A dog will always be your best friend unless something is really off. Unlike a human, your dog won’t tell you what is hurting it in the same words so you have to look at their behaviour and appearance to ensure their safety. The basics involve looking at the dog’s fur for signs of irritation or injury. You should also call a vet immediately if your pet eats chocolate or any other poisonous food. The most obvious indicator of illness in dogs is the presence of cysts, especially on the lower belly, neck and limbs. Here are 10 other indicators of illness in dogs that people tend to ignore which may be indicators of a serious underlying problem.
If your dog knows you well and tends to be playful, it doesn’t make sense for them to suddenly become aggressive towards you. If your dog becomes unnecessarily aggressive at kids, you or other people, chances are that he/she is irritated by something and that it hurts. Unless you brought another pet around or your dog has recently had some retraining, sudden aggressive behaviour should not be left to slide. If your dog starts barking uncontrollably and becomes aggressive for over 24 hours, then it will be wise to have a pet look at it.
Severe scratching And Hair Loss
It is normal for dogs to lick and scratch but there is a difference between regular and abnormal scratching. If you notice your dog struggling to lick and scratch one spot aggressively for a long time, you should check that spot for bugs and swellings. Losing hair behind the ears, on the limbs and other parts of the body may also indicate illness. Don’t be alarmed by general fur falling off the dog though, just get a vet if the skin is visible and it doesn’t seem to be improving.
Loss Of Appetite
This is especially bad among cats but even dogs won’t shy away from their favourite scheduled meals and treats unless they are not feeling well. If you notice an entire day’s food untouched and you are sure your dog didn’t eat anywhere else, you should be concerned. If the dog doesn’t eat enough or eat at all for 36 hours, you should have a pet look at them.
The appearance of your dog’s eyes will tell you a lot about how it is feeling. The most common sign of illness is lazy and watery eyes. If a dog is struggling to keep its eyes open for a long time, then you should seek medical help. Red or pale looking eyes also indicate that something is not right. The worst is when they are scratching their eyes aggressively and don’t seem to stop.
Sometimes, your dog may just want some alone time, so don’t be surprised if he isn’t warming up to play for a few hours. However, if your playful dog suddenly avoids you and doesn’t seem impressed by the regular games you play, then something may be wrong. If your puppy has a hard time moving about, running and playing and seems to prefer sleeping a lot, especially over six hours, then something may be wrong.
Changed Bathroom Frequency
Many people miss it when their dogs aren’t going to the bathroom as much as they usually do, but if you notice, then you should seek medical help. The worst is when you notice increased frequency of bathroom visits. If your dog is urinating more frequently, it may be a sign of diabetes. The same goes for when the dog wants more water than it usually takes which may indicate that it has diabetes or something worse. Diarrhoea or blood in their stool or urine could also indicate infection and therefore you need a vet.
Dogs vomit when they chew on too much grass or eat too much food. That type of vomiting will only happen once or twice a week though depending on when you serve the foods they overeat. When you notice frequent and violent vomiting that happens more than once a day for up to 72 hours, you should look for a doctor.
Sudden Weight Loss
Many people assume when pets feel lighter than they usually do but it is often a sign that the dog has cancer or other illnesses. It is not normal for your dog to lose weight when its diet and living conditions haven’t changed. It is recommended that you weigh your dog at least once a month and if you can’t, then take it for regular check-ups and the doctors will check the weight for you. Dogs are not keen on losing weight therefore shedding off some weight isn’t part of their health routine unless you are deliberately feeding and treating them to cut weight.
A Swollen Belly
Dogs tend to swell in the belly when they eat a lot but that extra tenderness should go away after a few hours. If you notice that your dog’s belly is suddenly swollen and shows no signs of going down you should feel it gently to confirm whether there are lumps. Ultimately, a swollen belly should be taken to the doctor.
It is normal for dogs to pant sometimes especially after running. Sneezing may also happen because of dust and other irritants. However, any panting or sneezing that extends for longer than normal should get you concerned. You should go to the doctor if your dog seems to have difficulty breathing. If you hear wheezing sounds when a dog breaths or you notice that it is breathing rapidly without stopping, you should visit a vet immediately.