Sometimes, your dog is under the weather, and you don’t even know it! Nobody wants their companion to suffer in silence, but unfortunately, she can’t just tell us what she’s feeling. To make up for this, we have to pay close attention to our dogs, and when we notice something different, we shouldn’t just ignore it. It can be tough to notice a red flag when you don’t know what to look for, so to help you along, here are some of the biggest signs that your dog is sick!
Is he a bit less spry than usual? Does he have difficulty getting up, lying down, or moving over uneven terrain? Does he seem slow or sluggish? Do you hear him whimper or yelp when he’s walking around? Stiffness and difficulty moving may be caused by arthritis, infection, physical injury, autoimmune disease, and many other conditions. While animals do slow down with age, this is a very gradual process. Even if you think it’s just because he’s getting old, you should still check with a veterinarian. The vet will likely have a solution to make your dog more comfortable. When he’s comfortable and spry, he’s happy, and we know that everyone wants their dog to be happy!
If her eyes aren’t looking as bright or vibrant as usual, then that’s something to take seriously. Red or cloudy eyes are indicative of a number of ailments, including but not limited to:
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Corneal dystrophy: This condition will lead to ulcers in the eye if left untreated. Genetics play a huge factor in this condition. Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Spaniels, sheepdogs, and terriers are at higher risk for corneal dystrophy, but it can affect any breed.
- Physical damage: The eye may have been poked, scratched, or somehow roughed up during any normal daily activity. A wounded eye is susceptible to infection and further damage.
- Dry eye: Due to a lack of natural tear production, the dogs eyes are not properly lubricated. This may not sound like a big deal, but it can lead to conjunctivitis, scarring, and severe pain.
- Kidney or liver problems: Like us, your pooch’s kidneys and liver work to filter the blood and keep it free of toxins and impurities. When the kidneys and liver are not working properly, these impurities make it to every part of the body, including the eyes. This often causes yellowish, cloudy color in the whites of his eyes.
If you see a change in Fido’s eyes, it’s likely serious. Take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible!
It may be tempting to chock it up to age, but a change in your pup’s energy may be a symptom of something more than the passage of time. After all, when you’re sick, you just want to bundle up in bed and sleep it off. Your dog is no different. Obesity, infection, kidney disease, heart problems, diabetes, poisoning, and many other conditions can cause lethargy. Sometimes, a dog’s medications will make her tired. This may be necessary, but if the change in energy is drastic, ask your vet about possible alternatives. A recent change in diet may also have an effect on her energy levels, so let the vet know if you’ve been feeding your furry friend something new.
We all like to breathe, and it’s pretty scary when we can’t breathe properly. Respiratory issues can be caused by infection, cancer, allergies, bronchitis, physical trauma, heartworm, airway obstruction, and more! Here are a few examples of irregular breathing:
- Excessive coughing and sneezing
- Labored breathing: His breathing will be much more noisy, and the chest will usually expand and contract more than usual.
- Choking sounds
If he’s having trouble breathing, then he’s probably not getting enough oxygen. A lack of oxygen can severely damage his organs and brain, and that can lead to an early death! Anything related to breathing is a big deal, so have him checked out immediately if you see any changes in his normal patterns!
Maybe she’s going to the bathroom a lot more lately, or maybe she hasn’t been “doing her business” at all! Does her stool look different than usual? Have you noticed that she pees a strange color? Is she having a hard time holding it in? Have you noticed a lot of gas? If there’s been any change to her urination or defecation habits, then she could quite possibly be sick. Often, changes in these habits follow a change in diet.
Sometimes, your pup finds a forbidden treat, like the trash or that dead squirrel in the road. Naturally, this is likely to upset her stomach. Still, not all stomach problems are caused by a bad snack or new kibble. Parasites, cancer, inflammatory disease, and a host of other conditions may be the cause of your dog’s stomach issues. When you go to the vet, make sure you tell them about any changes to your dog’s diet. It can help them narrow down the diagnosis, meaning that your pup will receive quicker treatment.
No matter what the symptoms may be, be sure to take your dog to the vet immediately after noticing any change or discomfort. If you put it off, the symptoms are likely to get worse, and you’re putting your furry friend in danger! Nobody wants that, so keep a watchful eye. Your furry friend will thank you.