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The Ultimate Guide to Your Dog's Health

 Our furry pals are great at expressing certain needs and desires, but unfortunately, they are unable to tell us when they're suffering or are in pain. There are, however, some more subtle ways of telling that your dog is feeling unwell. Thanks to the following information about a dog's health, I'm more able to tell when my dog is in need of some veterinary care.

Here are 11 signs and symptoms that should concern you if observed in your dog.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

It's okay for your dog to lose a pound here or there, but if your dog is losing a considerable amount of weight or exhibiting a significant loss of appetite, then you have cause for concern. According to Dr. Bari Spielman, there could be several different causes for this event, including metabolic disorders, neuromuscular diseases, cancer, and heart disease. So if you see that your dog has lost at least 10% of its weight, a visit to the vet should follow.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

A fever in your dog means that it might be fighting off some illness. Pay particular attention to a prolonged fever, because it could be evidence of something underlying that's more serious. So how can you tell your dog has a temperature? Here are a couple of ways:

  • Your dog exhibits lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, shivering and a depressed mood
  • Nose is hot and dry, instead of cold and wet
  • Temperature is higher than 102.5°F (normal temperature in dogs is between 100.5 and 102.5°F )

If you observe such symptoms in your dog, seek medical attention.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

Your dog's stool may also be indicative of poor health. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, it could lead to dehydration. This can be life-threatening, especially if your dog is small. If your dog has blood in its stool, it could suggest the presence of an ulcer, parasite, anal gland condition or colitis. Ensure you take action if either symptom arises. 

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

Whether in humans or in dogs, coughing is never a good sign. But since dogs don't suffer from asthma-like we do, a prolonged cough may signal a serious disease such as bronchitis, pneumonia, heart problems, or tracheal collapse. If your dog has a persistent cough, be sure to get it checked and treated. Treatments range from anti-inflammatory medication to surgery.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

Unusual fatigue in dogs can be worrying, especially if fainting is involved. This should be taken seriously because it could be a symptom of cancer, kidney disease or pancreatitis. Dogs faint for two main reasons - either due to neurological (related to the brain or spinal cord) or cardiac problems (related to the heart).

Here's what to do if your dog faints:

  • Check its heartbeat to establish whether it's extremely slow or extremely fast - this may help the veterinarian determine whether the cause was cardiac or neurological
  • Record a quick video of the episode if possible - this may also help the veterinarian determine the cause by observing physical appearance
  • Seek immediate veterinary attention
11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

If your dog's belly appears to be more swollen than usual, do not let it go untreated. This can be a symptom of a very serious life-threatening condition, such as internal bleeding or hormonal diseases. Swelling in the stomach area can also be dangerous because it could put pressure on the chest cavity and hinder the dog's breathing. Prevent this from happening by making sure you observe your dog's abdomen every now and again.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

If you notice that your dog is having difficulty urinating or is making frequent failed attempts, it's likely that something is wrong. According to Dr. Justine Lee, such signs could mean that your dog has bladder stones or some other blockage. If this is diagnosed, your dog would need to be operated on or receive special care to have the blockage removed.

It is important to also watch out for the presence of blood in your dog's urine, as this could also be a sign of cancer or infection. Seek veterinary guidance if this happens.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

Breathing is a fundamental thing that you wouldn't want your dog to have difficulty with. If your dog is panting abnormally, breathing heavily or showing signs of fatigue, take it as a warning sign. These symptoms are associated with heart and lung disease, infections, obstructions, and other breathing problems. Make sure you seek attention if your dog is having difficulty breathing - a lack of oxygen reaching your dog's tissue may lead to more critical problems, such as heart failure. 

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

An altered appearance to your dog's eyes can also signal serious health problems. Dr. Karen Becker says if the whites of your dog's eyes turn bright red, it could suggest inflammation or infections connected to multiple diseases, including glaucoma or eye socket disorder. If the problem is left untreated, it could even give rise to blindness or other disorders, so always pay close attention to any changes in the appearance of your dog's eyes.

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore

Just as it's worrying for dogs to exhibit excessive fatigue, it's also concerning when they show extremely restless behavior. Restlessness in dogs might not necessarily be linked to any particular disease, but it might be a sign that your dog is unwell. Your dog might be suffering from pain or discomfort, both of which could be symptoms of a serious illness. Whining, shaking, pacing, and anxious looks can all be considered signs of restlessness. 

11 Unhealthy Signs in Your Dog That You Shouldn't Ignore
Vomiting might not a surprising dog behavior to you, seeing as all dogs do it occasionally. But if this becomes a routine, such as three or more times a day, you should be concerned. Frequent vomiting might be a symptom of an intestinal obstruction, infection, pancreatitis, hormonal imbalance, liver or kidney disease, or more serious diseases. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior or even exhibiting other symptoms at the same time, make sure you take it to a vet as soon as possible for treatment. 


H/T: littlethings.com  


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