7 Dog Symptoms You Should NOT Ignore

When should you absolutely, positively take your dog to the veterinarian?


In these tough economic times, we are looking for ways to save money on our pets. Unfortunately, this could also leads to delay seeking medical care because we're uncertain if a visit to the vet is absolutely necessary. Most of us know if a pet has collapsed, had a seizure, is bleeding, bloated, unable to walk, or has been injured they should see their veterinarian quickly. But what about other, more subtle symptoms? When should you absolutely, positively take your pet to the veterinarian?



Here are examples of some common clinical signs that you should never ignore in your dog or cat.


1. Difficulty Breathing



Any changes in your dog’s breathing needs to be addressed immediately. Because small dogs have small respiratory tracts, even seemingly minor breathing issues can quickly lead to life-threatening situations. If your dog is coughing, panting more than normal, fatigues easily, or suddenly has loud or noisy breathing, it should be examined by your veterinarian immediately. Heart and lung disease, infections, obstructions, and more can cause sudden breathing problems.


2. Diarrhea




Diarrhea that persists for more than a day should always be addressed. Dogs can become dehydrated more quickly than we do because they are smaller. Additionally, no one likes to clean soiled carpets and bedding! If your pet has loose stools that last longer than a day, do your pet (and yourself) a favor and have he or she checked out. Most pets can receive simple treatments that will leave them feeling better in no time.


3. Vomiting




Vomiting once after eating garbage is expected. Vomiting three or more times in a day is concerning and vomiting three or more times in an hour may be an emergency. Generally speaking, if your pet vomits more than three times in day, it should be seen by your veterinarian. There are numerous causes of vomiting; fortunately, most of them are non-life-threatening. Don’t take a chance that your pet is suffering from an intestinal obstruction, infection, pancreatitis, liver or kidney disease, hormonal imbalance, or worse. The sooner your pet is diagnosed and treated, the better (and less costly) the treatment.


4. Sudden increase in water consumption or urination





Changes in thirst and urination can be challenging to identify in dogs. If you suddenly observe your dog constantly at their water bowl, asking to go out more frequently, or you notice you are changing the litterbox more often, take your pet to the vet. These clinical signs may be associated with diabetes, kidney or liver disease, kidney or bladder infections, poisoning, hormonal diseases, and more.


5. Not eating for 48 hours



A dog’s appetite is preserved unless there is something seriously wrong. When a dog doesn’t eat for two consecutive days, you should be worried. By delaying treatment, your pet experiences further nutritional deficiencies that may prolong or complicate their recovery. Take your dog’s lack of appetite very seriously and seek medical attention as soon as possible.


6. Dark or bloody stools




Dark, black, or tar-like stools are often associated with digested blood in the feces. Bright red blood often accompanies colitis or anal gland conditions. Either way, you should have your pet checked out when you see changes in their feces. Bleeding ulcers, intestinal parasites, foreign objects, and more can cause dark or bloody stools and should be treated as quickly as possible.


7. Unable to defecate or urinate



A pet who is straining or unable to urinate or defecate is in immediate danger. Besides the risk of bladder or urethral rupture, kidney failure, blood poisoning, seizures, and even worse conditions is great, your pet should have medical attention immediately. Many dogs start out straining to go to the bathroom only to suddenly develop complete blockage. Male dogs are at particular risk for urethral or urinary obstructions.



While this is not a complete list of symptoms that require immediate medical condition, it is a “wish-list” many veterinarians wish their clients would heed. Too many pets suffer needlessly or must endure more involved treatments due to delayed treatment. Use these seven symptoms as a guideline.


Our dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong or how they feel so It’s up to us to be their guardians and pay close attention to the subtle signs they give us.





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