Your furry best friend may not be able to tell you when something’s wrong, but being observant of changes in their behavior and appearance can help you catch possible illnesses early. This article highlights a few common warning signs of canine illness and disease so you can better monitor your dog and ensure they remain in good health.
Here Are 5 Top Warning Signs of Canine Illness and Disease
A sudden change in your dog’s appetite, either increased or decreased, can be a warning sign of illness. Unexplained weight gain or loss could also be a result of an underlying issue. Some possible causes for these changes include dental problems, digestive issues, or thyroid dysfunction.
Vomiting or diarrhea is a common sign of gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Occasional vomiting or diarrhea could be attributed to stress or eating something disagreeable but persistent or severe cases warrant veterinary attention. Illnesses such as infections, parasites, gastrointestinal blockage, or even cancer can sometimes cause these symptoms.
If you suspect your dog has an upset stomach, it is important to observe their behavior and consult with a veterinarian about the causes and the best course of action to treat the issue.
Respiratory and Oral Issues
Just like humans, coughing can be a normal reaction in dogs to clear their airways. However, if your dog is persistently coughing or having difficulty breathing, it can be a sign of respiratory issues such as infections, heartworms, or even heart disease. Any changes in your dog’s breathing or coughing patterns should be reported to a veterinarian.
Bad breath can not only be unpleasant, but it can also be an indicator of dental disease or other health issues. A dog suffering from dental disease might also have inflamed gums, and they may be more reluctant to eat, drink, or play with toys. Regular dental checkups are crucial to preventing and treating dental disease.
Any sudden or unexplained change in your dog’s behavior could be a sign of illness or discomfort. These changes might include aggression, lethargy, excessive whining, or withdrawal from social interactions. Emotional distress can sometimes be the result of physical pain or discomfort, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out health issues.
If you notice that your dog is suddenly drinking and urinating more than usual, this could be a sign of kidney disease, bladder infection, or diabetes. Early diagnosis often leads to more effective treatment, so these symptoms should not be ignored.
Skin Problems or Discharge
A healthy dog should have a shiny and smooth coat, free of any bumps, redness, or inflammation. Signs of skin and coat issues can include excessive scratching, hair loss, or the appearance of scaly or bumpy skin. Allergies, infections, and hormonal imbalances are just some of the conditions that might be the root cause of skin and coat problems.
If you notice an unusual discharge from your dog’s eyes or nose, it’s essential to pay attention. Eye discharge could be due to infections, eye disorders, or allergies, while nasal discharge might signal respiratory issues or dental infections. These symptoms may require medical treatment. Consult your veterinarian if you observe excessive or unusual discharge in your dog.
Movement Difficulty and Sleep
If your dog is limping or showing difficulties moving around, it might be a sign of injury, arthritis, or another musculoskeletal problem. Keep an eye on your dog’s movements and look for signs of discomfort. Sometimes, a dog might be limping to avoid putting weight on a sore or injured limb. Consult your veterinarian if your dog’s movement problems persist or worsen.
A change in your dog’s sleeping patterns could be an indication of health issues. Dogs that sleep more than usual might be suffering from lethargy, which can be caused by various factors such as infection or heart issues. Conversely, dogs that seem restless and cannot sleep might be experiencing pain or discomfort. Make sure to monitor any changes in your dog’s sleeping routines and discuss them with your veterinarian.
Your furry friend relies on you to keep an eye on their health, and watching for these warning signs will help you provide the best care possible. Remember, early detection is key when it comes to addressing health issues, so don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian if something seems off with your canine companion.