Unsuspecting Signs That Your Dog May Need Medical Attention, by guest blogger Melissa Waltz

Unsuspecting Signs That Your Dog May Need Medical Attention:

Dogs are family members, but unlike humans, they cannot tell us when they are hurt or in pain. Because of this. And, it can be challenging to determine if your dog needs some medical assistance at times when the issue is internal. While other external symptoms can demonstrate if your dog either needs a vet or needs some other type of assistance you can provide, some aren’t as clear to detect.

But, how do you know what warning signs to watch out for if your dog requires a vet, or worse, an emergency room?

Here are some of the more unsuspecting warning signs that your dog could display if they need a trip to the vet.

Being Excessively Thirsty

Your dog being thirsty on a hot day is not usually cause for any alarm. However, suppose you happen to notice that your dog is drinking more water than usual without any cause for such behavior, such as after a long walk or exercise. In that case, you might consider paying more attention. 

When dogs start drinking a lot of water, it could signify kidney disease or diabetes. See if the thirst is persistent for more than one day. Be sure to contact a vet promptly if you discover that you are making more trips to fill your dog’s water bowl.

Being Lethargic

Older or more senior dogs tend to be more tired and sluggish than young, full-of-energy puppies. However, if you see that your dog seems more tired than usual, this could be a sign that something is wrong. 

Maybe your dog doesn’t seem too fascinated with its ball or doesn’t want to go outside for a walk as usual. Even though these behaviors could mean that your dog just has some sore muscles, you should consult with a vet for nothing more than a second opinion to help put you at ease. Vets suggest that in case of symptoms such as inflammation, muscle sore, hot spots, open wounds it’s always advisable to keep a first aid kit handy that has essentials like wound spray, bandage, healing and repair kit, and coat and skin medication while ensuring that the ingredients used in the products are natural to promote safety.

Change in the Look of Their Eyes

Sometimes our dogs have discharge from their eyes, or they may appear red or cloudy. These changes in the eye could be indications of an infection or injury. If your dog seems to be pawing at its eye, or you notice blinking or squinting often, this is also a cause for concern. It is hard to detect, but any particular attention to the eye by your dog should warrant a call to the vet since eye diseases can progress quickly.

The veterinarians at Bond Vet Garden City state that a good basic rule for eye infections is this: If just one eye is showing affected, it is more likely an infection or injury to the eye. If both eyes are affected, it may more likely be allergies or some other sort of health issue. Either way, calling your vet definitely wouldn’t hurt.

Change in Appetite / Eating Habits

Once you’ve become accustomed to your dog, you know their eating habits pretty well, so you should notice if there’s a change in how they usually eat. For example, if they stop drinking water and aren’t urinating, this is a clear sign of a digestive issue that needs to be addressed. 

Likewise, there could be digestion problems if our dog doesn’t want treats or isn’t eating its food or very little of it. There might also be some sort of blockage within the intestines that would need surgery, so get your dog to the vet if you notice changes in how it is eating and drinking, especially if it seems to have lost its appetite.

Difficulting Breathing or Panting Fast

Dogs have sweat glands on their tongue, so it’s not unusual to see your dog panting a lot if they have been outside on a hot day or running around a lot. However, if you know that your dog is cool or you notice when resting you still hear your dog breathing fast or having trouble taking breaths, you should call a vet.

It could just be something like a cold or allergies causing breathing trouble. But taking steps to contact your vet and bring in your dog for an evaluation is still a good idea, just in case, it is something more severe.

Change in Stool or Vomiting

If you notice that your dog starts exhibiting diarrhea, seems constipated, or is throwing up its food, you may not be too concerned initially if you see that your dog goes right back to normal afterward. And if the problem goes away quickly and doesn’t continue, you probably don’t need to be concerned. But if you see that your dog has continuous changes in stool or is vomiting more than a time or two, it could indicate a problem.

Digestive inflammation, blockage in the intestines, severe allergy to something that it ate, or disease could all be reasons your dog was throwing up or having diarrhea. Since you don’t keep a close watch on everything that goes into your dog’s mouth, you might want to contact your vet right away if it ingests something that it should not have. 

Poor Balance or Movement

Dogs will have problems with balance occasionally, and clumsiness is not usually any sign that a vet might need to be called. However, if you notice that your dog is walking sideways or leaning in one particular direction when walking and unable to walk in a straight line, you should make an appointment with a vet right away.

Limping will sometimes create an off-kilter movement in your dog, and it could be something as easily treated as a strained muscle or tendon, and your dog may just need a joint supplement or body wraps. However, balance issues or awkward, jerky movements in your dog might indicate a neurological problem that needs to be addressed.

Sudden Aggression

While you may think that your dog is growling, pacing, or barking due to feeling threatened, you might want to think again. Sudden increases in aggression where your dog doesn’t want to be pet or touched can strongly indicate an injury, and your dog is trying to protect the area that hurts. 

Just Call Your Vet

Part of understanding if there are signs your dog needs help is knowing your dog and its average daily behaviors. You have a good idea of when your dog typically eats, sleeps, plays, and goes outside since they crave structure and stick to a regular schedule.

If you see that something is off or your dog is not acting correctly, you should be contacting your vet immediately for assistance. Any time a dog’s behavior has changed is usually a signal that something is not right. The main thing is - don’t wait as soon as you notice something different, even if it doesn’t seem too concerning. If you have any concerns at all - reach out and consult a vet for more insight. Better to be safe than sorry, and a quick check-up or evaluation can help provide you with the answers you need so you can be a responsible, loving dog owner and allow it to live happy and healthy.

Thank you to guest blogger: Melissa Waltz

1 comment

  • Think you have missed smelly breath. My dog has a tumour under her tongue. Initially thought it was a dental problem . Took her to the vets. Very good vet spotted something under her tongue . Took photo. Two and a half weeks later went in for dental surgery . Now sizeable tumour under tongue . Two months later she is still going thanks to lots of googling

    Lynne Ormiston

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published