It can be difficult to tell when your dog is in pain or needs your help. They can’t communicate with us in a direct way to tell us the problem. Instead, you’ll have to look out for signs that all is not well. These can include vocal noises, behavioral differences, and even the look and appetite of your dog. Take notice of these signs and find out if they are in fact symptoms of an illness. You should never underestimate the importance of small signs like a limp or a weepy eye. These could be precursors or indicators of something much more serious. If you’re ever in doubt, get your dog to a vet for an expert opinion.
Lethargy and Sleepiness
If your dog is high energy and active, it will be easy to spot lethargy and sleepiness. A decrease in enthusiasm could be a sign that something more serious is going on. If your dog is spending a greater period of time sleeping and doesn’t show any interest in exercising, there could be an underlying issue.
Lethargy, or sleepiness, in your pet could be a symptom of a more serious illness. Parvovirus is one of the illnesses for which lethargy is a symptom. Other symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog has any of these symptoms it’s a good idea to get them checked out. The treatment for this type of illness antibiotics and fluids administered by a vet. Lethargy, watery eyes and fever are all symptoms of distemper. Distemper is known to cause neurological problems and the symptoms can vary from dog to dog. Contagious diseases which include lethargy as a symptom include a kennel cough. This is easily recognizable as a dry cough. Your dog may also be feverish. A trip to the vets and some antibiotics will sort them out in no time!
Lethargy can also be a precursor for some more serious chronic conditions. Heart and liver disease both affect dogs. Heart disease manifest itself as a reluctance for exercise and a loss of appetite. Liver disease has similar symptoms which also include bloating.
If your dog is gaining weight it could signal a number of things. First and foremost, your dog could be pregnant. Sometimes it isn’t obvious is a dog is pregnant, and there may only be a slight weight gain. Head to the doctors if you have any suspicions your dog may be pregnant. Remember is a female isn’t spayed it’s incredibly easy to find yourself with a litter!
Another reason your dog may have put on weight is that they have a condition called ascites. This condition is a common side-effect of heart disease. It means your dog may have excess fluid in the abdomen. Weight gain could be a sign that your dog has this condition. Tumors can also cause the body to store excess fluid and cause weight gain.
A fluid build up is a common reason for weight gain. It could also be a sign that your dog has an internal parasite. These parasites cause fluid to build up around the intestine, which gives your dog a potbellied look. Be particularly wary of parasites if you have a young dog, they are more susceptible as their immune systems aren’t as strong.
Alternatively, your dog’s weight gain could be attributed to something as simple as bloating. If your dog has a tendency to eat his food quickly, without chewing it properly, there swallowing a lot of air. The stomach quickly becomes full of air and unchewed food which leads to gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome. Other symptoms of this syndrome include labored breathing and drooling. Bloating may seem like a fairly common problem, but it could be life-threatening for your dog.
Most dogs have a healthy appetite, and meal times can be chaotic as they whine for food and race to eat it. A loss of appetite is not normal and you should consult a vet immediately. It can be a sign for a lot of serious illnesses and diseases.
The general rule to follow is if your dog refuses more than two meals seek advice. There are a number of reasons why your dog might not be eating, these range from depression to stress. Your dog may, in fact, be allergic to the food our giving them and need special food. Ask for vet about the best hypoallergenic dog food for allergies and they should be able to help you.
Finding out why your dog has lost their appetite is important. Rack your brains and see if you can think of any environmental or diet changes that have happened recently. Moving home, having friends over, loud noises, or new food, can all be triggers. Your vet will perform a physical examination which includes looking at the mouth, teeth, and throat. There could be something which is causing your dog pain when they eat. The vet may want to proceed by doing blood tests to check the liver and kidney functions. An endoscopy may also be required.
If your dog’s eyes are bloodshot some inflammation has occurred. This can be a result of excess blood in the eyelids of the blood vessels. This types of inflammation can occur in both or one eye.
Bloodshot eyes can be a symptom of glaucoma, orbital disease, or even hemorrhage. Take your dog to the vet if you notice any inflammation. They will be able to perform a physical exam and a blood count to determine what the issue is. Vets will need to rule out cancer by doing x-rays of the chest and abdomen. Measuring the eye pressure is also important to ensure that your dog doesn’t have glaucoma.