The main symptoms of a sick dog

How do you know if your dog is sick? You should be attentive to various symptoms that can be indicative of a he alth problem.

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Changes in behavior or posture that should alert you

A dog who is in pain or feeling bad can express it through a change in his general behavior.

Thus, if your animal appears dejected, if it hides, if it is prostrate, trembles, moans abnormally, complains or on the contrary, it is more agitated than at usual, that he shows aggression when you try to approach him, it may be because he is in pain somewhere or he is simply not "on his plate" .

Read also: 7 dog behaviors that should alert you

Be attentive to any change in your pet's behavior and quickly consult your veterinarian if necessary.

Similarly, certain "postures" taken by your pet may be indicative of pain or be a symptom of a particular he alth problem.

For example:

  • a dog that puts itself in a prayer position, a posture that resembles the position that a dog takes during the call to play with the forelimbs on the ground and the hindquarters in the air can "tell you" that he has a stomach ache,
  • a dog that runs in circles with its head tilted may be suffering from a stroke or vestibular syndrome,
  • rhythmic movements of a limb or twitching on one side of the face can be indicative of a partial epileptic seizure,
  • a dog that drags its buttocks on the floor experiences itching or pain in its hindquarters due to worms, engorgement of its anal glands or anal fistulas,
  • etc.

An appetite or thirst that varies

The decrease or total loss of appetite or, on the contrary, an increase in appetite in the absence of any change that would explain this increase (more physical activity, gestation) are very often telltale signs of a he alth problem. Here again, it is the change in your dog's eating behavior that should alert you and make you think of a disease in your animal.

Similarly, when a dog starts drinking a lot more than usual, outside of a heat episode or when he hasn't done any physical exercise, it is often a sign of a he alth problem. Do not wait then to consult your veterinarian.

Other worrying symptoms

Other worrying signs should systematically lead you to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. This is especially the case when your dog:

  • vomits and/or has recurrent or intense diarrhea,
  • produces abnormal-looking excrement (with traces of blood, abnormal color, particularly foul-smelling droppings),
  • has difficulty urinating and/or blood in urine,
  • shows signs of difficulty breathing, a severe or persistent cough, or even shortness of breath not resulting from exertion,
  • has palpable lumps under the skin,
  • got hurt,
  • has a swollen belly,
  • has abnormal discharge from the eyes, nose, ears, vulva or penis

How to detect a disease in your dog?

Check the color of his mucous membranes

Drooping the lower eyelid of your dog's eye is a sign of a he alth problem if his eye lining appears white or yellow. The normal color of the mucosa should be pink. If this is not the case, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

You can also observe the appearance of its mucous membranes at the level of the gums which must be very pink.

Has your dog's general appearance changed?

Any weight loss or abnormal weight gain in your dog, in the absence of physiological reasons or a change in diet and/or physical activity, are often signs of metabolic diseases. Be careful and consult a veterinarian without delay.

Look at its skin and coat

Any significant hair loss apart from normal seasonal shedding, itching, presence of dandruff or foul odor can be the sign of a general disease, a skin disease linked or not to the presence of parasites or severe stress. Don't be indifferent to it either!

Check your dog's hydration status

Dog dehydration can occur as a result of heatstroke or if your dog hasn't had enough to drink in hot weather. It can also appear following repeated vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

To check your pet's hydration status, grab the skin of his neck and release it. If the fold of skin persists, it is a sign that your animal is dehydrated. Immediately give him fresh water and call your veterinarian immediately. If your dog refuses to drink, administer the water using a syringe (without a needle!) or an eyedropper.

Take your dog's temperature

If you suspect an infectious disease in your dog or heatstroke, it may be useful to take your dog's temperature, anal.

In the event of a proven fever, above 39°C in your pet, never give him medicine to lower the fever. Medicines formulated for human beings such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin are toxic for the dog and consult a veterinarian quickly.

If your dog suffers from heatstroke, cool your dog down very gradually to lower his body temperature and take him to your vet immediately.

To go further: how to examine your dog?

Always keep in mind that symptoms depend on the disease your dog is suffering from and may differ from dog to dog. Some he alth problems are completely asymptomatic.If in doubt about your dog's he alth, always consult your veterinarian.

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