Signs of Illness in Dogs

Dogs are man’s best friend and they mean a lot to us. They’re loyal companions, and they provide unconditional love. Sometimes, however, dogs are prone to sickness due to a number of factors. And sometimes, these illnesses may go unnoticed until they become serious.

So what do you need to watch out for?

1. Diarrhea

Diarrhea in dogs often occurs due to an intestinal parasite called roundworm. Most commonly seen in puppies, diarrhea in dogs can be caused by any number of things, such as gastrointestinal parasites, food allergies, stomach ulcers, and bacterial infections. Because there are no symptoms of intestinal worms, it is very difficult to diagnose in older dogs unless you perform a fecal examination. This type of diarrhea tends to worsen over time, especially after eating. If left untreated, dehydration can result.

2. Vomiting

Vomiting in dogs can occur due to a variety of causes including liver problems. Some common causes include gastric torsion, food allergies, abdominal tumors, and various types of poisoning. Depending on the cause, symptoms vary widely, including lack of appetite, rapid breathing, pale gums, weakness, and collapse. It should always be checked by your veterinarian.

3. Lethargy

When your dog seems tired and down, this could indicate illness. But it could also be normal behavior. However, if your dog appears exhausted and depressed, then he/she may have digestive problems. These problems include bloat, pancreatitis, and gastritis.

4. Feces Obsession

Feces obsession is another sign of health issues in your pooch. While most dogs enjoy the smell of their own feces, some dogs seem to have a problem avoiding it. If you notice your dog showing interest in his or her feces, this could be a sign of an issue.

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5. Appetite Loss

Anorexia is associated with a number of conditions, ranging from cancer, arthritis, and heart diseases to metabolic disorders. Since dogs cannot tell us about their condition, we need to observe them closely. A sudden change in appetite in your dog could be a warning sign of something much worse. It is important to monitor your dog for changes in its appetite. The sooner you catch an illness before it progresses, the better the chances of treatment success.

6. Fever

Fever is another sign of illness that your dog may need medical attention. The most common symptoms that accompany fever include decreased appetite, increased thirst, restlessness, muscle stiffness, excessive drooling, sneezing, excessive salivation, and increased urination. A fever requires immediate veterinary attention.

7. Constipation

Constipation is fairly common in puppies, and it often goes away after several weeks. In some cases, though, constipation persists. Constipation can interfere with normal digestion, absorption, and elimination. It can also lead to intestinal blockage. To prevent constipation, feed your puppy well-balanced meals, including plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. Make sure he drinks enough water. And when he does go to the bathroom, keep him well hydrated.

8. Coughing

Coughing is one of the most common illnesses among dogs. This is often caused by allergies, and the most frequent allergy trigger is dust or pollen. But this doesn’t mean that dog owners don’t suffer from allergic reactions themselves. It’s very possible for dogs to develop allergies too! This is especially true if you’re constantly exposed to smoke, paint fumes, cleaning products, or air pollution. So if you see your dog cough, you should consider taking steps to protect yourself and your pet from allergens.

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9. Difficulty Breathing

Difficulty breathing can be a warning sign of many illnesses. Infections like bronchitis or pneumonia can lead to respiratory distress and difficulty breathing. These infections usually occur when viruses enter the airways and multiply. When you notice your dog struggling to breathe, take him/her to your vet immediately.

10. Skin Irritation

Skin irritation can be the result of several different problems. First off, eczema is a common condition in dogs. It affects the outermost layer of their skin and causes inflammation and itching. Second, fleas can leave behind dry, scaly patches on your dog’s skin. Finally, bacterial infections can cause red bumps on your dog’s skin surface.