4 Diseases That Could Kill Your Dog (You Probably Never Heard Of)



There are many health threats and illnesses that can threaten your dogโ€™s well being, many of which you have probably never heard. To help educate dog parents everywhere, here are four largely unknown, potentially fatal diseases that can affect any dog, and the signs to look out for.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious, potentially life threatening condition that, as it happens, is 100% preventable. While treatment is not always effective, with proper vaccination beforehand, your dog will never have to worry about the threat of distemper.

Dogs often come home from the kennel with a case of distemper due to the close quarters and the rapidity with which this disease spreads. If your dog has recently been in contact with a number of other dogs, and has not been vaccinated for distemper, check them for symptoms.

Symptoms for the condition include:

If you suspect that your dog has contracted distemper, contact your vet immediately, as this condition moves quickly.


Parvovirus is a deadly and highly contagious disease that wreaks havoc on your dogโ€™s intestines and immune system. Due to the way it runs your dogโ€™s guts through the wringer, parvo frequently causes vomiting and diarrhea, and stands to make your dog incredibly uncomfortable. Treatment for parvo is arduous, often requiring multiple nights at the vet. However, if it is caught early, your dog has a great chance of making a recovery. Moreover, parvo can be almost 100% prevented with early vaccination. To tell if your dog has parvo, just look for these symptoms:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Especially odorous feces

  • Dehydration

  • Blood in stool

  • Lethargy

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your vet right away, as early detection is the best way to beat this condition.


A condition caused by a dearth in thyroid hormone production, hypothyroidism can cause a lack of energy and a general inability to recuperate from other ailments or injuries. Often masking itself as just generic symptoms of aging, if left untreated, hypothyroidism can greatly affect your dogโ€™s life. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for.

If you notice your dog suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms, it may be time to take them to the vet, as this condition can frequently go untreated for years, causing more damage than it might otherwise.


Also known as Cushingโ€™s disease, this condition is caused by the overproduction of cortisol, a hormone that affects much of your dogโ€™s organ function. Because of the many forms this condition can take, diagnosing this condition can be especially tricky. A few symptoms to be on the look out for include:

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Increased appetite and weight gain

  • Panting

  • Hair loss

  • Bruises

  • Shift in behavior

If you think your dog might be suffering from hyperadrenocorticism, talk to your vet and find out for sure before the overproduction of cortisol ends up damaging your dogโ€™s organs irreparably.

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