Dogs have proven to be man’s best companions over the ages, and this intimate relationship between human beings and dogs has always been loyal and playful. These incredible companions have validated their loyalty and friendship for hundreds of years, and the wag of their tail and playful tactics have been the sure comfort of their owner’s day-long exhaustion and ensuring warmth, understanding, and their faithful presence.
When it comes to a dog’s well-being, it is their master’s responsibility to identify the signs when their buddy is behaving out of the ordinary and needs to visit an animal clinic. Typically, animals and dogs, mainly, don’t show clear signs of them being uneasy and feeling sick. So here are ten signs that your dog might be ill and needs a veterinarian’s attention:
Sudden change in sleeping habits
If you notice your dog appears to be lethargic and exhausted and is unusually uninterested in going out for a walk or in playful activities, it’s a heads up sign for you to consult a vet. Sleep for more than usual hours or staying awake at nights and barking or growling might be an indicator that your dog might be going through the following problems:
- High temperature
- Swelling in joints or muscles
- Getting senile and lacking vitality
- Spinal injury
- Neurological issues
If you notice your dog’s behavior to be unusually sluggish and they do not participate in your day to day activities, this is the time to set an appointment with a veterinarian to get your dog correctly checked and medicated for any of the problems mentioned above. Discussion with a vet and getting their urine, fecal, or blood tests will give a precise reason behind their lethargic and un-engaging behavior.
Change in eating habits or increased demand for drinking water
One of the clear signs that your pet needs a veterinarian examination is their change in appetite. It is not healthy at all for a dog to consecutively skip more than two meals for a day. Similarly, drinking lots more water than usual can be an indication of diabetes or kidney disease. So, if you have to refill their water bowls frequently or notice increased urination, it’s a red flag for you to get your pet examined. However, loss of appetite might be due to several factors, including:
- Liver failure
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Cushing’s disease
- Hormonal changes
Thus, be mindful of these distressing ailments your dogs might be going through, and as soon as you observe the change in appetite or drinking habits, pay your vet a quick visit.
Foul or bad breath
The most common cause of your pet’s bad breath might be a dental concern, which might be a result of tartar or plaque in its teeth. Apart from these causes related to the mouth, the foul breath may also be due to advanced kidney disease or the development of diabetes mellitus in a senile animal. While the former causes require a dental procedure to remove tartar, plaque, or in case the rotten teeth from the mouth, the later ones also demand an immediate veterinarian appointment.
Changes in bowel movements
To keep an overall check on your pet’s health, keep observing their stools from time to time. If you see continual bowel changes with worms, blood or mucus in its stool, be mindful it might be due to the following:
- Serious stomach allergy
- Inflammation in intestine
- Kidney disease
- Intake of some poisonous food
Diarrhea or frequent vomiting
Diarrhea for more than 24 hours or vomiting in a row may cause a severe nutrient loss in your dog. So, if you notice your dog is unusually vomiting or is having diarrhea, there is undoubtedly something that is causing it constant distress inside. Sometimes, vomiting blood or mucus is due to fever or some ailment, which is also a sign that your dog needs to see a vet immediately.
Dry and reddish eyes
The most common of all the symptoms that you might notice that your dog is unwell is the change in their eye color, and if it is becoming dry and reddish. These need immediate attention as it might be due to some injury or infection. Often time, the discomfort in eyes causes an excessive discharge of mucus or either causes them to be watery, which might lead to an indication of blindness due to aging. As soon as you notice such a sign, arrange an appointment with the veterinarian at the earliest.
A dry cough is a rather unspecified sign, however, leading to several plausible causes. This dry cough can be unusually distressing and painful for your pet and hence should not be ignored as it might be due to one of the following diseases:
- Heart disease
- Bronchial infection
- Infection in the trachea
- Respiratory tract infections (RTIs)
- Lungs infection
Change in gait
Similar to humans, a change in gait or limping in your pet’s walk is an indication that something is hurting it to the point that it cannot walk smoothly. This limping can be due to pain in a bone, ligament, muscle, or joint. Usually, a veterinarian gets an x-ray of that particular bone or any body part. However, sometimes a severe cause may lead to surgery. Anyhow, be mindful that this limping may be caused as a consequence of one of the following:
- Tumor in a bone
- Spinal infection
- Ligament rupture
- Fracture in a bone
- Stiffness of a muscle/tissue
Lumps or swelling on the body
Lumps or swellings on the skin of a dog can be in the form of bruises, abscesses, or fluid-filled tumors, which are signs of discomfort to the pet and can be due to diseases such as diabetes or cancer. Therefore, as soon as you notice a lump or swelling on your dog’s body, do not let your pet suffer and immediately take him to a veterinarian for treatment.
Rashes or itching on skin
Rash or itchy skin can be as disturbing to your dog as it is for a human. These skin irritations can be caused due to the consumption of inappropriate foods or allergies, and your dog might scratch it to peel the skin, leading to severe infections or bloody patches on the body.
Remember that this might be due to a bacterial infection or insect bites and can be painful for your dog. As soon as you see an unusual skin spot or find your dog scratching or rubbing its skin, make an immediate appointment to a veterinarian to avoid further infection by identifying the cause of the rash or itching.
Knowing the signs you’re supposed to look out for can prevent and control any emergencies. By keeping an eye out for when your furry companion is behaving out of the ordinary, you can do your part by ensuring they live a long and healthy life.
What other signs should one look out for? Let us know in the comments below!