Whenever you fall sick and visit a doctor, the first thing your doctor asks you is symptoms. Being able to speak you can enlist all of them easily. But what about your dog? Can he do the same? Of course not. So how will you know that your dog is sick?
Here we are with our new blog in which we have enlisted a few signs and symptoms which will help you know that your dog is sick. Hope you find it helpful.
Common signs of illness in dogs include:
Dogs vary in their activity level according to breed and disposition. But sometimes your dog starts showing some abrupt changes in behavior like lethargy, snippiness, or aggression. It may snap at you if you get closer or touch the site of discomfort. But it is not necessary that all the dogs will show similar signs. Some may become dull and inactive. If you notice any significant change in your dog’s behavior, consult a veterinarian.
Healthy dogs will scratch occasionally but excessive licking, scratching, and nibbling may be a sign of disease. Generally, dogs show excessive scratching habits due to some allergies (dermatitis), parasitic infection, pain, or hormonal imbalances.
Inappetence and weight loss
Loss of appetite may be a sign of illness. Most dogs have a good appetite but bitches in whelp or a phantom pregnancy will often eat less. Sometimes dogs eat less due to some environmental stress, which is common. But if there is an abrupt loss in appetite, then a veterinarian should be consulted. If there is a significant loss in body weight, it can also be an indication that your dog is sick. Consult your vet as soon as possible.
Sometimes dogs develop a cough, wheezing and nasal discharge which is most of the time due to the common cold and flu. But it should not be ignored. It can also be due to canine flu which is very fatal for dog’s health. Honky cough or kennel cough is also an indicator of serious tracheal disorders. Also, if you observe a bluish tint on your dog’s tongue and gums immediately seek veterinary help.
Bitches urinate less frequently than dogs, except when in estrus (heat). Male dogs usually urinate (empty the bladder in contrast to depositing small quantities of urine to mark territory) at least 3 times a day. More frequent urination, particularly with training may be a sign of ill health. Excessive urination may be indicative of kidney problems. Bloody urine can also be an indication of some serious health problems.
Defecating from one to four times a day can be normal, depending on age, breed and diet. A greater frequency, even without a change in consistency, can be a sign of illness.
This is an increase in frequency and volume with an unformed stool. The term is often used incorrectly to describe loose stool, which may be due to environmental factors such as stress and temperature coupled with the dog’s innate habit of devouring scarcely edible food. If diarrhea occurs only once, it may be normal but if it occurs multiple times in 24 hours it indicates that your dog is sick.
Respiration and temperature
Temperature and the rate and rhythm of respiration give an indication of health. An excited dog can have a temperature of 40oC and a heart rate of 80-100 beats per minute. Rectal temperature should be taken with the lubricated thermometer inserted for the appropriate time. A suitable thermometer should be part of the pet’s own first aid kit.
Other signs that indicate if your dog is sick are:
Warm dry nose
A warm dry nose should not be considered a sign of ill-health. Dogs frequently have a warm dry nose in centrally heated homes.
A “doggy” smell may indicate that a problem is present. There are many causes for this odour such as ear or skin disease, bad teeth, anal or genital problems and severe systemic diseases. If the odor persists after bathing and grooming, consult your veterinarian once.
Healthy dogs, irrespective of the breed should not be obese. The skin should be supple and move freely over well-defined muscles. If the dog is getting fat, seek professional advice. There are many specialized diets available.
It has been noticed that the above-mentioned signs of sickness are more concerning in the case of puppies, old dogs, or a frail dog due to low immune defense. But that does not mean it should be completely ignored in others. If your dog’s behavior worries you, immediately consult a veterinarian.