You want a healthy, happy dog. He is part of the family and you all love him. Just as people get sick, your dog may show signs he is sick and you need the advice and assurance of your veterinarian. Here are some signs to watch for and report to your veterinarian.
Change in Eating Habits
Sometimes dogs, like a lot of people, do not feel like eating for a day or two. Losing appetite for a short time may not mean anything is wrong. When his appetite does not come back, or he loses all interest in food, especially with other symptoms present, it could mean that your pooch is sick.
Change in Energy Level
Your usually exuberant dog seems tired. He does not want to play Frisbee or go for a walk. He might be up and about but seems slower than usual, rests more, or wants to sleep instead of chasing a ball or running with the kids.
Physical and Behavior Changes
- These could include sunken, watery eyes, or a discharge coming out of the ears.
- If you notice that he has trouble walking, trips, or staggers, walks stiffly, falls on steps, or has any other peculiar gait, phone your veterinarian for an appointment to investigate the reason.
- If he suddenly starts drinking a large amount of water or drinks little or no water with an increase or decrease in urine output are not normal. It could signal diabetes or some other illness.
- Change in bowel habits with diarrhea or decreased bowel movements could mean a temporary virus that goes away in a day or two. If it continues, it could be more serious.
- Vomiting is never pleasant but try to keep track of how often and how much so you can tell the vet.
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss in a short amount of time signals trouble just as it would in people.
Your usually outgoing and playful dog starts moping in his bed. He does not seem interested in toys or people and does not want to play. He could be depressed or sick.
If he suddenly turns aggressive and snappish, he could be in pain but he is unable to tell you what hurts or why.
Don’t Play Doctor
If you think your dog is sick, don’t play doctor. Keep him comfortable and calm until you can get him checked out. You are the guardian of his health and well being and he depends on you to keep him fit and strong.
Bring these symptoms to your vet’s attention when you call him/her for an appointment. Taking care of your dog’s health means that you get to enjoy many happy years with him.