Dog owners are entrusted with the task of caring for their furry friends in sickness and in health. Though many can tell when their dog isn’t feeling quite right, it can be difficult to sort out dog health issues. Dog health questions can always be referred to a vet, but it can sometimes be expensive, especially if the concerns are unfounded. Fortunately, in the age of the internet, we have a way to eliminate possibilities before calling a professional. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps of identifying your dog’s symptoms and determining what they might indicate.
- Identifying symptoms can either be very easy or very challenging. Canine health can be hard to assess, since pet owners are unable to thoroughly communicate with their pets. However, a thorough examination can usually help dog owners determine a few possibilities. Consider changes in temperament, areas of sensitivity, changes in eating and excretion habits, and changes in appearance.
- Use a pet symptom checker online to enter your dog’s issues. Categories included on most dog symptoms checkers include behavior, ears, eyes, mouth and teeth, head neck and nose, shoulder, chest, legs and feet, back, abdomen, urinary and reproductive, hips and hindquarters, and tail.
- After checking off all of your dog’s symptoms, open the relevant articles to determine whether they seem plausible. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and to panic at this stage, so try to remember to stay calm, especially if you weren’t concerned about any serious conditions in the first place.
- Direct any further dog health questions to your veterinarian, sharing your concerns and the symptoms you’ve noted.
Though this process is fine for dog health questions dealing with minor concerns, there are certain symptoms that should always be addressed immediately. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or conditions, bring him or her to the vet right away. There’s no time for dog health questions if:
- Your dog has sustained some sort of trauma like a fall, gunshot wound, vehicle strike, or a dog fight.
- Your dog has trouble breathing. Signs might be wheezing, choking, or weak and raspy breathing.
- Your dog seems to have a neurological problem. Look for disorientation, lack of coordination, severe lethargy, unresponsiveness, or coma.
- Your dog is having seizures. Signs include uncontrollable shaking and tremors, loss of consciousness, paddling with legs, and loss of bowel or urinary control.
- Your dog may have or definitely has been exposed to toxic materials.
- Your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than 24 hours or there is blood in the vomit or stool.
- Your dog’s abdomen is distended or seems to be causing pain or discomfort.
- Your dog’s eyes are red, have discharge, or tear or swell excessively. Squinting and pawing at the eye can also indicate eye problems.
- Your dog is not producing any urine or is producing urine with blood in it.
- Your dog is in labor for more than four hours without producing any puppies, strains for more than 30 minutes to birth a puppy, or passes two hours between puppies.
Caring for dogs is a big task, and dog health questions can feel overwhelming. Thanks to the internet, however, there is a way to gain a better concept of your dog’s health issues without running to the vet.