Rescued Dogs Health Issues
There will always be health issues but if you ask the right questions there should be very few issues

Rescued dogs health issues is something that any potential owner will face when making a decision about adopting a dog, but most all of the issues can be easily handled.

There is a huge misconception that dogs taken from a rescue shelter have a lot more health issues than other dogs, but in most cases, they are the same challenges that any dog will face.

Rescuing a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences that any potential owner will ever undertake.

You will be rewarded with the most loyal companion you could ever find as well as one of the best friends you could ever ask for.

The lists of positives could be endless, but it all starts with a dog placed in a situation where they are looking for the love and caring that they absolutely crave to have in their lives.

But there are some potential health issues that you may have to deal with.


Before undertaking the adoption of a dog and contending with rescued dogs health issues, it is very helpful to understand how most rescue organizations work and how a dog is placed there to begin with.

Again, contrary to some misconception, stray dogs do not make up the majority of dogs in rescue shelters.

In fact, the majority of all dogs in shelters were living with other owners but now find themselves in a shelter through no fault of their own.

There are several reasons for this, such as an owner that is moving and cannot take their pet with them or an owner that may have developed a serious health issue.

It may also include the owner has died leaving the dog without a home.

Sleeping puppyDo not let the potential health issues stop you from saving a very precious life

In other cases it may be due to a new baby in the house and the owner is afraid to have both the dog and the baby.

Or it may be because the dog is new and could not get along with a long time family pet.

However, in a very high number of cases, the current owner has reached the decision that they should have never acquired a dog to start with, leaving the dog homeless.

There are also the cases of Greyhounds that are basically cast out after the racing career is over and no longer wanted.

But the saddest of all the cases are very loving and potentially wonderful dogs that have been abused and thankfully they are still alive and taken into a shelter.

Once the dog is taken into the shelter, they are very quickly evaluated by someone within the shelter to determine if they will make a good pet.

If the dog has a history of biting, aggression, or other behavior problems, they may not be placed.

If they are placed, it will be usually in a home that does not have another dog.

Once all of this happens, they are than examined by a veterinarian and depending on the species, several tests will be done.

All dogs will be tested for heart worms, and in almost every case they will be spayed or neutered.

As a result, a rescued dogs health issues may be less than a dog already living with an owner.


Rescued dogs health issues are not nearly as extensive as some people would suggest, but there are some very common issues that may have to be addressed.

It will all depend on their former owners and how they were treated. If the dog was severely abused or lived in a situation of neglect, there will obviously be more health issues.

The first potential rescued dogs health issue may be malnourishment.

This is the first thing to inquire about and attack as a new owner, as it can lead to several other problems that can be both health and behavioral related.

This problem will be very easy for the shelters veterinarian to identify, but there are also things that you can look for.

To check for malnourishment, immediately get the weight of the dog and then find out what the common weight for the age and the breed should be.

Next, look at the quality of the dog’s coat; if they are malnourished, it will show up immediately in their coats.

Finally, examine their eyes very closely; eyes that are sunken in are also signs of malnourishment.

If they are in this condition, your job is actually very easy, but do not let them eat large meals at first. Feed them smaller meals more frequently.

Your new loyal friend will love every minute of this special treatment.


The next form of a rescued dogs health issues will almost always be with fleas.

If the dog has been neglected or unwanted by their previous family, the chances are they have not been treated properly for fleas.

This is very easy to identify as you will see flea dirt which is very similar to salt and pepper.

You will also see a lot of itching as well as redness in the dogs skin.

But this is very easily corrected with flea dips initially and then a regular flea preventative monthly medication.The next common rescued dogs health issues involve intestinal parasites.

These include roundworms, hookworms, tapeworm, and whip-worms. Once you have adopted your new friend, take a fecal sample to your own veterinarian as quickly as you can.

They can very easily test for all or these parasites, but before the testing is final, it will be a very good idea to keep them away from your children as the parasites can be passed very easily.

If your dog does test positive, the treatment your veterinarian will give is very rapid and very good at eliminating them.

The next potential rescued dogs health issues is with diarrhea, which may be caused by these parasites.

However, it is most likely caused by the stress that your adopted friend has been under.

Even if they have not been neglected, simply losing their only known home is extremely stressful.

If they are also forced to change food as a result of the loss of their home, it can also cause diarrhea.

Skin problems, also the result of parasites, are another potential problem, but with the correct diet, and elimination of the parasites, and eliminating the diarrhea, it will correct itself very rapidly.

Kennel cough is another one of the potential rescued dog’s health issue even in the cleanest of rescue shelters. It is extremely contagious but is very easy to identify.

If your new friend sounds more like a goose at times than a dog, they have kennel cough.

It can very easily lead to pneumonia, and once you identify it, have your veterinarian treat it as there are very effective treatments as well as a very good vaccination to prevent it in the future.

Rescued dogs health issues have one more potential problem; heart worms.

Heart worms are vicious killers of dogs and only a couple of worms can quickly take a dog’s life.

The good news is that this is the first thing a rescued dog is tested for.


If they test positive for heart worms and it cannot be corrected, the dog will never be placed for adoption.

But as with any dog, you will need to place them on heart worm medication as quickly as possible once you bring them into your home.

Rescuing a dog is a wonderful experience for both you and your new found friend. If they have been neglected, the love that you show them will be given back tenfold for several years.

Do not let a few potential health issues stand in the way of the very special relationship.

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