

FortiFlora is a nutritional supplement used to improve and maintain the balance of your dog or cat's intestinal health by improving microbial balance in the gastrointestinal tract. It has been recommended by veterinarians to be used as a dietary supplement to manage diarrhea.

Rabies

Cats and dogs, as well as all mammals are susceptible to the rabies virus without vaccine prevention. This is a very serious disease that is highly contagious, and it is transmitted through saliva of an infected animal. Unless the pet is treated before exhibiting symptoms of behavior changes and violence, rabies cannot be cured. This disease causes a brain infection, which always leads to death.

Parasitic Diseases

Parasites are found both internally and externally in cats and dogs and are very contagious. The most common internal parasites are roundworms and tapeworms which are contracted by ingestion of larval or egg stages of the parasite. The severity of these diseases varies depending on the particular species, but generally de-worming treatment is effective. In severe cases blood transfusion may be attempted. The most common external parasites include lice, fleas, mites, and ticks. These diseases are much less harmful, but tend to cause a lot of discomfort for infected pets. Treatment typically takes a long time, but is effective.

Ringworm

Both cats and dogs can easily contract ringworm, which is actually a fungal infection, not a parasitic worm. This disease attacks the skin of the pet, leading to scaly, dry skin and even hair loss. Fortunately, ringworm is easy to cure with prescribed medications.

Canine and feline diseases are a serious threat to pets and owners alike, but a general knowledge of these diseases can help protect our precious family members.

Sources: www.purdue.edu http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/4H/4-H-851-W.pdf http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/4H/4-H-852-W.pdf