Pet dogs are an essential part of our families and therefore need to be cared for with the same enthusiasm. They keep us company and even protect us from time to time. Dogs are also susceptible to illness and, unfortunately, may not complain or communicate their discomfort. This nature makes it challenging to figure out when they need medical help. Therefore, pet owners need to be extremely keen and observant to notice the slightest changes in their dog’s behavior and take swift action on realizing medical red flags so that they can get their dog to their local veterinarian.
Much like with us humans, dogs should be given regular medical exams to assess their health. Consequently, experts recommend regular visits to the vet. Puppies, in particular, would need a monthly visit to the vet, especially for the first four months. These visits will make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and are enjoying optimal health. Healthy adult dogs should also get annual exams from their vets. These exams allow you to arrest arising medical conditions early and begin treatment.
Unusual feeding habits
Changes in feeding habits, especially missing meals, are usually an indicator of an underlying issue. Typically well-behaved dogs digging through garbage for food should also prompt you to consider a vet exam.
Good pet owners should be able to tell how much water their dogs take in throughout the day. Pet owners can make these observations by counting the number of bowl refills and monitoring their urine capacity. Fluctuations in these drinking habits can be indicative of poor health. Dogs taking even more water than usual could be a result of impending diabetes or kidney diseases.
Weakness, sluggishness, and fatigue
Dogs that suddenly become lethargic are incredibly likely to be sick. Such dogs are no longer enthusiastic about activities they used to engage in before actively. Dogs that are also extremely weak and collapsing should be immediately taken to the vet. These symptoms could be due to internal bleeding, organ failure, anaphylactic shock, poisoning, or a myriad of other diseases.
While vomiting is not unusual with dogs, it can be a cause for concern. Pet owners should keenly observe their dog’s behavior whenever it vomits. Frequent vomiting, blood-stained vomit, and accompanying fevers often indicate illness and will therefore require you to take your dog to the vet immediately.
Most pet owners know that their dog’s stool can be a reflection of their well-being health-wise. Healthy dogs tend to pass moist stools that are firm and small. Hard stool and loose stool are undoubtedly a sign of illness, poor dieting, or dehydration. If your dog has worms or blood in its stool, has trouble passing stool, or has diarrhea that has gone longer than a day, you should see a vet for immediate assistance.
Sudden weight loss in dogs could result from an aggressive health condition or illness, regardless of their size. Pet owners should be keen to notice these changes, especially with puppies, as their weight loss can go unnoticed due to their small size. Experts recommend that a dog owner should immediately report a weight loss of more than 10% to your vet.
Other situations that call for an immediate visit to the vet include:
- Physical trauma or accidents such as falling, dog fights, or getting knocked down could leave them with internal bleeding or open wounds.
- A suspicion that your dog has been poisoned
- Shivering, shaking, and whining as a result of intense pain
- Breathing difficulties