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Signs That Your Dog May Be Sick
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There are many signs to look for in order to tell if your dog is ill. Obviously, different signs and symptoms can mean different things, so it is a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian rather than diagnosis him or her yourself. Most dog owners are very familiar with their pets and can immediately tell when something isn't quite right. It is a good idea to track your dogs eating, water consumption and bathroom schedules so that you know right away when something is "off." Below are a few signs and symptoms that may indicate that your furry friend may be sick. Again, stay calm and make a vet appointment as soon as possible. Though some of these symptoms are more serious than others, let the veterinarian do a thorough exam in order to come up with a diagnosis and a treatment plan that is best suited for your dog and his or her situation.
Loss of Appetite – Your dog may stop eating for any number of reasons (honestly, too many to name here). If your dog stops eating, take him to the vet. Write down when your dog's last meal was and any other symptoms he may be exhibiting so that you are ready to answer any question the vet may ask. Some reasons a dog might stop eating include a swollen mouth or tongue due to a bee sting, mouth injuries, simple upset stomach due to eating something bad, neck pain, mouth sores or tooth problems or even smoke inhalation.
Disorientation – This is another sign that something is indeed wrong. If your dog appears disoriented (as if he doesn't know where he is) take him to the veterinarian. Disorientation can be a symptom of a bad ear infection, head injury, snake bite, low blood sugar or even doggie Alzheimers (also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction).
Walking in Circles (similar to disorientation) – Many dogs begin to walk in circles when they have a bad ear infection or some type of head injury. Though this can be an alarming symptom, more often than not, a bad ear infection is the culprit. If your dog appears disoriented or is walking in circles take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. If your veterinarian's office is closed it would be a good idea to leave a message with their emergency call back service (just to be safe).
Difficulty Breathing – If your dog is having difficulty breathing take him or her to the veterinarian immediately. Though breathing troubles can be the symptom for any number of problems, don't try and guess what is going on…play it safe and seek medical attention. Reasons your dog may have trouble breathing include reactions to insect bites, food allergies, being hit by a car (which would be obvious), carbon monoxide poisoning, suffocation, asthma, electric shock or foreign object in throat.
Fur Loss and or Patchy – Many dogs have allergies (especially Beagles!). Allergies are, in fact, the number one reason dogs lose their fur. Skin infections can also cause your pup's fur to fall out. No matter whether your pup has an airborne allergy or a food allergy fur loss is a great possibility.
Weakness or Grogginess -There are several reasons as to why your dog may be weak or groggy. Possible reasons include insect bites, carbon monoxide poisoning, abdominal wounds or disease, heatstroke, dehydration or even low blood sugar. Both weakness and grogginess should not be ignored!
Discharge from eyes
Frequent Urination (possible UTI – also symptom of Cushings Disease in older dogs)
Pale Mucas Membranes
Consistent Coughing
Ear Scratching
Inflamed or Cloudy Eyes (read more about Dog Glaucoma and Cataracts HERE!)
Rapid Weight Loss
Blood in Urine
Discharge in Ears
Repeated Vomiting Over Several Days
Blood in Stool
Additional Symptoms That SHOULD NOT Be Ignored!
Knowing your dog and his day to day routine (eating and pooping habits) is a great way to gage if your dog is ill. Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of letting a veterinarian diagnosis your dog if, in fact, something is wrong. Taking your dog's health into your own hands can be dangerous as you could be prolonging much needed professional medical care! Yes, it would be nice if our furry friends could talk and actually tell us when they are not feeling well but obviously, they can't. It is up to us, as dog owners, to know and care for our dogs when they are ill or need our help. Good luck and here's to happy, healthy hounds!
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