If you own a small dog, there are several common health problems that you should be aware of. These include Arthritis, Diabetes, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and Cataracts. These conditions can cause pain and difficulty walking. You can help your dog stay healthy by following some simple tips.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common health issue among small dogs, particularly puppies. This problem can range from mild to severe. Arthritis is caused by damage to the cartilage covering the joints, resulting in painful and restricted movement. In smaller breeds, the disease can be more difficult to detect, but recognizing symptoms and identifying risk factors can help you treat the condition.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which excessive sugar levels in the bloodstream damage many organs. This happens when the body’s cells do not produce enough insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. As a result, the body uses stored fat and protein as fuel instead of glucose. This leads to excessive thirst and increased urination. When the blood sugar levels are too high, the body begins to break down fats and proteins to provide energy.

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

The causes of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease are unknown, but some researchers believe that it may be related to problems with the blood supply to the head of the femur bone. The symptoms of this disease include loss of muscle mass and decreased range of motion of the hip joint. The affected limb is also typically shorter than normal. X-rays of the hips and pelvis reveal arthritic changes and a flattening of the femoral head.

Cataracts

Cataracts are common problems that affect the eyes of small dogs. It is difficult for a dog to function normally with vision problems, and cataract surgery can help. However, it is important to note that the early stages of cataracts may not cause any symptoms at all. In fact, the dog may be unaware that they have cataracts until they experience sudden vision loss. Cataracts cause blindness because they block light and cause pressure on the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve, resulting in permanent blindness. Although not all cataracts will lead to glaucoma, most will result in reduced sight.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenia

In some cases, idiopathic thrombocytopenia may be caused by infection. This disease is caused by ticks that transmit rickettsia, a bacterium that can lead to diseases such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease can be prevented with tick preventives, but some types are unpreventable. In addition to blood tests, veterinarians may also perform physical exams and tests to diagnose specific infectious diseases.

Femoral neck dysplasia

Femoral neck dysplasia in small dogs can be a painful condition. Fortunately, there are treatments for this disorder. In addition to medication, surgical procedures can correct the condition. Triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) can correct this disorder in young dogs, although this procedure is not recommended if your dog is older. This surgery removes the ill-fitting ball from the hip socket and repositions it so that it fits properly.