Determining when your dog might be ill or developing a major diagnosis may not come as easy as it seems. Plenty of symptoms a dog might exhibit while seriously ill might simply be attributed to aging or other natural causes and if not recognized and quickly diagnosed might lead to extreme health complications.
Here are 10 signs that your dog may be sick or developing a major illness;
1. Your dog is lethargic and doesn't have its normal energy levels
If your dog seems unusually tired or sluggish, it could be a sign that something is wrong. If your dog is much slower to react, not as playful, or simply much lazier than normal than they usually might be, It's best to take your dog to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.
2. Your dog has lost its appetite and is not eating as much as usual
If your dog suddenly stops eating or cuts down on his food intake, it could be a sign that he's not feeling well. This is especially true if the loss of appetite is accompanied by other symptoms on this list.
3. Your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea are both common signs that something is wrong with your dog. If your dog has vomited more than once or has diarrhea that lasts more than a day, it's best to take him to the vet.
4. Your dog is drinking more water than usual
If your dog is drinking much more water than usual, this is a sign they could be developing a range of serious health concerns including, kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's syndrome, or simply dehydration.
5. Your dog is urinating more than usual
If your dog is urinating more frequently, it could also be a sign of diabetes, kidney disease, or another health condition.
6. Your dog has bad breath
Bad breath in dogs can be a sign of dental disease or another health problem. If you notice that your dog's breath has been smelling worse or much more noticeable than previously, it's best to take him to the vet and have them examined.
7. Your dog is coughing or sneezing or panting more than usual
If your dog is coughing or sneezing, panting, or laboring more than normal, it could be a sign of an allergy, infection, or worse, congestive heart failure. If this is accompanied by other symptoms on this list, it's worth taking him to the vet for a check-up.
8. Your dog's coat is dry or dull
If your dog's coat starts to look dry or dull, it could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, developing coat or skin issue, or another health complication. Taking your dog to the vet to have a routine examination or simply getting a second opinion on if your dog needs swift dietary changes might be best.
9. Your dog is itching or scratching more than usual
If your dog is itching or scratching more than normal, it could be another sign of an allergy, infection, or other health complication.
10. Your dog has a noticeable change in activity.
If your dog is acting differently than normal, out of routine, or seemingly acting unfamiliar in a home environment it could be a sign that something is wrong. If this is accompanied by other symptoms on this list, it's worth taking him to the vet for a check-up. This is a particular symptom that can simply be attributed to an aging dog so be particularly wary of excess confusion in your dog.
Prevention and Treatment
Often noticing these symptoms as soon as possible can be a potentially life-saving act and help your best friend mitigate pain. Because signs of disease are not always obvious, you must take measures to implement preventative care into your normal routine visit to your veterinarian. This includes testing such as urine collection, blood-count tests, ECGs, and bodily chemical and electrolyte tests.
Of course, testing methods and recommendations are best addressed by your veterinarian and might be different for your dog given their symptoms or lack thereof. This method of preventative care helps ensure that your dog's health is monitored and any illness if developing is caught quickly and treated properly.
We are your best resource to promptly and accurately ensure the well-being of your best friend. At Muirfield Animal Hospital we even offer drop-off wellness services to make this process simpler.
Call or contact us today and if you have any further questions or concerns about your pet's health, make sure to always consult a veterinarian.