How To Identify Symptoms Of Illness
OTHER SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS
Always observe your dog with a watchful eye, looking for anything that deviates from what is normal for your dog. Even the best cared-for and supervised puppy or dog can become ill or injured. If your puppy or dog exhibits the following, or other unusual symptoms, call your veterinarian.
- Loss of appetite for more than one day.
- Diarrhea – Occasional diarrhea in dogs is common and can be a response to excitement, dietary change, travel, or change of environment. See your vet if the diarrhea is chronic or if the dog displays the following symptoms: blood in stool; black, tarry stool (indicates upper gastrointestinal bleeding); dehydration, abdominal pain (determined by pushing on abdomen); or high fever.
- Vomiting – Occasional vomiting is common in dogs and can be a response to excitement, diet, food poisoning, eating grass, and many other causes. It is valuable to know the contents of the vomit because some substances are toxic or can perforate or block the bowels. Examining the pile will often reveal the cause (pieces of tinfoil, bones, etc.). See your vet if vomiting continues for more than twelve hours, or if the dog displays the following symptoms: high fever (103° or higher); abdominal pain or bloat; blood in vomit; “coffee grounds” in vomit (indicates stomach bleeding); or dehydration (sticky gums; skin between the shoulder blades it stays in a ridge when it is lifted)
- Constipation – Can be caused by too much calcium, the lack of enough water, or by eating an item that not digestible, such as pantyhose, shoes, etc. If his stomach should swell, or if he becomes touch in the stomach area, call your veterinarian immediately.
- Scooting or dragging the rear end along the ground – This is usually a sign of constipation or of impacted or irritated anal sacs. Scooting can also be caused by a foreign body, such as a stalk of grass in the anus, or by a developing abscess.
- Difficulty with urination or blood in the urine.
- Fever – Fever is indicated by: a dry, hot nose; dull eyes; coat that has lost its luster; apathy; a noticeable rise in body heat. Normal temperature is 100.2° to 102.8°F.
- Pain – For severe or continuous pain, consult your veterinarian immediately.
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing – If there is noisy respiration, blue tongue or your dog is gasping for breath, seek veterinarian care immediately.
- Coughing and sneezing – Dogs normally react to a foreign body or strong fumes in the throat or nasal cavities by coughing or sneezing. But they can also be the first signs of a cold or sore throat. If these symptoms are accompanied by a fever, there is a possibility that canine distemper may be the cause.
- Head shaking – May indicate an accumulation of earwax, an infection, or foreign body in the ear.
- Limping – Be suspicious of sudden lameness without apparent cause. Limping can indicate a sprain, fracture, injury, torn ligament or a deteriorating joint. Other causes include circulatory problems, old age, and hip dysplasia.
- Constant scratching or biting – See your veterinarian if the puppy or dog is scratching or biting to the point of self-mutilation.
- Not shaking after getting up – Dogs normally shake themselves to get their muscles realigned properly after lying down. This could be a bad sign concerning the overall health of the dog.
- Bad mouth odor – Bad breath can be caused by tooth decay, inflammation of the gums, wrong diet, or it may be caused by gastritis.
- Lump beneath the skin – A lump can be a harmless pimple or a malignant growth. Since lumps can grow quickly and become dangerous, it is best to have the dog checked by a veterinarian.
- Biting, aggressive or other unusual behavior in a normally even-tempered puppy or dog.