Dogs are family members. Dogs are our best buddies. They go on walks with us and share our food. However, a dog can’t just tell you they are having a problem, so how can you tell when they need to go to the vet? How do you know if their limp means something seriously wrong? Or if they cough do they need medications?
Here are a few warning signals that mean your dog needs a vet appointment:
1. Sudden loss of weight
Even if your dog is overweight, losing weight suddenly is not a good sign and means they should see their vet. It could mean some sort of critical health problem. If a dog loses 10 percent of their entire weight, tell your vet asap. If your dog is a small breed, that could mean a loss of as small as one pound.
2. Red, Cloudy eyes
If your dog’s eyes or red or cloudy, has a discharge or the dog is squinting, it may mean they have injured their eyes or have an eye infection. Be sure to take them to the vet asap. If not, the problem could worsen fast and the dog could even go blind. There are medications available that can get rid of eye infections and other eye problems.
3. Strange poop
The way a dog’s poop looks is one indicator of how healthy they are or not. If a dog is healthy, their poop is firm, small and moist. But if it is hard or dry that could mean some sort of illness, dehydration, or a dietary issue. Be sure to set up a vet appointment if your dog does any of the following:
- Has worms in their poop
- Has diarrhea over 24 hours
- Strains to poop (i.e. they are constipated)
- There’s mucus or blood in the poop
4. Their coat is dry or rough
Dogs are supposed to have soft, thick, and shiny coats. If instead, it is dry, rough, dull-looking or balding, there’s something wrong going on. It could be they are eating the wrong type of foods, they are allergic to something or they developed a skin illness. Whatever it is, they need to be checked out at the vet.
5. Strange eating habits
A dog may refuse to eat once in a while, like if they are hot and just not hungry, however, if they start skipping several meals it’s a bad sign something is wrong. If they go two days without wanting to eat, that’s a signal they need to go to the vet.
A few illnesses make dogs have weird eating habits. For instance, if a well-trained dog suddenly tries to eat garbage or steal your food, then they may need to get things checked out at the vet.
6. Extreme thirst
It is vital to keep track of the amount of water your dog drinks every day. If they drink a lot more than usual it could mean a sickness like diabetes or some sort of kidney problem. So if you are filling up their water bowls a lot lately, or if it seems they are peeing a lot more than normal, or if they are having pee accidents in your home, you better get them seen at the vet.
7. They appear tired ad sluggish
If a dog is lethargic, it means something is off. If they suddenly don’t want to play, go for walks, or do things they usually like, then something is likely wrong. If it’s hot it may be temporarily normal, but lasting fatigue and soreness symptoms persisting for several days is a bad sign.
8. If they vomit
Dogs throw up occasionally for various reasons. They could just need to get rid of something they ate that didn’t agree with their stomach. However, if they vomit frequently that’s not normal. Contact the veterinarian right away if:
- The dog is throwing up repeatedly or does it numerous times in a row
- The dog is vomiting up blood
- The dog has a fever
Severe vomiting may also bring on diarrhea or make the dog dehydrated, which is why you should call the vet asap.
9. Dragging or scooting on their rear ends
If you see your dog dragging or scooting on their read ends, it could mean they are infected with worms, have an infection of the anal glands, or the anal glands could be blocked. They might also have a bladder infection or even diarrhea issues.
10. Emergency indications
Your dog should go immediately to the pet ER or the vet’s office asap if they have any of these symptoms:
- Open wounds, possible broken bones, i.e. if they suffered trauma such as getting hit by a car
- They are unconscious and not breathing
- They are throwing up blood and vomiting over and over again
- They suddenly can’t breathe or have collapsed.
- They are bleeding from the eyes, nose or mouth
- They ate something that could have been poison or was toxic
- They are in severe pain, and you can tell due to their body shaking or they are crying
- Their stomach is swollen and hard
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