By Robert Riess
Unlike humans, dogs cannot tell you when they are sick. It’s up to you to recognize symptoms like low energy, appetite and overall liveliness. An owner who pays attention to their pet’s behavior will usually be able to tell when their dog has become ill. The secret is simply knowing what to watch for. Here are the 11 essential signs of sickness in dogs..
1. Lack of appetite and/or a refusal to eat. Any dog that goes a full 24 hours without eating anything at all likely has something wrong with him. While there are many potential causes for loss of appetite in a dog, sickness of some sort is usually the culprit. Less often, irritated gums or broken teeth may be the cause.
2. Vomiting. Occasional vomiting in dogs is relatively normal, and not a particular cause for concern. However, if your pet vomits repeatedly and violently, there’s an excellent chance he’s sick. If he or vomits up blood,the most likely cause is a stomach virus and you should take him to the Vet immediately. Other possibilities include infection, ingestion of poison, the swallowing of a foreign object, or a parasite.
3. Diarrhea. Diarrhea is most frequently a symptom of a gastrointestinal illness, although it can also be triggered by the presence of such parasites as roundworms, whip-worms, or hookworms. Watch out for blood and/or mucous in your dog’s stool as well. Blood can indicate your pet has swallowed a dangerous foreign object.
4. Major changes in weight. A healthy dog should stay at a consistent size. If your dog loses a large number of pounds within a few weeks, there’s probably something wrong with him. Plus his immune system is in all likelihood compromised- be sure you are giving him all the nutrition he needs to stay health!
Weight gain can be a sign of illness as well, although it can also simply indicate overfeeding.
5. Drooling, reddened or swollen gums, bad breath, and/or broken teeth. This set of symptoms usually means that a canine has gum disease. Broken teeth in particular point to an advanced case of the disease. Ask your vet for the right pet toothpaste and brush his teeth regularly
6. Urination. A major change in your dog’s normal urination habits usually indicates illness, as does difficulty urinating or the presence of blood in the urine. Frequent urination is often triggered by excessive thirst, which itself is often caused by sickness. On the other hand, infrequent urination or difficulty urinating may mean a urinary tract problem. Keep his immune system strong with Juverin Food Booster
7. Sneezing, panting, and discharge from the eyes, nose, and/or ears. This set of symptoms indicates irritation of the mucous membranes, which frequently is caused by allergies, an infection, or a flu-like illness. Red or cloudy eyes are another significant sign of illness.
8. Coughing. Coughing is another symptom most often caused by an upper respiratory condition like the flu. Coughing may also be caused by the presence of a foreign object in the throat. While mild or infrequent coughing isn’t a big deal, you should be concerned if your dog’s coughing is severe or lasts for more than a few days.
9. Skin sores or dry, itchy, or flaking skin. A dog’s skin will be a smooth, healthy-looking pink or black. Any sort of skin problem can be a sign of general ill health or sickness in your dog. Irritated or itchy skin in particular is often caused by an allergic reaction, usually to flea bites.
10. Fever. As with humans, a fever in a dog is the body’s response to the presence of an infection. Mild fevers may not be a major cause for worry, but matters are different when a fever is severe or lasts for days. Make sure he drinks lots of water and give him only small portions of food 2-3 times per day and include the Juverin Food Booster as well.
11. Fatigue, lethargy, loss of energy, and/or significant increases in sleep. A dog that is not his usual active, happy self may be sick. While this symptom is more subjective than others, you should be concerned by any major, sudden changes in your dog’s behavior. You know your dog best, so you will know what’s normal and what’s not.
As important as it is to watch for signs of illness in your dog, doing so should never be considered a replacement for regular checkups by a veterinarian. There are many sorts of dangerous conditions which only a veterinarian can detect. You should also visit the vet immediately if you observe more than a few of the 11 signs described above, especially if any one of those symptoms is especially severe. Don’t take any chances — your dog’s health depends upon you.