The Worst Illnesses Your Pet Can Have, And How You Can Prevent It

Every pet owner fears the day they learn their furry friend is ill. Every year you take your pet to the vet to ensure they are healthy and have many years ahead of them.  However, many do not realize the severity of certain illnesses until their pet is actually diagnosed with it. It is important to understand the worst illnesses your pet can have and how you can prevent it.


Like with humans, obesity is a very serious problem. Overweight animals are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and die early. When a dog or cat becomes obese, their metabolism slows down, and as a result, their body retains more of the fat that usual. As your furry companion gains more weight, the more pressure there is on their joints, making it difficult for them to walk, run, or even stand.

Obesity occurs when a pet parent overfeeds and under-exercises their pet. Therefore it is important to consult a vet about proper diet and exercise amount required for your pet. Remember, diet and exercise vary from pet and breed. You can take a large dog for a long walk, but a cat can barely go ten minutes without losing interest.


This is the virus that all veterinarians warn pet owners about. It is the most common killer in cats and dogs, especially those who have not been vaccinated. The virus kills and spreads through the animal's intestinal tract, attacking the white blood cells and heart. The animal is essentially eaten from the inside out by the virus, and they internally bleed to death.

There are some visible symptoms that, if seen, should have you calling your vet immediately. Symptoms of parvo include:



•Loss of appetite

•Bloody, smelly diarrhea  

In order to prevent your pet from having such a traumatic experience, get them vaccinated at their designated times. Do not skip vaccinations as they are meant to help your pet from getting the virus.


Heartworms are, essentially worms that live in the heart of animals. If untreated, the worms multiply and cause damage to other organs in the body, such as the lungs. Dogs can have about several thousand heartworms while cats normally carry one to three. Yet, the results are still just as damaging.

Veterinarians provide heartworm medication to feed to your pet. It will cause your furry friend to excrete the worms out in their feces. One treatment is usually never enough to keep your pet safe forever. Monthly preventative measures will be required to keep the heartworms away.


Many people associate rabies with Stephen King's novel Cujo. The gentle Saint Bernard turns rabid when he is bit by a bat infected with rabies. Although it is a rare disease today in the United States, it is important to have your pet vaccinated for rabies yearly. Why? Rabies is always fatal to animals.

Rabies causes an inflammation of the brain which leads to neurological damages, causing behavior changes that can prove to be dangerous if in the correct animal. Some key symptoms indicative of rabies include, but are not limited to:

•Frothy saliva



•Unusual aggression


It is important to understand the symptoms of rabies so they are identifiable. To prevent your pet from the likelihood of ever contracting the disease, take them to the vet for a yearly rabies vaccine.

There are obviously more diseases that your feline or K9 companion can contract, and it is important to understand the key illnesses that you are able to prevent from the beginning. Routine visits to the vet will ensure the wellbeing of your pet. Remember, if you see something is wrong but aren't sure what, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible; it may save their life. For more information, contact companies like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers.