We all have off days, but when you’re able to talk it’s easy to explain your alignments and seek help.
However, it’s less easy for dogs to communicate their feelings especially when they are unwell. It’s important to understand some of the sounds, actions and behaviors from dogs, and how they communicate with us. If you suspect that your dog may need medical care, find a veterinarian in your area.
Here are 9 signs your dog is sick:
Decreased energy levels: If your dog seems more lethargic, less bouncy and less energized than per usual, this may be a sign that they are under-the-weather. Keep an eye on them closely and seek medical advice if it continues or worsens.
Erratic behavior: Watch your dog’s behavior closely. If they seem more irritated, agitated or restless than usual, or if they are withdrawn, clingy or behaving out of character, they may be in some kind of distress. Observe your dog’s behaviors and book an appointment to see your vet, where you can discuss these in more detail.
Upset stomach: A tell-tale sign that your dog is unwell is through their digestion habits. While it’s not uncommon for dogs to vomit or suffer diarrhea occasionally, any ongoing issues, especially those coupled with other symptoms such as lethargy, should be dealt with by your vet. This includes any concerns in bowel habits, such as blood in stools.
Bathroom issues: Similarly, if you notice any bathroom accidents regularly happening, or trouble passing water (or with bowel movements), this may indicate underlying issues that need to be investigated.
Breathing difficulties: Dogs can suffer from all kinds of respiratory problems. Persistent coughing, rapid or labored breathing, wheezing, or a consistent and disruptive cough, are symptoms to look out for.
Physical issues: Look at your dog’s mouth, ears, eyes, fur and skin; their appearance can tell you a lot about their general condition. Any unusual bad smells, oozing of liquid or signs of infection, as well as lumps, bumps and rashes should be dealt with by a professional immediately. Similarity look out for any sudden changes to weight; be it loss or gain, as this may indicate further problems. You know your dog best, so any observation in their physical being should be noted, such as persistent itching or shaking. Also, be sure to monitor your dog’s temperature, a fever should be dealt with immediately.
Neurological Issues: Look out for any sign that suggests your dog may be suffering from a neurological problem. Some of the most common include; disorientation, light-headedness, repetitive twitching, weakness, seizures and loss of consciousness.
Signs of pain: Dogs are prone to injured paws and bones due to their sprightly natures and the day-to-day dangers of outdoors. On occasion, they may yelp or howl to communicate their pain, other times you might notice that they’re walking differently or have problems chewing. However, quite often dogs suffer silently, so observation of any of the following could benefit from professional medical attention:
- Reluctance to allow you to touch a specific part of their body
- Agitated behavior
- Stiffness that lasts longer than a day
- Inability to chew
- Drooling (if this is a new symptom to your dog)
- Join or bone swelling
Injury: Dogs can get hurt when fighting with other dogs, falling from a great height, or being hit. if this happens, you should seek medical attention. However, chances are that you may not see an attack, in which case, signs to look out for include; scratches, bites, bleeding and retreating or aggressive behavior. If you suspect your dog has been in a fight, approach them calmly and put them in a comfortable makeshift stretcher to take them for emergency treatment. Bleeding wounds should be elevated and pressure applied.
Note that dogs can vary in behavior from breed-to-breed, and as an owner you know your dog better than anyone else. If you suspect that your pet is unwell, please take them to visit your veterinarian for a check-up immediately. Find a veterinarian here.