Major Health Problems in Dogs and Cats

Our canine and feline companions have been around us for thousands of years and are considered the earliest domesticated animals. These mammals suffer from some of the same health problems that affect humans, like skin diseases, arthritis, diabetes, diarrhea, ear infections, etc.

Health Problems in Dogs and Cats

There is no rule of thumb to categorize health problems of pets in an ascending/descending order; it depends on breeds, age, heredity, region, environment and eating habits.  A Great Dane or German Shepherd will have different set of medical problems than Chihuahua or Pekingese.  A senior dog will be more susceptible to infections than young.  From empirical evidence and data available from vets and pet insurance companies, we can reach the following conclusion about major health problems in dogs and cats.

The list is not exhaustive and in no particular order, but most common are listed.  Some diseases are breed-specific. Some diseases may be common to different lists. Many diseases are flea and tick-borne and can be controlled with Flea and tick treatment. Use this as a guide when visiting the vet.

Disease/Condition Dogs Cats
Skin Allergies and Disorders Canine Atopic Dermatitis (AD), Hot Spots, Lick Granulomas, Canine Scabies, Canine Ringworm, Flea Allergy Dermatitis, Cushing’s Syndrome, Mange Fleas Allergy Dermatitis, Feline Acne, Mange, Cheyletiella, Hyperthyroidism,
Infectious Diseases Viral: Rabies, Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Influenza;Bacterial: Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Fungal: Ringworm, Histoplasmosis,

Parasitical: Heartworm Disease, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Roundworms

Viral: Rabies, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, Feline DistemperFungal: Ringworm

Parasitical: Heartworm, Roundworm, Ear Mites

Genetic Diseases Hip Dysplasia, von Willebrand Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, deafness, Epilepsy Familial Renal Disease, Heterochromia, Flat-chested Kitten Syndrome, Heart Valve Dysplasia
Eye Diseases Cataracts, Canine Glaucoma, Cherry Eye, Progressive Retinal Atrophy Corneal Ulcer
Orthopedic Diseases Bone Fractures, Hip Dysplasia, Arthritis Arthritis
Gastrointestinal Diseases Vomiting, Diarrhea, Anorexia Diarrhea, Vomiting
Other Diseases,  Conditions and Problems Benign and Malignant Tumors (Lipomas, Papillomas, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Bone Cancer); Diabetes, Heart Failure, Anemia, Food Allergies, Dental Diseases, Obesity and behavioral problems such as biting and excessive barking Lower Urinary Tract Disease, Feline Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, Dental Diseases, Bladder Infection, Tumors and Cancer, Food Allergies, Malnutrition, Obesity