Jul 22, 2020, 6:09 PM
Like any other domesticated animal, dogs cannot verbalize when they are sick or in pain but do have their own ways to let us know. Canines can become ill due to numerous reasons, such as a change in diet, motion sickness, or even due to viral or bacterial infections. Sometimes dogs that are sick may appear to be in perfect health, and in such cases, you will need to wary of the subtler signs that they might show. Acting promptly at the early signs of an illness can help prevent suffering, save money, and even save a life. In this article, we’ll share the common ways in which dogs tell us that they are sick.
Pay Attention to the Symptoms
Irrespective of your canine companion’s age, as a dog owner, you play a vital role in helping the animal tackle illnesses and to remain as healthy as possible. As mentioned, the animal cannot describe the disease to you, but it can show you signs that it is sick. By being aware of such symptoms, you can not only protect the animal but also minimize the risk of being affected by them. Listed are some of the top signs that will let you know that your dog is ill:
- Foul breath and drooling
- Excessive water consumption & urination
- Change in food intake and subsequent weight gain and loss
- A decrease in its activity level
- Sleeping all through the day
- Change in behavior
- Coughing, sneezing, excessive panting, and labored breathing
- Flaky skin with sores and lumps
- Change in bowel movement
- Dry, red, or cloud eyes
If you see that your companion is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, be sure to contact a veterinarian immediately.
Diagnosis & Subsequent Treatment
The best way to identify any symptoms of possible illness is to have regular check-ups with your vet. While most veterinarians will be able to identify your dog’s sickness through a simple check-up, in some instances, preventive care testing is the only way by which some conditions can be brought to light. The following tests are often conducted during preventive case testing at veterinary clinics:
- Chemistry and Electrolyte Tests – These are done to evaluate the status of the dog’s internal organs and to ensure that your dog is well hydrated and not suffering from any electrolyte imbalance. Chemistry tests are especially useful for identifying kidney failure in dogs.
- Specialized tests to identify heartworm, ticks, and other infectious diseases.
- Full Blood Count (FBC) test to detect or rule out blood-related conditions.
- Urines test to detect infections in the urinary tract and to identify diseases that may curb the ability of the kidneys to concentrate urine.
- Thyroid test to check the functionality of the thyroid gland.
- An ECG to screen for abnormal heart rhythm and to identify underlying heart diseases.
More tests may or may not be required based on your veterinarian’s diagnosis.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
As mentioned, preventive care testing not only helps in detecting diseases at their early stages, but it also helps to draw up an appropriate treatment plan and avoid significant medical expenses and risk to your dog’s health. For more information about preventive care testing, get in touch with your veterinarian today!