How to Know When Your Dog is Sick

Опубликовал Admin
21-09-2019, 01:00
1 354
Updated: September 20, 2019 Just like their owners, dogs can become ill with anything from a minor virus to something more dangerous with serious complications. Since your pet cannot tell you what’s wrong, you should keep an eye out for certain symptoms. Always consult with your veterinarian if you ever suspect your dog may be ill.

Evaluating Your Dog’s Appearance

  1. Watch for excessive drooling or bad breath. Excessive drooling or bad breath can be signs that your dog might need some teeth extracted. In order to prevent many dental problems, try to train your dog so that it allows you to brush their teeth. Look for the following symptoms in your dog that might indicate a dental problem:
    • Watch to see if your dog is eating less.
    • Notice if your dog is sensitive to you touching their muzzle.
    • You may also visibly notice your dog having trouble chewing.
  2. Listen for excessive coughing or honking. If your dog is coughing, it might not be a reason to worry. However, coughing that lasts for any longer than a twenty-four hour period might be something more serious. Get any severe coughing in your dog checked out by your veterinarian.
    • Coughing problems can disrupt your dog's sleep.
    • Coughing in a dog can be a sign of anything from minor bronchitis to heart worms, have a professional examine your dog.
  3. Pay attention to changes in your dog's behavior. Just as humans may act differently when they don’t feel well, you may notice changes in your dog's behavior if it’s not feeling well.
    • Changes may include, but are not limited to, increase or decrease in appetite or thirst, hyperactivity or noticeably lowered energy levels.
    • If you notice changes in your dog's behavior, visit your veterinarian.
    • If the irritation seems to relate to petting a specific spot, take note, it may be where your dog is injured or sick.
  4. Keep a close eye on any sores or lumps. Dogs can develop ingrown hairs, cysts, and other skin blemishes, so not every small lump or bump is an immediate cause for concern. However, the following symptoms should be seen by a professional.
    • Lumps growing in size.
    • Lumps becoming deeply attached to tissues.
    • Oozing or bleeding sores.
  5. Take your dog’s temperature. Canines can run fevers just like humans can. If your dog has a fever, especially in conjunction with other symptoms, visit your vet as soon as you are able.
    • A temperature of 103 °F (39 °C) is high. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
    • A temperature of 104.5 °F (40.3 °C) requires immediate medical attention.

Evaluating Your Dog’s Diet

  1. Watch for excessive drinking. Monitor the amount of water your dog drinks daily. If you notice any big changes in this amount, take note. Drinking too much or too little can indicate a problem that requires veterinary attention.
    • Rule out everyday reasons such as strenuous play or a hot day.
    • If you notice your dog drinking much more than normal for a consecutive week, see your vet.
  2. Track your dog’s appetite. Changes in appetite, especially those that lead to weight loss or gain, can indicate illness.Unexpected weight loss or gain should always be met with a trip to the vet.
    • In the short term, loss of appetite for your dog can be a sign of fever, pain, or stress, as well as many other possible reasons.
    • If the loss of appetite is combined with any other noticeable symptoms, you should see a vet immediately.
  3. Pay special attention to digestive upsets. Vomiting or diarrhea is a reason for concern with your dog. These symptoms can be a sign of anything from swallowing a sharp object to ulcers to parasites.
    • Single instances of vomiting or diarrhea are not necessarily a cause for concern.
    • Repeated instances,especially lasting more than twenty-four hours,require a vet.
    • Blood, in either vomit or diarrhea, can be a serious symptom and needs treatment as soon as possible.

Evaluating Your Dog’s Activity Level

  1. Examine your pet’s energy levels. Prolonged lethargy is a strong sign that your pooch isn’t feeling well. While you don’t need to worry about a tired dog after active play, keep an eye out for other signs such as decreased exercise tolerance or general weakness combined with the lethargy.
    • Unusually low energy levels, over two or three days should be checked with a vet.
    • Lethargy, in combination with other symptoms, also requires the attention of your vet.
    • Extremely high levels of energy can also be a problem that needs medical attention.
  2. Pay attention to scratching. All dogs scratch fairly regularly. However, excessive scratching can be a sign of a health problem. If the scratching is excessive, don't ignore it. Look for these possible causes or ask your veterinarian more about them:
    • Scratching is a typical sign of fleas, ticks, or mange mites.
    • Scratching can also mean endocrine or hormonal problems in your dog.
    • Dogs can also suffer from allergies just like humans, which can lead to itching.
    • Take your dog to the vet.
      • Most vets will examine the animal, try to reach a diagnosis or suggest tests to reach a diagnosis.
      • After testing, your vet can prescribe a course of treatment to correct the underlying problem or at least make the dog more comfortable.
  3. Look for difficulty rising or mobility issues. If your dog starts showing signs of stiffness, manifested through difficulty getting up or climbing stairs, then you should have your pet examined.
    • This symptom can be a result of anything from hip dysplasia to arthritis to Lyme disease from tick-borne bacteria.
    • The earlier Lyme disease is treated, the better the prognosis, so see a vet quickly if you notice this symptom, especially in younger dogs.
  4. Watch for labored breathing. Labored breathing can indicate a problem with your dog's respiratory system. Identifying the cause can be difficult by yourself. Bring your dog to a vet to accurately diagnose any problems with your dog's breathing.
    • Labored breathing requires urgent attention.
    • If your dog's gums have a bluish tint, seek immediate care.
  5. Keep track of accidents. House-trained pets rarely start having accidents unless there is a problem. If your dog inexplicably begins having indoor accidents, then your vet will likely want to schedule some tests to find out the problem.
    • Having accidents for a few days in a row is a good indication of a problem.
  6. Watch for major changes in urination. Changes in the frequency of your dog's urination can be an indication of a problem. Check also for any blood or strange discolorations in your dog's urine. If you find anything unusual about your dog's urine or urination habits, contact your veterinarian.
    • Either an increase or decrease in urination can be an indication of an illness.
    • Problems with urination will may involve the kidneys or bladder stones.

Knowing When to Seek Emergency Care

  1. Watch for non-productive retching. If your dog is trying to vomit, and cannot, this can be associated with the life-threatening condition, bloat. Get your dog to the vet immediately in order to ensure the best outcome.
  2. Monitor for non-productive urination. If your dog is trying to urinate, but is unable to do so, take it to the veterinarian quickly. Inability to urinate indicates some form of blockage and can be quite serious.
  3. Look for any weakness. If your dog is having trouble standing, is swaying, or has collapsed then you must seek care quickly. Even if your dog is tired, it will be able to stand and move. Collapsing is a definite sign that your dog needs medical attention.


  • Always monitor your dog’s food and drink intake for changes in appetite or signs of dehydration.
  • If you're not sure whether your dog is sick or not, call your local veterinary clinic.
  • Above all, know your dog so you can be attentive to any changes in your pet’s typical appearance, behavior, and demeanor.
  • Keep vet numbers handy so they will be easy to find when you have an emergency. Have an alternative vet listed that is available nights and weekends.
Users of Guests are not allowed to comment this publication.