Just like humans, dogs can get sick. There are many different levels of sickness, and sometimes you need to talk to a veterinarian to make sure everything is okay. The earlier you’re able to catch sickness in dogs, the more likely you are to treat it quickly. Here are seven symptoms and signs of sickness you can watch out for so you can make an appointment with a veterinarian.
Diarrhea and constipation
Watching for changes in bowel movements is one of the best ways to notice sickness early on. If you notice prolonged or recurring diarrhea or your dog starts producing blood or mucus in their stool, you need to check with a veterinarian right away. Try to get a picture of the stool or a stool sample if you can.
Prolonged refusal to eat
Some animals will refuse to eat for a short period because they’re over or understimulated; they’re more interested in something else or aren’t interested in eating right now. Pay attention to and take note of what your dog has eaten. If your dog hasn’t eaten in 12-24 hours, and this is out of character, ask your veterinarian what might cause it.
Unexpected weight loss or gain
In humans, unexpected weight loss or weight gain can happen in dogs for various underlying causes. Some of these causes might be easy to treat, while some may require more in-depth testing to treat. Either way, keeping track of your pet’s weight can be an essential part of noticing early signs of illness.
Lethargy and tiredness
In general, if your dog seems different, that may be a good reason to talk to a veterinarian, especially a telehealth veterinarian. Often, lethargy and tiredness happen because the dog isn’t feeling well. Whereas a human would get this across, a dog can only express it in its behavior.
Persistent coughing and wheezing
Coughing and wheezing are two signs that there might be something wrong with your dog’s respiratory system. Many things can go into this, so your best bet is to talk to a veterinarian. If possible, try to record how your dog sounds when they cough and wheeze, just in case it’s not happening when the vet sees your dog.
Vomiting or retching
Both actual vomiting and retching may be indications that there’s something wrong with your dog’s health. Vomiting and retching are never normal. Talk to your vet about abnormal behaviors.
Dogs’ eyes should typically be bright and moist but not full of tears, and they shouldn’t be red or cloudy. If you notice any of these things, or you see that your dog is pawing or rubbing at their eyes, it could be that there’s an underlying health concern.
Understand your dog’s health to prevent sickness
Although sickness can come on fairly quickly in dogs, there are almost always indications you can use to visit a veterinarian early on. Suppose you notice any of these signs of sickness. In that case, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a veterinarian, whether you use a telehealth option or you visit a local veterinarian in person. Early detection could save your dog’s life and health.