Owners often can identify illness in dogs simply by observing them for symptoms such as exhaustion and runny stools. If you notice any potential signs of sickness in your dog, immediate veterinary attention is absolutely essential. The sooner you get your pet to the vet, the sooner he can receive proper medical treatment, if necessary.
Common Signs of Illness
Some common indications of illness in dogs include diarrhea, throwing up after meals, coughing, sneezing, gagging, sunken eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, dry eyes, speedy weight gain or loss, inadequate passing of stool matter, bloody stool, bloody urine, labored breathing, scratching, fever, head shaking, inordinate water intake, flaky skin, sores, problems urinating, unpleasant breath, shivering, pale gums, panting, abdominal bloating, frequent urination, skin itchiness, excessive drooling, nasal discharge, eye discharge, seizures, limping and lumps on the body. When dogs are ill, they sometimes emanate unpleasant odors from their skin, ears or mouth.
These symptoms can signify a diverse and wide range of health conditions in pets. They can indicate anything from parasite infections to kidney failure and beyond. This is why it's vital for owners never to ignore the presence of unusual symptoms in their pets. Don't assume that your pet's vomiting is merely a sign that he ate his lunch too rapidly. Repetitive vomiting in dogs can be a symptom of anything from gastric ulcers to liver failure. If your dog exhibits any possible signs of illness, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
Shifts in Behavioral Patterns
If your pooch is ill, he just might not seem like his normal self. He might act and behave differently than usual. Some key examples of this include loss of energy, unusual exhaustion, disorientation, reduced mobility, whimpering, crying, excessive sleeping, lack of enthusiasm for previously enjoyed activities, reduced appetite, nonexistent appetite, fidgety behavior, pacing, hiding from everyone, uncharacteristic aggression around children and people in general, excitable behavior and irritability. If your dog is ill, his fur might look dirty and dull. This is because sick dogs often neglect their grooming duties. Some sick dogs, however, actually groom their coats immoderately.
Paying close attention to how your pet looks when he sleeps often can be telling, too. When canines are ill, they often sleep silently in curled up positions. If you observe any behavioral shifts in your pet, contact your veterinarian for guidance as soon as possible.
Signs of Impending Death
Some signs and symptoms indicate the possibility of illness in dogs. Other signs and symptoms indicate that death might be approaching. If your pet is on the verge of passing away, you might notice symptoms such as extreme restless behavior, unusually still behavior, vacant eyes, zero appetite, severe weakness or thinness, lack of motion, extremely rapid breathing and extremely slow breathing. When pets are close to dying, they often keep their mouths just a tad open, as well.
If you're concerned that your pet might be exhibiting signs of impending death, notify your veterinarian of the situation without delay.
Routine Veterinary Checkups
Sickness in dogs is often apparent through clear signs and symptoms. It's crucial for owners to know, however, that indications of illness in animals are sometimes difficult to pinpoint. Never assume that your pet is healthy just because he's not displaying symptoms that are pronounced to you. Regular veterinary checkups are vital for all pets. When you take your dog in for a routine vet exam, the veterinarian can conduct preventive care testing in the form of thyroid tests, electrocardiograms, electrolyte assessments, chemistry assessments, complete blood counts and urine tests, to mention several key examples. If your veterinarian performs an electrocardiogram on your pet, for example, he can evaluate him for potential problems with his heart rhythm. Unusual heart rhythms in dogs sometimes signify heart disease.
While noticing symptoms can be helpful for picking up on the possibility of sickness in dogs, veterinary evaluations are the only way to be certain.
- Home to Heaven: When You See the Signs of a Dying Dog
- The Cocker Spaniel Handbook; D. Caroline Coile
- Petparents: Sick Dog Symptoms
- American Humane Association: Recognizing & Caring for a Sick Pet
- PetMD: Dog Symptom Checker
- Pet Health Network: The Top 10 Signs Your Dog May Be Sick (And What You Can Do About It)
- Peaceful Passings, Inc.: Things to Watch For and Things You Can Do
- Photo Credit Cols3/iStock/Getty Images
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