When your dog is experiencing health issues, it might not be able to clearly communicate its discomfort or pain. Therefore, it is your responsibility, as a pet parent, to be vigilant and recognize if your dog is behaving differently.

There are several health conditions that your dog can suffer from. While some illnesses may be easy to treat, other diseases can be severe and even prove to be fatal. A lot of these serious dog diseases are preventable through proper vaccination, so you don’t need to get alarmed.

But first, it’s important that you first learn about the types of deadly dog diseases, their symptoms, and risk factors.

Continue reading below to learn about X deadly dog diseases that are preventable.

#1 – Rabies

Rabies is one of the most common deadly dog diseases that are preventable. It is a life-threatening viral disease that can affect the brain and spinal cord of your dog. Your dog can get this disease if an infected animal bites it. Your dog can also get rabies if infected saliva from another animal comes into contact with a wound on your dog. Raccoon, foxes, skunks, and bats are the most common carriers of the deadly rabies virus in the United States.

Symptoms – Extreme apprehension or restlessness, loss of appetite, fever, weakness, aggression, hypersensitivity to light, touch and sound, paralysis of throat and jaw muscles, seizures.

#2 – Distemper

Canine distemper is another highly contagious and deadly dog disease. It is caused by the paramyxovirus. Research shows that this disease has a mortality rate of 80% in puppies and 50% in adult dogs.

Your dog can contract canine distemper if it comes into direct, physical contact with the virus. For instance, if it shares a food bowl with an infected animal. The virus is also airborne. Any infected animal that sneezes or coughs in the air is spreading canine distemper. So, your dog can potentially catch the disease if it inhales the air that contains virus particles.

Distemper is very widespread in animals such as the grey fox, skunks, coyotes, and raccoons. Remember that the virus is resistant to low temperatures.

Symptoms –Sneezing, coughing, eye and nasal discharge, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, respiratory problems such as breathing difficulty, and pneumonia.

#3 – Parvovirus

Parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus that can infect dogs. Your dog can contract the disease if it comes in direct contact with the feces of another sick dog. Unfortunately, Parvo is easy to spread but difficult to treat. Therefore, the only cure for this disease is proper preventive measures such as vaccines and good hygiene.

Most deaths from parvovirus can occur within 72 hours after the appearance of the first symptom. If your pet displays any of the following signs, you should immediately rush it to your vet. A vet will try to treat a sick dog by providing lots of electrolytes, but the virus is often lethal.

Symptoms – Depression, dehydration, lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, fever, weakness, weight loss, bloody diarrhea.

#4 – Lyme Disease

Lime disease is a bacterial illness that can prove fatal to your dog. This disease is caused by certain species of ticks that carry a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.

There is a very popular myth that Lyme disease is only a seasonal disease. However, the Companion Animal Parasite Council says that the threat of Lyme disease is present all year round. Your dog may not display any symptoms for months if it catches the disease. But in severe cases, your dog might experience kidney failure and even death.

Symptoms – Reduced appetite, fever, lethargy, lameness (can be either intermittent or recurring), swollen joints, generalized stiffness, and pain.

#5 –Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is one of the deadly dog diseases that are preventable. Leptospirosis has increased in dogs due to population increases, climatic changes, and habitat encroachment.

Your dog can get this disease if it comes in direct contact with Leptospira bacteria. Direct exposure to infected urine, contaminated soil, or water can all cause your dog to suffer from this disease.

Symptoms – Lethargy, fever, weight loss, depression, anorexia, muscle tenderness, dehydration, kidney failure, jaundice, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting.


#6 – Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a very contagious respiratory infection. It can cause your dog to experience inflammation and irritation in its airways.

This disease is called kennel cough because it can spread rapidly in animals who are close to each other. Dog parks, shelters, boarding kennels, and pet daycares are all places that carry a high risk of kennel cough. Your dog can fall victim to this disease if it comes into contact with sick animals or shares bedding or bowls with them. Even though all dogs can contract the disease, it is most common in unvaccinated dogs, puppies, and older dogs.

If you don’t treat kennel cough properly with antibiotics and cough medicines, it can become fatal.

Symptoms – A loud cough, low-grade fever, lethargy, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite.

#7 – Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially lethal sickness. It is caused by a parasite that mainly affects ferrets, cats, and dogs. With proper vaccination and care, this disease can easily be prevented.

Mosquitoes are the main carriers of heartworm disease. If you suspect that your pet dog has been exposed to mosquitos, make sure to get it tested for heartworm disease. Remember that mosquitoes can enter your home as well and can very well put your indoor pet at risk.

In severe cases, heartworm disease can result in your dog’s failure which can lead to death.

Symptoms – Persistent cough, lethargy, fatigue, weight loss, decreased appetite, and swollen belly.

Final Words

Timely vaccines will make sure that your pet stays safe from these deadly dog diseases that are preventable. Make sure you take your furry friend to the vet and provide it with a clean, healthy environment. This will make sure that your pet stays happy and healthy.