Is My Dog Sick?August 25, 2016
Dogs are masters at masking their pain. So what are the signs and symptoms to look out for?
Our four-legged, best friends can be masters at hiding their pain or problems. As a responsible dog owner it is up to us to detect changes in their behaviour or symptoms. Some can be very obvious, while others not so much.
The key to ensuring your dog is kept in the very best of health is to ensure they have a yearly check-up with your local veterinarian. This is also a great time to update their vaccinations, have a dental check, and also chat about any underlying problems or behavioural issues your dog may be experiencing.
#1 – Smelly Breath
A dog should not have overly pungent, smelly breath. This can be a sign that something is not right in the mouth. Periodontal disease can lead to many health problems, as the gums and teeth are a gateway to the bloodstream. Drooling dogs with smelly breath need to be seen by a veterinarian to rule out any tooth or gum problems.
#2 – Appetite
If your dog suddenly goes off their food, or seems insatiably hungry, a trip to the vet is in order. Poor appetite can be a symptom of a variety of concerns. Your vet will help you to understand exactly what is the matter with your beloved dog.
#3 – Excessive Drinking or Urination
If you notice that your pet is suddenly drinking or urinating more than usual, it is important to seek professional advice. Excessive drinking can indicate a problem with the kidneys.
#4 – Constipation or Bowl Concerns
If your pet is showing digestive upset, a vet check is certainly in order. Particularly, if you suspect they have ingested something. Dogs can show inconsistent symptoms after ingesting a foreign object which may be partially blocked. Dogs who also have bad smelling gas may also need their diets adjusted. Bloated or swollen stomachs can also indicate something is not right and should be checked by a professional quickly. If your dog is experiencing sudden or frequent digestive upsets, chat to your local vet nurse and make an appointment to rule out any problems.
#5 – Stiffness
Many older dogs start to get a little stiff in their joints. However, this doesn’t need to be painful. If you notice your older or younger dog having problems walking or sitting, or if they seem a little stiff during colder weather, a check-up is essential. Arthritis is now a very treatable disease. Stiffness or lameness can also indicate an injury.
#6 – Skin
Flaky, dry and irritated skin is a common complaint with dogs. This can indicate allergies or a seasonal change. If your dog is suffering from flaky skin and shakes their head often, it can indicate allergies. A treatment plan may be needed to help combat the problem.
#7 – Coughs & Breathing
If your dog has a dry, laboured cough or seems to be struggling to breathe, it is important to seek medical advice immediately.
It is also important to understand that dogs can show illness through their behaviour. If your pet suddenly changes their behaviour or starts to exhibit any unusual mannerisms, don’t ignore them. They could be desperately trying to tell you that something is not right.