Being a dog mum can be hard work, but keeping them happy and healthy is our raison d’etre. Watching out for unexplained symptoms is crucial, and if you’re ever worried, get them to the vet for a check up ASAP. Without the power of speech, your pup can’t tell you when they’re feeling under the weather or in pain, so we have to keep an eye out for these things instead. Here are a few symptoms that you should definitely react to.
1. Unexplained weight loss
There are many things that can cause weight loss in your dog, from stress to parasites, to things which are far more sinister. Obviously, if you’ve put your pup on a low-calorie and high exercise diet to try to get their obesity under control, you’ve got nothing to worry about. But if you can’t explain their weight loss, get them to the vets to see what the underlying cause could be.
2. Incessant scratching
Dogs get itches regularly – you would too if you were covered by a thick coat all day. But if they start scratching more often than usual, it could be a sign of fleas or other parasites or even a skin complaint such as dermatitis. If you think your dog could have fleas, simply buy the best flea medicine for dogs you can find on the market and treat them from home. If there is no sign of fleas, take them to the vets to check for more problematic skin complaints.
Just like humans, dogs’ temperatures rise when they’re fighting off an infection. If your dog has a prolonged fever which is not in keeping with the ambient temperature, get them to the vets as they might need antibiotics to give the infection a shove.
Sometimes dogs have to cough in order the clear their throat. However, if they develop a persistent cough that doesn’t seem to shift, this could be cause for concern. Pneumonia, bronchitis or something lodged in their airways is the usual causes of this.
5. Trouble using the bathroom
If your pup is struggling to use the bathroom for more than a day, a trip to the vets is definitely in order. This could be caused by anything from an infection to dehydration, so it’s best to get it checked out before it becomes something more serious – it’s a great early warning system for your dog’s overall health.
If you have a dog who is usually full of energy and mischief, and one day they’re just not themselves, it could be a symptom of ageing, but if it’s accute this can be a cause for concern. Many people decide to monitor their condition to see if they improve over the coming hours, but with many illnesses the sooner they get treatment from the vets, the better their recovery will be. If they start fainting, they should be rushed to the vet as an emergency.
7. Difficulty breathing
If your pup is struggling to breathe, then there could be something lodged in their airways, or they could be suffering from an allergy or an infection. This should be treated very seriously, and you should seek out medical help for your pup immediately.
If you ever have any concerns about the health of your dog, see your vet as soon as possible. It’ll help to get them back to full health, but it’ll also help to put your mind at ease if there is nothing to worry about.