Having the companionship of a dog has been proven to reduce stress, and improve health among people of all ages. They are highly trainable, often incredibly loyal, and they possess the ability to hear sounds that are out of our range of hearing, and experience smells 100,000 times stronger than we are able to. Despite all of these impressive qualities, when our dogs fall ill, they lack the ability to easily or even accurately express what ails them.
In fact, the primal pack mentality in dogs has created one particularly challenging scenario. Dogs are reluctant to show weakness, and so even when they are in great pain they might not show it so as not to appear weak. You might think that their reluctance to show pain, and their limited range for expressing what exactly ails them would make it impossible to diagnose and treat dog health problems, but there are a great number of resources available to you online and from your veterinarian.Here is how starting online can help you answer any dog health questions you might have, check the symptoms you are seeing, and prepare for a visit to the veterinarian.
Learn about dog health issues.
Dog health problems can vary by breed, but there are some issues that can affect any dog. Tapeworm infections can cause a dog to be anemic, and inadequate pest prevention can mean that a single mosquito or tick bite could infect your dog with debilitating heartworms, or a devastating tick borne disease. Learning about what hip dysplasia, a luxating patella, renal failure, bloat, or arthritis look like can help you to be prepared in the event that your dog starts acting abnormally. With most diseases and illnesses, the quicker that dogs get appropriate treatment, the better their chances are for recovery, so recognizing problems early on is important.
Check symptom severity.
You can find a pet symptom checker on the WebMD for dogs, and this will help you to determine whether a simple call to the vet might be sufficient, or whether an emergency trip to the animal hospital is called for. There are several symptoms that you should recognize as potentially severe dog health problems. These always warrant a trip to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Vomiting blood
- Loss of Balance
- Swallowed object
Prepare for a visit to the veterinarian.
When your dog is not in immediate distress, it can be helpful to research their symptoms so you can ask the veterinarian questions that will put your mind at ease and get your dog the care that it needs. For example, if you noticed that the pads on your dogs feet were looking a little strange, you might use the pet WebMD to learn about hyperkeratosis, what it typically indicates, and then ask your veterinarian about what you learned. Also, after you have received an official diagnosis from the vet, going back to the internet to learn more about your dog’s condition will be helpful in successfully managing their treatment.
Remember that a licensed veterinarian is your best source of knowledge, and the person most qualified to help uncover your dog health problems. If your dog is exhibiting mild symptoms, such as a strange rash, a quick look online may get you a useful list of possible issues, but your dog will likely require examination by a vet, tests, and treatment that only a veterinarian can accurately prescribe.