As a dog owner, it’s important that your dog remains healthy and happy during its lifetime. In order to keep dogs healthy, they should have an annual veterinary examination to evaluate their overall health. However, you should also watch for signs that your dog has a potential medical issue that requires more advanced veterinary care.
Because dogs have shorter lifespans than humans, they age more rapidly and can quickly experience health issues that require medical care. Your careful observation and immediate attention to small signs of trouble mean these small medical issues can be addressed before they become bigger health problems.
Gaining or losing weight
Keeping a close eye on your dog’s weight is a valid way to assess his or her health. Weight changes can be indicative of other troubling medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, that can be assessed by your dog’s veterinarian.
Vomiting or diarrhea
An acute case of vomiting or diarrhea can quickly become a medical emergency due to dehydration. When a large volume of liquid is lost from the body and is not immediately replaced, dogs are at risk of becoming seriously ill.
If your dog seems overly tired or isn’t acting like their usual chipper self, it may warrant a trip to the veterinarian. Fatigue can be especially troubling if paired with any other symptoms of concern. Infection, pain or other types of discomfort can lead to your pet feeling less perky than normal.
Change in appetite
A change in appetite is always a sign of concern. If your dog typically eats his or her meals and treats eagerly, refusing a meal or a snack is a strong sign they aren’t feeling well. In instances like this, it is a good idea to visit a pet care center as soon as possible to prevent things from getting worse and get your dog eating right again.
Trouble when “going outside”
A dog that strains or seems uncomfortable when going potty should see a veterinarian immediately. If a dog has difficulty going pee, it may be experiencing a blockage of the urethra, which could cause toxins to back up into their kidneys—a true emergency. Take your dog to an emergency veterinarian right away, such as Florida’s Pets in the City St. Pete Veterinarians, immediately if you see this symptom.
Dogs who show a change in behavior with no apparent explanation should be evaluated by a veterinarian. For example, if your normally calm dog who loves your children suddenly avoids contact or growls at them, this could be a sign of pain or discomfort. Changes in behavior are early indicators of medical issues and should be checked out by a veterinarian right away.