Since your pet can’t tell you if he’s feeling sick or describe symptoms to you, it’s up to you to monitor your dog’s habits and keep note of any changes in his behaviour or attitude. Often, some common dog illness symptoms get overlooked by pet owners or dismissed as signs of old age, so it’s very important to know your dog’s baseline for comparison.
Below is a list of some common dog illness symptoms you may want to take notice of. Remember, if your dog is behaving abnormally, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian or possibly even bring your dog in for emergency treatment.
1. Abnormal Bowel Movements
If your dog’s digestive system changes drastically, pay attention! Some dogs may begin to have “accidents” in the house. Occasionally, pet owners will dismiss this in older animals and justify it as something that comes with age. If your house-trained dog begins to defecate or urinate in abnormal places – such as your house – it might be their way of telling you something is wrong, and that they need your attention.
Similarly, if the amount of times your pooch uses the bathroom significantly increases or decreases over a lengthy period of time, there may be a problem. These can all be signs of many different issues, such as kidney problems or a urinary tract infection.
2. Change in Activity Level
If your once-active dog is acting overly lethargic, he may be showing you that something is wrong. Similarly, if your dog loses interest in activities he once enjoyed participating in, or is sleeping more than normal, these are all signs that shouldn’t be ignored. Lethargy can be a sign of a serious illness, such as Lyme Disease in dogs or autoimmune disorders.
3. Bad Breath or Drooling
While many dogs have foul-smelling breath, if you notice a complete change or a seriously bad odor coming from your dogs mouth, you may want to consider getting your dogs checked out by a veterinarian. A significant change could signify an infection, and may even indicate a significant dental disease or even kidney disease.
4. Excessive Drinking
If your dog is dehydrated or has other underlying issues such a diabetes, you might notice that their fluid intake has greatly increased in a short period of time. With this excessive drinking may also come frequent urination, as your pooch will need to release his bladder.
5. Appetite Change
Did your dog once consume a lot more food than he does currently? Or is your dog now always ravenous and eating anything in sight, when he was a moderate eater before? A marked change in appetite could be a sign that your dog is experiencing an illness, such as an thyroid issues.
Regardless of whether you are a first-time pet owner or an experienced pet parent, it may be difficult to determine whether the dog illness symptoms are due to an environmental trigger that will go away – such as seasonal allergies – or a serious illness. We recommend always consulting with your veterinarian, and keeping a detailed log of your dog’s activities, food and water intake, fluid and fecal discharge, and any behavioral changes you may notice. If you’re looking for what to feed a sick dog, consider some of these recipes.
Have you noticed any strange behavior or change in your dog that led you to contact their veterinarian? Be sure to share it in our comment section!
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