Every dog owner feels helpless when their dog is hurt, or sick. There is no worse feeling that not knowing what is wrong. However, did you know that the internet has some incredibly helpful resources that could help you feel more in control? So what should you do when you encounter dog health problems?
First, familiarize yourself with the difference between a minor health issue, and one that is potentially fatal. If any of the following symptoms or events are happening, then skip Pet WebMD and bring your dog straight to the vet or to an emergency clinic.
- If your dog has ingested chocolate. There is a compound in chocolate that can cause dog health problems with the canine nervous system, and potentially kill your dog.
- If your dog is having seizures.
- If your dog is panting, pacing, and trying to vomit. Your dog could have “bloat” and may need emergency surgery.
- If your dog is bleeding.
If the issue is not serious, then you can start with Pet WebMD. Remember to trust your instinct, and if the situation looks bad then it is always safer to be cautious and visit the vet first.
- Check the symptoms.
- Learn about the dog health issues it could be.
- Bring your vet questions.
The dog symptoms checker on Pet WebMD can help you narrow down the possible health issues. For example, a dog that is constantly scratching at their ears may have ear mites, or some other infection. The symptom checker will help you rule one of those out based on the answers that you give.
Beyond using the symptom checker, Pet WebMD for dogs has a lot of articles to help you learn more about the condition that you identified in step one. In some cases, the fix may be something that does not require veterinary intervention. For example, if your dog is exceptionally itchy, and you discover that they have fleas, then you can save yourself a trip to the veterinarian and instead head straight to the pet store for some medication. If you were unable to narrow down the possible illnesses, then you should proceed to step three.
When the internet does not help you, then the vet has the technology and the knowledge to help you discover the root of the problem. Some diseases and conditions can only be discovered through blood tests, x-rays, or physical examination. Do not be discouraged if you are unable to discover the source of the problem and fix it on your own. If you could, you would probably be a veterinarian.
Determining what is ailing your pet is incredibly important, but so is preventative care. Bringing your dog to the veterinarian early in their life, and regularly, will help you to protect them against potentially fatal conditions like rabies, and Lyme disease. Remember, that if the internet gives you conflicting information, or no information at all, the veterinarian is in the best position to help you and your dog.