You love your dog and enjoy his or her companionship each and every day. This is why it can be pretty hard on you should your dog happen to get sick. You undoubtedly pride yourself on being a responsible dog owner that does everything in your power to keep your canine pal healthy and happy; unfortunately there are some health problems that can’t be avoided no matter how well you care for your dog. It’s not uncommon for dogs to suffer from genetic diseases, some of which are especially common in specific breeds. Thankfully, with the help of a qualified veterinarian, there are measures you can take to treat genetic diseases. Here are four of the most common genetic diseases in dogs, along with recommended treatments.

Hip Dysplasia

This is the most common inherited musculoskeletal disorder in dogs, and is found in both purebred and mixed breeds. Hip dysplasia is the result of poor hip conformation, which causes the degeneration of joint cartilage, leading to arthritis and pain. Maintaining your dog’s ideal weight is the best way to stave off the disorder, but if your dog becomes afflicted there are a few treatment options. Surgery is sometimes required, but if not there are medical treatments such as pain medications, physical therapy, glucosamine chondroitin products, cold laser treatments, and stem cell therapy. Your veterinarian will be able to help you with all of these treatments and more.

Allergic Skin Disease

This class of disease includes things such as chronic ear infections and recurrent hot spots and is seen in both mixed and purebred dogs. Treatment can include therapeutic baths and rinses to help control bacteria levels on the skin, and also oral antibiotics. There are also lifestyle changes you can make for your dog that can be very effective when combined with frequent consultations from your veterinarian.

Mitral Valve Disease

Most often seen in small and toy dogs, this disease can, unfortunately, lead to heart disease at a young age. Sometimes by the time symptoms start to show, a dog’s quality of life is already diminished. There are some dog breeds that have a much higher chance of developing mitral valve disease, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for example, and if your dog falls under any of these breeds there are a few things you can do.Another thing you can do is remove any fillers from your dog’s diet, as they offset critical amino acid intake; this means avoiding processed commercial dog foods, as they use plenty of fillers like rice and potatoes. Although not preventative, you can manage this disease and increase your dog’s lifespan despite the affliction.

Epilepsy

Some dog breeds are prone to epileptic seizures. When a seizure happens, a dog will fall to the ground and stiffen, salivate, paddle their legs and sometimes lose control of their bladder and bowels. Seizures occur when cells in the brain become overly excited and exceed what is called a “seizure threshold”.  If your dog is suffering from epilepsy, talk to your veterinarian about anticonvulsant medications, which are the primary treatment. Epilepsy cannot be completely cured, so the goal is to manage seizures and decrease their severity and frequency.

Your veterinarian is always happy to provide the best advice concerning any of these diseases as well as provide necessary treatment. With their help, your canine companion is sure to be healthy and happy!