Dogs can't tell us how they're feeling. But everyone who has had a dog knows the canine body language is extremely expressive. In the initial stages of an illness, dogs will suppress their feelings naturally. Your intimate knowledge of your dog's nature and behavior means you could be able to detect even the slightest shifts.
In most cases, these minor shifts are a sign that something is amiss. The most important thing you can do for your dog's recovery is to notice the issues as quickly as possible. To assist you respond to the questions, "Is the dog sick?" we've compiled a list of 11 warning signals.
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How to tell whether your dog needs to go to the vet? Here are common signs.
Diarrhea or Vomiting
Nausea and/or diarrhea are most common reasons for a dog to be sent to the vet, and they are often the earliest signs of disease in dogs. Depending on the severity, the issue may be minor and transitory or potentially fatal. If you notice these symptoms, it's possible that they're the result of something as simple as a change in diet or the accidental intake of a foreign substance.
Keep a close eye on your dog if he has had single episode of vomiting and diarrhea and is otherwise acting normally. Symptoms can be alleviated by feeding a bland wet food, including such boiling chicken or hamburger combined with rice, for a few days.
After determining that the dog is no more vomiting or experiencing loose bowel movements, the next step is to add dry food. The only time you should call your veterinarian is if the symptoms occur more than once in 24 hours, are accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, and unproductive vomiting (dry heaves).
Urination Increase or Decrease
House-trained dogs will not suddenly start peeing around the house unless there is some sort of trigger. Keep an eye out for these warning signs:
The volume of urine changes
Urine containing blood
Senior dogs should have their health evaluated for any of these warning indications. There may be a problem with the kidneys and diabetes mellitus if a person is urinating frequently. Having bloody urine could signal an urinary infection, bladder stones, a health issue, or even cancer.
In the event that you notice your dog struggling to urinate or if you see blood, contact your veterinarian immediately. Take samples of his urine with you if you can.
In most dogs, eating habits vary from day to day, with some days seeing higher food consumption than others. Appetite loss can be a sign of a wide range of health issues. Some are minor, while others are major. Anorexia may be a sign of dental illness if it is accompanied by foul breath.
Some of your dog's favorite snacks or a tiny quantity of cooked chicken and hamburger could be a good option for you to try. After more than a day of symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, or weakness, it is important to consult your veterinarian.
If your dog is drinking more or less liquid than normal, it could be an indication of illness. Drinking too much or too little water can signal that your pet is sick, has a fever, has hormone issues, diabetes, and kidney illness, among other things.
Keep an eye on your pet's water consumption. Add several water bowls throughout the house and flavor the water in chicken broth if they aren't drinking enough. Check to determine whether they are also peeing more if they really are drinking more. See a veterinarian if the problems continue, and bring an urine specimen if feasible.
Weight Gain or Loss That Doesn't Make Sense
Losing or gaining a lot of weight suddenly can be a symptom of anything wrong with you. It could be weeks before anyone notices this omen.
Unexpected weight gains or losses is always a cause for concern because it can be triggered by a range of diseases. Your dog should be examined by a veterinarian to discover the root reason.
In general, dogs' behavior alters when they are suffering from pain or illness, and this includes decreased activity or laziness. Some canines that are generally outgoing may become reclusive when they are sick. Pets, even the sweetest and most lively, can develop aggressive tendencies.
Observe if your pup growls when you approach a part of the body which appears to be causing it pain. When a dog is unwell, it's not always going to act out. The clinginess or increasing neediness of certain dogs may be a sign of a more serious problem. A typical symptom for pups with canine cognitive impairment is a shift in their daily routine.
Make sure your dog isn't suffering from additional symptoms like a lack of appetite or a swollen abdomen. If you detect a substantial change in the dog's behavior and additional symptoms, call a veterinary professional immediately.
Sneezing, Coughing, or Breathing Difficulty
Coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and a runny nose are all symptoms of a respiratory condition. From just a simple cold to the canine influenza or kennel cough or even heart failure these symptoms can be found in dogs. A tracheal collapse, which is frequent in some tiny dog breeds, can cause a honking noise.
Take this a medical event if your dog has breathing difficulties or a bluish tinge to the mouth and gums. It is important to keep an eye on a cough, and if it persists or is accompanied by other signs, this should be evaluated. This might be life-threatening for dogs that experience any rapid changes in their health.
Inflammation of the Skin and Hair
Skin infections, parasites, and allergies can all contribute to alopecia, or hair loss and itching that persists. This can be excruciatingly painful.
Fleas, flea filth (which looks like freshly powdered pepper), irritation, discharge, swelling, soreness, and an unnatural odor should all be looked for on your dog's skin. A warm bath will help alleviate mild symptoms, but a trip to the veterinarian is recommended for those who are experiencing more severe symptoms.
An illness including such Lyme disease, arthritis, hip problems, joint difficulties, or a shattered bone can all cause difficulty walking.
Your pet's activity should be restricted if they are injured or unable to walk normally. It's possible to give the dog a day off if the symptoms are modest and their behavior is otherwise normal. Veterinarians should be called if you are concerned or if the situation persists.
Changes in the shape of one's eyes
Squinting, squinting, or closing one's eyes might indicate a wide range of conditions, from a minor infection to ulceration and glaucoma.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you notice your dog pawing at his or her eyes. Damage can be done to the eye if one repeatedly scratches at it. In addition to administering medication as indicated by your veterinarian, an e-collar may well be required.
Looking at a dog's gum color is best done by lifting their lip and inspecting their gum tissue. The gums of a healthy dog are pink and moist. The gums of a dog can appear pale if it is anemic or in shock. This could be for any number of reasons.
Your dog's health may be at jeopardy if he still has pale gum, is sleepy, weak, or is having difficulty breathing. For immediate medical assistance, contact your veterinarian or the nearest veterinary emergency clinic.