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Dog Illness Symptoms:  Ten Signs Your Dog Needs Vet Care

Dog Illness Symptoms:  Ten Signs Your Dog Needs Vet CareDog Illness Symptoms: Ten Signs Your Dog Needs Vet Care

Dogs are a part of our family, and their health and well-being should be our top priority. As a dog parent, ask yourself – “can you live with yourself watching your baby suffer?”

NO, you can’t. So, it's essential that you take them to the veterinarian as soon as you see these 10 signs.

Dog Illness Symptoms That Should Get Your Attention

#1. Odd Eating Habits

Dogs love to eat, and it’s unusual for them to not be present during mealtimes. However, during hot weather, sometimes they tend to eat a little less than usual.

But, if they skip meals more than once, then you should be on your guard as it paints a clear sign that something is wrong with your dog.

Many canine diseases cause dogs to lose appetite and develop unusual eating habits. Additionally, overeating is also a concern. If your well-behaved and well-fed dog is going dumpster-diving – then you know that it’s time for a checkup.

#2. Dog Illness Symptoms:  Excessive Thirst

Like food, water also plays an essential part in a dog’s healthy quality of life. It’s natural that during summers, water consumption levels will be high.

Excess water consumption is a sign of kidney disease or diabetes. There is a very easy way to check if your dog is drinking more water. See how many times you have to refill his water bowl.

Also, if they need to go more than once to urinate, then a checkup with the vet is in order.

#3. Dog Illness Symptoms:  Rough Or Dry Coat

You can tell if there is something wrong with the dogs just by looking at the condition of their coat. A dog’s coat – no matter the breed – should be healthy.

If a dog’s coat is dull, dry, rough or rough patches that gives clear indication that something is not right.

Many things such as allergies, or the wrong kind of food, or various skin diseases can be the source. A vet can ascertain the origin of the problem and guide your dog towards recovery.

#4. Seeming Sluggish And Tired

Lethargy in dogs can be troubling. They are hard to notice for us owners. Take note if your dog is unwilling to go for a walk or play or do an activity they enjoy.

Normal fatigue is associated with exercise, and it’s not unusual for them to have a lie in after a session. Dogs are also less active when it’s hot outside, and the weather is humid.

However, if they are not active for more than two days, then take him to your local vet and have him checked out.

#5. Vomiting

While vomiting isn’t unusual for dogs, we must always try to understand the reasons why they vomit. Animals usually vomit to get rid off something which reacted negatively with them. It may be food or something they nibbled on.

However, constant vomiting is a cause for concern. Look out when –

  1. Your dog vomits several times a row
  2. Your dog vomits blood
  3. Your dog has a fever after vomiting

Dehydration, diarrhea and many other diseases can be the source of severe vomiting.

#6. Dog Illness Symptoms:  Unusual Stool

You can check the overall health just by looking what your dog poops. A healthy dog will have firm, small and moist stools. Different food habits may result in different stool compositions. It’s safe to say that if your dog’s stool is hard and dry, then there is definitely something wrong with him.

Take your dog for a checkup if he has -

a) Diarrhea or loose stool for more than one day

b) Blood or mucus in his stool

c) Worms in his stool

d) Trouble pooping or strains when he poops.

Health problems such as these are  related to diet and dehydration are common sources of unusual stool.

#7. Dog Illness Symptoms:  Sudden Weight Loss

It’s always wise to keep your pooch in a healthy weight. However, any sudden drop in the dog’s weight should be taken into account and checked out by the vet immediately. Weight loss is a sign that something is seriously amiss with your dog.

As a general rule, if your dog drops more than 10% of his weight - a vet should be notified. This can be very tricky with small dogs because that percentage can mean as little as a few pounds.

#8. Dog Illness Symptoms:  Cloudy Or Red Eyes

It’s said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Otherworldly matters aside, the eyes can reveal a lot of information on what’s wrong with your body. If you see your dog’s eyes are cloudy or red - be sure to take him to the vet as soon as possible

Additionally, keep a lookout when they squint a lot or have excessive discharges from their eyes. Eye diseases are tricky, and if not timely checked out, they can rapidly progress and even cause blindness.

It’s recommended to use medication prescribed by the veterinarian to treat eye-related allergies or infections.

#9. Dog Illness Symptoms:  Scooting Or Dragging Rear

The scooting symptom in dogs are very noticeable and if left untreated can cause serious health problems. If your dog is acting like this, it’s a sign that he may have irritation or worms in his anal pathway.

Also, he may also have blocked or infected anal glands urinary tract infection and diarrhea - all of which are life-threatening if not properly treated.

If you see your dog dragging his rear then consult with your vet immediately.

#10. Emergency Symptoms

Other than the 9 symptoms above there are special cases where a visit to the vet becomes an urgent issue. They are -

a) Any trauma, open wounds or broken bones

b) Breathing problems or unconsciousness

c) Bloody vomit

d) Seizure

e) Bleeding from any orifices, e.g. mouth, eyes or nose or anus

f) Ingestion of toxic food or material

g) Pain - including whining, shaking or difficulty in movement

h) Swollen abdomen

Dogs are survivors, that’s why at first they will put up a strong face wherever they go. It also makes them look healthy on the outside as it’s apart of their survivalist nature.

However, they are also our friend, and it falls to us to take note of such symptoms that pose a serious hazard to their health. No one knows your dog better than you. If you ever feel something is wrong, then trust your instincts and take him to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Ten Signs Your Dog Needs Vet Care at Small Dog PlaceTen Signs Your Dog Needs Vet Care at Small Dog Place

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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