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How to Know About Your Dog Sickness and Health
Dogs don't have the capability to speak to us about their feelings. So, in case your pet is unwell, you must know about the warning signs of dog sickness so that you can take proper action. Also, like humans, your pet's health will change with age. But our dogs age much more quickly than us.
Hence, read along if you want to know about the warning signs!
How Do Dogs Behave When They Feel Sick?
Dogs usually tend to conceal their feelings in the initial stages of their illness. So, you might notice a few subtle changes in their action and personality. Hence, these subtle changes point out that they might not be well. However, the trick here is to pick these changes to help your pet recover quickly.
What Are the Symptoms of a Sick Dog?
So, if you are willing to find out the symptoms of a sick dog, here are the top signs to look at:
- Diarrhoea: In case your pet is experiencing constant diarrhoea or constipation for more than two days, or if blood or mucus is in poo, you should visit your vet. Also, you can carry a stool sample with you.
- Not Consuming Food For Over 24 Hours: There might be multiple reasons behind alterations in your dog's eating patterns, and occasionally it might be irregular. However, in case your pet disgusts over food for 24 hours or more, you can consult your vet.
- Persistent Sneezing, Gagging, Vomiting, or Coughing: Constant choking or sickness while consuming is a major concern. Also, emesis might be a symptom of an allergy or infection, especially in older dogs. Kennel cough might also be a contagious illness.
- Excessive Urination or Thirst: In a few cases, frequent urination and excessive thirst are symptoms of illness.
- Difficulty Urinating: If you are a dog parent, check for yelping while urinating. Also, check for blood in the urine or a hunched back.
- Runny Nose or Eyes: Panting, sneezing, runny nose or eyes, or similar symptoms can be a sign of respiratory problems. These are similar to shortness of breath or gasping.
- Swollen or Red Gums: Swollen or red gums, especially with bad breath, is a primary sign of gum problem. If the condition is severe, your dog can drop treats, experience weight loss and lose teeth.
- Flaky or Itchy Skin: Generally, the skin condition is a reliable indicator of illness. In most cases, your dog's skin must be smooth and black or pink. In most cases, constant sores, itching, lumps and symptoms of dermatitis may indicate an allergic reaction.
- Tiredness and General Lethargy: In case your pet is not feeling healthy, normal, or active, you can consult your vet. Similar to us, dogs can also look unwell, and you can book an appointment with your vet if there are no apparent reasons behind those.
- Alteration in Weight: If your dog is losing weight progressively over a few weeks, you should be concerned about it. This is also applicable if your dog shows a steady weight loss over an extended period. On the other hand, unexpected weight gain can also signify dog illnesses.
How to Prevent Sickness in Dogs?
Preventive care for dogs is undoubtedly one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy. Additionally, it also helps to identify illness at earlier stages. Also, your dog will likely respond to treatment if a condition is detected early.
In addition, visiting your vet regularly with your dog can diagnose an illness much earlier and prevent it from getting severe. Also, it can abate hefty expenses and might save the life of your pet if a disease is contained in the first place, and dog illness symptoms are identified.
When to Take a Sick Dog to the Vet?
As your pet is unable to express its sickness, it is essential to monitor their health regularly. Hence, dog parents need to note initial symptoms to prevent complications. Also, if you are unsure about your dog's health, you can schedule an appointment with your vet to spot early signs.
What Are the Tests Recommended for a Sick Dog?
If you are visiting the vet, the doctor may recommend the following tests:
- Electrolyte and chemistry tests to examine if your dog is suffering from an electrolyte imbalance or dehydrated.
- Examinations to find if your dog has tick-borne, heartworm, or other diseases.
- A blood count test to examine blood-related conditions.
- Urine tests to examine urinary tract infections and kidney-related diseases.
- A thyroid test to find problems in your dog’s thyroid gland.
- ECG to monitor a heart rate for examining heart diseases.
What to Expect During Puppy’s First-Time Vet Visit?
The Veterinary staff can initiate the examination by asking multiple questions about your puppy. Also, the questionnaires will be followed by:
- Weight check
- Physical examination includes checking the puppy's body, heart, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, overall skin and coat.
- Measuring pulse and body temperature with respiratory rates
- Observing your dog walk in an examination room
- Widening the mouth to see gums, teeth, and other features
- Examining the whole body, including the coat, ears, eyes, nose, nails, feet, skin, and genitalia
- Checking your dog’s ears and eyes
- Using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs
- Palpating the joints, lymph nodes, and organs in the belly
- Checking reflexes
Besides this, your veterinarian might collect a stool sample to check for parasites to identify your dog’s sickness and treatment. Also, if your dog is at least half a year old, your vet might draw a blood sample for heartworm testing. Apart from these, your vet might also do some additional tests.
If your puppy is visiting the vet for the first time, the doctor might also make multiple essential aspects of caring for your puppy, including:
- Play and exercise requirements
- Dental care
- Grooming needs
- Travel requirements
- Reproductive health
- Vaccination schedules
- Tick, flea, and other parasite control
- Diseases that have the potential to spread from pets and vice versa.