Do you ever think you can understand what your dog is trying to say just by looking into their eyes? Becoming close with your Dog and how they communicate with you is very important in the long run to help keep them healthy. Being able to tell right away if your dog is under the weather truly can be a life and death difference. If it is something serious and is caught early enough it could save your best friends life and if it ends up just being a cold? It is always better to be safe.
Here are a few ways to tell if your pup is not feeling so hot and should be taken to the vet:
Behavior Change – You know your dog best. And if your dog behaves strangely, he is probably telling you something. Here are some indications that your best friend may be sick as a dog:
- Needy or clingy behavior
Tummy troubles – Every dog vomits and has diarrhea now and then—whether it’s from too many table treats or unmentionables scavenged off the sidewalk. When your dog has these symptoms, especially in combination with lethargy and poor appetite, be sure to contact your veterinarian:
- Repeated vomiting that lasts over 24 hours.
- Repeated or profuse diarrhea that lasts over 24 hours
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Repeated dry heaves, restlessness, and distended belly may be a sign of “bloat,” a life threatening condition more typical in large breed dogs. Seek emergency treatment immediately.
Breathing Problems – The signs of respiratory illness range from the obvious to the subtle. Call your vet if you notice:
- Persistent cough that disrupts sleep or lasts more than 24 hours
- Persistent nasal discharge, especially with mucus or blood
- A honking cough
- Wheezing or noisy breathing
- Persistent gagging
- Labored breathing
- If your dog is struggling to breathe, check the color of the gums and tongue. They should be pink. If you notice a bluish tint, seek emergency care immediately.
Elimination problems – Changes in your dog’s bathroom habits can indicate a problem. Consult your veterinarian if you notice:
- Increased volume or frequency of urine
- Trouble passing urine
- Trouble defecating
- Urinary accidents in a previously housetrained dog
- Fecal accidents in a previously housetrained dog
External appearance – Physical changes are often the most noticeable. You know your dog best. If it’s enough to make you worry, then it makes sense to call your vet:
- New lumps and bumps
- Sudden changes in old lumps and bumps
- Lumps or sores that are bloody or oozing
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden weight gain
- Hair loss
- Persistent itch
- Persistent shaking of head or scratching at ears
Fever – Fever often accompanies illness. Conventional wisdom states that a healthy dog should have a cold, wet nose. and that a warm, dry nose means trouble. This is a common misconception. The appearance or feel of a dog’s nose is a poor indicator of health or body temperature. Taking your dog’s temperature with a thermometer is the only real way to diagnose a fever (see box, below). If your dog is acting sick and has a temperature above 103 F, it’s time to call the vet.Note that a body temperature above 104.5 F is consistent with heat stroke and is a life threatening emergency. Institute cooling measures and seek veterinary care immediately.
Pain – A dog may yelp in pain when you go to touch her injured paw or sore back, but it’s even more likely that she will suffer in silence. Most dogs in pain don’t vocalize at all. Any of the following signs warrant a trip to the vet. Never give pain medicine unless it was specifically prescribed for your dog. This includes over-the counter-human pain killers, which can be very toxic to dogs. Here are some signs that your dog may be hurting:
- Lameness or stiffness that lasts more than 24 hours
- Reluctance to move, jump or walk
- Obvious bone or joint swelling that is warm to the touch
- Trouble chewing, drooling
- Guarding of a body part by growling when you approach
- If your dog has been hurt in a car accident, a fall from a height, or attacked by a larger animal, or if there is uncontrolled bleeding, seek veterinary care immediately.
Taking your precious pooch to the Vet right away after witnessing any of these symptoms can catch an illness or condition early enough to save lives. It also shows your pet that you care, love them and are willing to do anything to make sure they are Ok.
Do you know of any important signs pet owners should look out for that are not mentioned above?