As a dog owner it is important to pick up signs your dog is sick and may need medical attention. Signs like bright eyes, a drop in appetite, a lack of dynamism or sudden aggressiveness must be on the alert board, and these are many more.
No symptoms should be overlooked, because in some cases they can be caused by serious illness. It is therefore important to spot them as soon as possible in order to get your dog treated as soon as possible.
Signs your dog is sick: What to look for
If your dog is usually full of energy and suddenly becomes flat, has not left his bed for a few days, doesn’t even want to see his master and even seeks solitude, it’s not very reassuring.
Your dog may complain with regular moans, which may indicate he is in pain. If he adopts the prayer position (front of body level with the ground and rear end raised), he has abdominal pain. Regardless of its attitude, when a dog complains, a veterinary check-up should be done without delay to identify the exact cause.
If your dog is convulsing, it could indicate an epileptic condition or a sign of intoxication or poisoning. The urgency is absolute.
A dog’s body temperature above 39°C is abnormal and indicates fever, which may be a symptom of some form of infection. If it is below 38°C, it’s also a bad sign.
If you dog has bad breath (halitosis condition) it may be a sign of periodontal disease. It is common in dogs with heavily scaled teeth due to poor oral hygiene. The animal should be taken care of by a specialist in animal dentistry. But bad breath can also be due to a problem with the digestive system.
Digestive disorders are manifested by bloating, gas, vomiting, diarrhea or recurrent constipation. Be careful if your dog’s stools are bloody and immediately consult your vet.
If your dog is coughing you should never neglect to take action because it can be a sign of bronchitis, serious lung damage or heart trouble.
In the case of dogs with bright or watery eyes and running noses they show signs of serious illness which often times go unnoticed. Whether it is conjunctivitis or an allergy, these conditions need to be promptly treated.
If your dog’s hair falls out, becomes dull or coarse or breaks, these are clear signs your dog is sick. A change in the appearance and texture of the coat is a common sign that the dog is sick and the causes are multiple. Better not to wait to ask the specialist for a diagnosis.
A dog that keeps licking or scratching himself may be battling with parasites (fleas, worms, etc.), unless it is an allergy or a skin disease.
When a dog urinates a lot, i.e. more frequently than normal, or sometimes does not have time to ask to go out it may indicate pathologies such as kidney disease, liver problem and diabetes. In such case, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible and if, in addition, there is blood in his urine, this becomes an emergency. Kidney failure and diabetes can also greatly increase the feeling of thirst.
Signs a dog is sick can be evidenced by a change in its mobility. If he struggles to get up, walk, change position or he is limping you should be concerned with conditions such as osteoarthritis, herniated disc, dysplasia or Lyme disease (transmitted by ticks) and you consult without delay.
Certain pathologies impact the behavior of an animal. It can be noted that if a dog who is otherwise gentle and calm suddenly becomes aggressive, it may be a sign of a thyroid disorder or the onset of deafness.
Are you recognizing signs your dog is sick?
- Some of the symptoms described above require an emergency consultation. But in all cases, a dog owner should start by calling the vet’s office and share as much information as possible. Some of the recommended steps are:
- Take the temperature of the dog. As mentioned above, if it is not in the 38 to 39°C range, it clearly is a sign of sickness.
- Inspect his mucous membranes. For example, a white eye that turns yellow may be a sign of a liver problem.
- Check your dog’s skin to find the slightest parasite (flea, louse, tick) or a sore.
- Weigh the animal to see if it has lost weight.
- Palpate the abdomen. If the dog has a hard stomach or seems to be in pain, this could be a sign of a transit problem. You should also be able to tell the vet if there is blood in the dog’s stool or urine, which is not a good sign.
The slightest symptom that persists for more than 24 or 36 hours warrants a consultation.
While doing these different checks, it is important to reassure your canine friend, to avoid any undue stress. It is also important to be careful because a dog in pain can have an unpredictable reaction, such as biting for example, even his master to whom he is very attached.