Dogs, very much like people, get sick. They can suffer from a number of acute or chronic conditions, requiring medical intervention and suitable treatments. As a responsible owner, you need to educate yourself and notice any red flags, helping your dog feel better as soon as possible.
With pets, the difficulty always lies in identifying symptoms, as the dog cannot tell you how he feels. It is for the best to be aware of potential signs that your pet friend might not be in top-shape. In the paragraphs below, you will useful information on how to tell if your dog is sick. Always heed your instinct and take your pet friend to the vet, if something does not seem right.
Your dog might present an abnormal behavior
Specialized websites, such as Simplyfordogs, teach us that the dog’s behavior can be indicative of his health. If you have noticed that your pet friend acts in a strange manner, you might want to pay closer attention to his health.
A dog that is sick might also be lethargic, irritable or agitated. Some dogs have the tendency to become withdrawn, seeking out a place where they feel safe. Others, on the contrary, will cling to you, appearing needy all of a sudden. In case of any abnormal behavior, a visit to the vet will give you the much-needed peace of mind.
Breathing difficulties are indicative of a serious health issue
A dog that has trouble breathing is, without any doubt, ill. As both acute and chronic conditions can lead to such difficulties, you might need to pay attention to accompanying symptoms. If the distress is severe, you might need to take your dog to the vet for emergency treatment or intervention.
Respiratory illnesses do not cause only breathing difficulties but also different types of coughs, wheezing and other noises. A cough that lasts for more than a day can indicate a viral or bacterial infection, especially if it is accompanied by nasal discharge. Poor oxygenation might cause the gums and the tongue to turn bluish, suggesting the need for immediate care.
Gastrointestinal upset: from vomiting to diarrhea
Dogs are easily tented to eat bits of food found on the street, but this habit might lead to tummy trouble. While vomiting can occur from time to time, it can also be a sign of gastrointestinal upset. Your dog can suffer from stomach flu, which is also a viral infection. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy.
Emergency intervention should be sought in dogs with repeated vomiting and diarrhea. The vet can examine the dog and identify additional symptoms, such as abdominal pain or inflammation. The blood in the stool is also a sign of a serious GI condition. Keep in mind that large breeds can suffer from a life-threatening affliction, known as bloat, requiring treatment to avoid premature death.
Changes in appearance
Cancer is a common condition diagnosed in dogs of different ages and breeds. The more the cancer progresses, the more significant the changes in appearance are going to be. Most owners will be able to notice the weight loss, as well as the presence of lumps.
Depending on the condition the dog is suffering from, he might present oozing or bloody lesions. If your pet friend presents such discomforting manifestations, you might want to talk to the vet about palliative care. For the remaining time, your dog should be comfortable and pain-free.
Fever and pain
These are two of the most important, and revealing symptoms a dog will present. There is a common misconception that a dog with fever will have a dry and warm nose – to make sure there really is a high temperature, you should use a thermometer. Fever indicates infection, so adequate treatment will be necessary.
Pain is another upsetting symptom, being often accompanied by inflammation and a reduced range of motion. Dogs that suffer from arthritis present specific symptoms, being reluctant to movement and guarding the affected part of the body. Pain medication can provide relief from such symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
Seizure, a permanent presence in the life of a dog with neurological problems
It is possible that your dog suffers from neurological problems, with seizures occurring on a daily basis. Aside from these, your dog might experience twitches, tremors and muscular weakness. The head tilt, disorientation and circling can be suggestive of chronic conditions, such as vertigo, epilepsy or hepatoencephalic syndrome.
The vet can prescribe treatment to keep the seizures and other manifestations under control, so as your dog can maintain an adequate quality of life. If your dog loses his consciousness, it can be a sign of further complications, requiring emergency treatment.
Your dog deserves the best possible life. Prevention is key, including when it comes to age-related conditions, which is why it is important to incorporate a healthy raw or freeze-dried diet, as well as balanced gut health and full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) supplements. You should also educate yourself on recognizing acute signs of illness, so that you can take your dog to the doctor in a timely manner.