Categorized | Dog, Tips

Dogs 101: Six Signs That Your Dog Might Need A Trip To The Vet

Though man’s best friend can sense our needs and feelings, the reality is something in our communication is lacking without the basic foundation of a shared language. We don’t always know what exactly our dogs trying to tell us, which proves especially problematic when something is wrong. However, with a few pointers, you can become adept at decoding the signs and signals of doggie distress. Read on to discover six signs that your dog might need a trip to the vet:

Extreme Vocalization
Our dogs make noise for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s to tell us they’re lonely, ready to play or longing for some table scraps. But when vocalizations go from ordinary to odd, that’s when you need to worry. Though not all dogs cry out to show us they’re in pain, most will indicate their discomfort with whining, whimpering, howling, yelping and groaning at which point there’s no question about it. It’s also important to pay attention when they yelp or whine when you touch then in areas that never bothered them before. For example, a painful abdomen in dogs can be easily identified by them not wanting their belly or lower back touched when they didn’t mind when you pet them there before.

Changes in Behavior
You know your dog better than anyone else, so pay close attention to personality changes. Sudden decreases or increases in appetite, thirst, energy, aggression, and socializing all point to bigger problems. When your pup is just not acting quite right, stress, pain, fever, and even neurological issues could be to blame.

Trouble Breathing
Wheezing, choking and excessive panting with little exercise are are not normal. These seemingly small respiratory changes could be the result of an allergic reaction, heart or pulmonary disease or a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat. A harsh, hacking cough may mean your dog has contracted kennel cough, a highly infectious illness. Though kennel cough may run its course in as little as two weeks, it is especially dangerous for young dogs and could become a case of fatal pneumonia if left untreated.

Difficulty Moving
A sudden limp, inability to bear weight on a limb and refusal to go up stairs as they once did are serious indicators for dogs of all ages. It could mean hip dysplasia, slipped discs, ruptured ligaments, arthritis or even Lyme Disease. No dog’s level of activity should be comprised even as they enter old age without at least checking out the causes and possible solutions with your vet.

Changes in Appearance
Sure, your pooch is the most adorable dog in the world, but you cannot turn a blind eye when you see unfavorable changes in their physical appearance. Things like hair loss, dry skin, rash, runny noses, red or cloudy eyes, sores and dramatic weight loss or gain are worth a second look. While a once shiny coat that looks rough and patchy may be a result of needed grooming or shedding, it could mean they aren’t getting the nutrients they need as well. Be sure to go to a vet to rule out any serious problems.

Tummy Upset and Change in Urination
Dogs make mistakes from time to time and it’s easy to think that these less-than-dignified bodily functions are all part of being a dog. Occasional, brief bouts with vomiting and diarrhea are relatively normal and nothing to fret about. But if these symptoms persist for over 24 hours or you find blood in the vomit or stool, then a vet visit is a must. Similarly, changes in frequency or volume of urine, trouble urinating and uncharacteristic accidents call for a vet visit as well.

Knowing how to read the signs helps bring you and your beloved pet a little closer and may just save their life one day. Be sure to know the signs of illness or problems, and take your dog to the vet for correct treatment.

Informational Credit to Central Animal Emergency Clinic.

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