The 8 Most Common Canine Health Problems

A large-scale study of dogs in the UK has identified the most common canine health disorders seen by veterinarians.

The electronic health data of over 450,000 dogs under veterinary care in the UK was analyzed by researchers conducting this study.

Let’s take a look at some key findings.  Be sure to check out the full report, published in BMC Veterinary Research HERE.

The 8 most common canine health problems are:

  • Anal sac disorder
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infection)
  • Dental disease
  • Dermatitis (skin problems)
  • Overweight or obese
  • Lipoma (fatty tissue growth)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Otitis externa (ear infection)

The researchers note that some of these health conditions are more prevalent than others, while some tend to be more severe or longer lasting than others.

Most prevalent health issues:

  • Dental disease
  • Overweight or obese
  • Anal sac disorder

Most severe health problems:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Otitis externa
  • Dermatitis

Health issues with longest duration:

  • Dental disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Overweight or obese

Which canine health disorders were found to have the greatest overall negative impact on a dog’s well-being?

  • Dental disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Overweight or obese

The good news is that many of the most common canine health problems are preventable!  Regular dental care, both at home and at the vet’s office, is essential to your dog’s dental health.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise can prevent obesity and other associated health problems.  A healthy body weight can also help ease the discomfort of arthritis.

Be sure to talk to your vet about ways you can work together to maintain your dog’s health and prevent these common health problems.


Tips on Managing Arthritis in Pets

A new video from the American Veterinary Medical Association provides helpful advice for pet owners with older dogs and cats diagnosed with arthritis.

Warning Signs

Pets with arthritis pain may:

  • Walk stiffly or favor certain legs
  • Experience pain when touched in some areas
  • Be hesitant to run, jump and climb stairs
  • Cats with arthritis may have difficulty grooming their fur


Arthritis pain in pets can be managed in a number of ways:

  • Talk to your vet about veterinary pain killers or anti-inflammatory medicines (never give your pet human drugs)
  • Low impact exercise (ask your vet about the right amount for your pet)
  • A weight loss program to shed extra pounds
  • Physical therapy, such as swimming or underwater treadmills
  • Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture
  • Use of soft bedding, ramps, massage, and gentle grooming of hard to reach areas

If you suspect your pet may have arthritis, make an appointment with your vet to rule out any other medical conditions and get a proper diagnosis.

For more information, check out the AVMA website HERE.