Would you recognize a health problem in your dog? I used to be concerned that I might be unaware of a health problem in my dog, Jacky. If only my dog could talk. After all, she knows about my ailments before I even feel a bit off. At times like that, she is like a mother hen around me, and she will not relax. Jacky’s concerned stares have often made me aware of my health problems while they are still minor.
I wish I could know about her health problems before they become serious. I have had Jacky for 13 years, and I look out for red flags all the time. Many of my visits to the vet have been unnecessary, but I would rather have peace of mind. Here follows a list of symptoms that could be serious if not treated.
Lethargy — if only your dog could talk
You might feel lethargic on a hot day, and think your dog feels the same. However, if the dog does not react in the way it usually does, there might be a health problem. It could become an emergency if the dog collapses and is unresponsive.
If only your dog could talk you would understand his unusual restlessness
Some dogs are naturally restless, but keep a lookout for unusual anxiety and pacing. If the dog whines, shakes or seems distressed, do not ignore it. It could be bellyache, neck pain or even urinary tract infection, and calls for a trip to the vet.
Refusal to eat could be a health problem
If your dog is always ready for a bite to eat, but suddenly turns his head away, take note. Maybe he is trying to tell you about a kidney, pancreas or liver problem. It could also be a dental disease, toothache, stomach bug or a hormonal imbalance. In the worst-case scenario, it might even be cancer. The opposite can also be a red flag. If your dog is unusually ravenous and acts as if she has been starved for days, there are several possibilities. The problem could be intestinal problems, diabetes or cancer could be the problem.
Excessive thirst and frequent peeing
This problem might go unnoticed, but it could be symptoms of an illness that requires immediate medical care. Possibilities include diabetes, kidney failure, hormonal issues or liver problems.
If only your dog could talk, you might understand sudden weight loss
If your furry friend shows sudden unexplained weight loss, be concerned. Have the vet examine him as soon as possible. Sudden weight loss could have various causes, including a hormonal imbalance, liver or kidney problems.
Vomiting could indicate something serious if it happens several times in one day. It could also include lethargy, and if your dog vomits yellowish fluids, visit the vet. The symptoms could indicate electrolyte abnormalities, hormonal imbalances or a gastrointestinal obstruction. It might even be pancreatitis, kidney or liver dysfunction, poisoning or cancer.
If only your dog could talk and tell you about his poop problems
A day or two of loose stools might not be an indication of something serious. However, if your dog has diarrhea for more than two days, it could lead to dehydration, a life-threatening condition. Black poop with signs of blood because it could indicate a stomach ulcer. Diarrhea combined with lethargy and vomiting could be critical.
A distended belly
If your dog’s abdomen is distended, there might be internal bleeding, a hormonal disease or bloating. It positively justifies a trip to the vet.
Coughing and wheezing
If your dog appears to be struggling for air, wheezing or coughing, it could be an emergency. If coughing is persistent, progressive or acute, your doggy could have bronchitis, larynx paralysis, trachea collapse or heart disease. Other possible conditions include kennel cough, pneumonia, influenza, heartworm disease or cancer.
Does your dog paw its face? Check for red eyes and excessive blinking, which could indicate a corneal ulcer or scratch, glaucoma or a detached retina. Some breeds develop dry-eye syndrome. Any eye issues are emergencies.
If only your dog could talk, he could tell you about his skin issues
Scratching is natural and does not always indicate skin conditions. However, if your furry friend licks, scratches, and bites a specific area, it might need further examination. Especially if hair loss occurs in that area. Many dogs are allergic to fleas, and the skin condition could be allergic dermatitis.
Is your dog limping?
Mobility problems such as difficulty walking and limping are sure signs of pain. The vet will consider arthritis, a tick-borne disease, a torn ligament or a fractured bone.
How to recognize ear problems
Shaking his head and scratching his ears could mean a yeast infection, bacterial infection, allergy or ear mites. Check for swelling or redness in his ears, and there might be a bad smell or discharge present.
If only your dog could talk
Recognizing health problems is typically more difficult in households where different people feed and care for the dog.
After having Jacky’s company for 13 years, I no longer wish she could talk. The two of us share a unique language that allows us to look out for each other.