Sick as a Dog
Warning Signs to Watch for in Your Pooch
Guest Writer: Brooke Chaplan
One thing all dog parents have to deal with at some point is when their pooch gets sick. It is critical to educate yourself about warning signs that can signal illness in your dog so you can be prepared for whatever they throw at you. This post will review some of the most common warning signs that may indicate your dog is not feeling well and how to combat their illness.
If you and your pooch are still getting to know one another, you may not be able to get a good “read” on when something has suddenly changed. But if you and your pet have been together at least 12 months, you can look for these changes as common warning signs of an impending illness.
- Changes in weight
- Changes in temperament
- Changes in breathing (rate, gasping, shallowness/heaviness)
- Increase/decrease in the amount of drinking or eating
- Changes in urine or feces
- Changes in the body (including lumps or bumps, skin rash, shedding, et al)
Your dog shouldn’t change too much in temperament with less serious diseases, but if you notice unusual aggressive behavior and biting, it could be a sign of something more serious. Personal injury attorneys, like Arrington Schelin & Munsey PC, who are experienced with cases of dog bites, cite everything from rabies to a lack of exercise as the reason these dogs might act out.
While this may not be an intuitive place to check for signs of illness, PetCareRx states it is one of the first signs canine vets look for when a dog comes in for treatment. What is most important here is to become aware of what your dog’s gums look like when they are “normal” (i.e. when your dog is healthy).
Once you know what his or her normal gums look like, watch for changes like the following:
- Yellowish gums
- Blotchy or red gums
- Pale gums (approaching skin color or bluish/white)
Changes in gum color or condition can point to anything from anemia to poisoning, liver disease to diabetes, but only a vet can make a certain diagnosis from here.
Pets are not immune from the occasional bout with indigestion (especially if they eat something they shouldn’t). But unless you’re a trained professional, you won’t have the necessary skills to know whether your pup is just suffering indigestion or something much worse.
One of the key ways to know it may be time for a visit to the vet is if your dog’s belly gets very swollen. This can indicate worms, allergies, obesity, and many other dangerous health issues.
By learning more about common warning signs in dogs that may indicate illness or disease, you can get your precious pet to the vet much sooner and potentially even save his or her life!
“Sick as a Dog: Warning Signs to Watch for in Your Pooch”
written by Guest Author: Brooke Chaplan
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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What are some other ways you know your puppy is sick?
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