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Sick Dog Symptoms

For Example, What Are the Symptoms for Dog Ear Infection?

If your dog is ill, look for sick dog symptoms to try to diagnose the cause. Dog bladder infection, dog dehydration, kennel cough, and dog ear infection are just some illnesses your dog may have. It's important to identify the symptoms and the causes of illness in your pet.

When You Think You Have A Sick Dog

A sick canine needs to be treated seriously because dogs, unlike humans, can't tell us when they are not feeling well and are ill and sick. However, there are symptoms to look for from your loving companion; and these are often important clues depending on their age and breed.

Making sure that your pooch gets the best treatment, and recovers quickly, is very dependent on identifying and understanding the sick dog symptoms and diagnosing the issue.

Sick Dog Symptoms: Canine Check-up Questions

  • Question: Is your pet up-to-date on his or her shots? If no, go see your veterinarian and, when your pooch is feeling better, have your pet vaccinated.
  • Question: Does your pooch spend time with other dogs (for example, in doggie daycare or with a dog walker and a group of dogs)? If yes, do check with the owners of the other dogs and see if anyone is reporting similar sickness or behavior.
  • Question: Are you providing enough daily fresh water for your canine to drink? Dogs need lots of water and there should always be an available source of clean, fresh water for your pooch to drink. (Some pet owners who are away at work for long periods of time do not put water out for their dogs because they are worried their dogs will urinate inside the house during the owner’s absence. This is dangerous for the canine: dog dehydration is a serious issue.)
  • Question: Are you keeping your pet inside or outside of the house? If you are keeping your canine outside, make sure that your pet is allowed inside during extreme weather conditions.

Sick Dog Symptoms

If your pet is exhibiting serious illness, visit your veterinarian (or call your vet) immediately.

One of the first indicators in a sick dog is the gums. Are they pink in color? Or do they appear pale and white? That is one way you can tell if your animal is not well.

What is their behavior? Does your canine appear slow, listless, or lethargic?

Is there any discoloration in the urine or in the fecal matter? Do you see any blood in either one of these? If your pooch has a dog bladder infection it is often demonstrated by blood in the urine (making it a deep yellow or orange color).

Another symptom may be constipation or diarrhea or a change in how frequently your pet needs to eliminate waste.

Taking their temperature can be difficult unless you have proper instruments (such as what a veterinarian would use). However, if your canine feels warmer to the touch than usual, then most likely they are running a fever; also if their nose is dry rather than moist that is an indicator. Dogs may pant excessively to cool themselves down if they are running a fever.

Your pooch may vomit if it has eaten something that is not good for it.

A sick canine may lose its hunger for food - this is usually a clear indicator that your pet is not feeling well since most dogs love to eat.

If your pooch is trembling or shaking or moaning when it moves, that is also an indication that something is seriously wrong. Try to have your pet drink lots of water to flush the problem out of its system but don’t wait too long before taking your canine to the Vet for a check-up.

Sick Dog Symptoms: Potential Causes of Dog Illness

Dog food allergies: when we changed food brands, our Ridgeback started throwing up. She was allergic to the brand. Within 2 days we realized that was the cause and changed back to the old dry food brand - her sensitive stomach stabilized immediately.

If your canine suffers from allergies, you can also provide relief (particularly if it is an environmental-type of allergy that is hard to diagnose and/or to eliminate) with a product that helps with skin allergies.

Environmental: Bees, wasps, ticks, spiders or snakes? If bitten by any one of these, your pooch could have a severe reaction. For example, one of our dogs was stung by about 5 or 6 wasps when he wandered into their hive in the park.

Benson (our dog) had a severe reaction to the wasp stings and had to be rushed to the Vet (who gave us anti-histimines which helped within a couple of hours). An indicator (if you don’t see the bite or sting happening) can be excessive licking or biting or scratching in one spot.

If your canine was not receiving its regular shots, then your pet may have developed serious illness, such as heartworms or kennel cough.

If your pet has developed a dog ear infection (and some canine breeds are more susceptible than others) and it has gone un-noticed and un-treated, then it can develop into a much more serious problem. Check your dog's ears regularly.

Coughing: could be canine kennel cough (dry hacking cough, often to the point of the pooch vomiting), heart disease, or a cold.

Canine flu: yes, dogs get flus and colds too - they can have viral and bacterial infections and, if serious, may need antibiotics for bacterial treatment.

Canine Arthritis: yes, dogs can develop arthritis in their joints (just like humans). See a Vet to find out what treatment they recommend (the weight and age of the canine are factors in treatment). Canine dysplasia is also an issue in some breeds.

Other serious issues such as cancer, kidney or liver disease, and heart disease.

Sick Dog Symptoms and Treatment

Depending on what the sick dog symptoms are (and the severity), there are a few things you can try at home prior to taking your animal to the veterinarian.

Stomach issues: One thing you can do for a food alternative is offer boiled white rice. Offer that for a couple of days until the stomach functions stabilize, then add ground cooked lamb or chicken for a couple of days. Try homemade dog food recipes until your pooch appears to be able to tolerate food again.

Keep your pet indoors where its clean and dry and keep track of their behavior (for example, how long they exhibit a loss of appetite, are they eating any of the homemade dog food you’re you provide (such as the boiled white rice), what are their energy levels like, are they drinking water, and are their gums becoming pink, are they gaining their energy back or are they still lethargic, are their eyes clear or glazed over?).

If symptoms continue over several days and you have been tracking the treatments and the behaviors and there has been no improvement (or it’s gotten worse), get to a veterinarian.

If you feel you cannot afford a veterinarian, check out the rates at your local SPCA or Humane Society - often they will offer reduced rates for services.

The best treatment for your pooch is preventative care. Make sure your dog vaccinations and immunizations are up-to-date. Feed your pooch healthy homemade dog treats and food if possible; and if homemade is not possible, then feed a good quality food with limited fillers, chemicals, additives, etc. However if your pet becomes ill, you need to focus on your sick dog symptoms in order to develop the best treatment for the illness.

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