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8 Common Signs of Illness in Dogs

Being a responsible dog owner means providing them with the best care that you can, and that includes getting them the right medical attention when they need it. Of course, dogs cannot β€˜tell’ us when they are feeling unwell, and they may try to carry on with their normal routine despite being poorly, but that does not mean that they do not show us they are in pain or discomfort. Being able to spot early signs is key to preventing them from suffering. In some cases, getting them early medical attention could even save their life. Here are eight potential signs of illness in dogs to be aware of. 

  1. They have persistent diarrhea, vomiting, or retching

It is not unusual for a dog to occasionally struggle with an upset stomach, but if your dog has diarrhea or is vomiting/retching for 24 hours or more, it could be more serious. If they are also showing additional symptoms like lethargy, fever, decreased appetite, or pain, they need to see a vet as soon as possible. 

  1. They have stopped eating

Some dogs are fussier than others when it comes to food, but if your dog stops showing interest in food, they may be feeling unwell. Decreased appetite is even more concerning if they are also showing signs of pain, nausea, lethargy, or fever. The longer they are off their food, the more severe their illness is likely to become. 

  1. They are urinating or defecating in the house

While a new puppy is likely to have some accidents in the first few months, if an otherwise well-trained dog starts defecating or urinating in the house, it could be a sign of an infection. Keep an eye out for any signs of blood in their urine or stool, and try to take a sample with you when you see the vet. 

  1. They are scratching or licking themselves excessively

Dogs can have allergies and skin conditions just like humans, and they are also at risk of parasite infection, so if you notice that your dog is excessively itching, scratching, licking, or even gnawing at themselves, it is best to get them to the vets in Liberty Park, AL. Check them over for signs of hair loss or rashes, as they could help the vet identify the problem. 

  1. They are thirsty all the time

If your dog seems to be thirsty all the time and/or wants to urinate more often than usual, it could be a sign of a medical problem like diabetes or a hormonal imbalance, particularly if the dog is elderly. 

  1. They are having difficulty moving

Many people assume that a dog would cry or whine when in pain from an injury or an internal problem, but that is not always the case. They may simply start to get up from the floor more cautiously, run slower than they used to, limp occasionally, or hide themselves away/protect the injured area. A minor injury may heal on its own in a few days, but it could also worsen with time, so be sure to get them to a vet. At the very least, they will be able to prescribe some medication to reduce inflammation and pain. 

  1. They keep sneezing, wheezing, or coughing

A mild respiratory condition may bring on symptoms that a human would get if they had a cold, but coughing or difficulty breathing could signal something more serious like heart disease. To be on the safe side, it is best to get this ruled out by taking them to the vet. 

  1. They are behaving differently

Dogs will not always show obvious symptoms of being unwell or in pain, but they may show it in their behavior. If your previously patient, confident, and affectionate dog is irritable, withdrawn, or reluctant to be touched, they may be in pain. In some cases, neurological conditions may affect their balance or cognitive ability, affecting their behavior. In short, you know what is normal for your dog, so if they are acting oddly, get them checked out.