Dr. Elliott: Pet Health Signs to Watch

You need to be aware of these changes to keep them healthy.

Your loyal pet is at home and you notice something is amiss with their normal state. Unlike people, dogs cannot tell you what’s wrong; you need to be aware of these changes.

Disease can be described as any alteration of normal body function which can include organ failure, infections, poisoning, broken bones, poor diet, allergies, and more.

Some of the most common aspects of health problems include:

  1. Changes in activity level - pain may be an issue. Limping, hesitation to move, refusal to either lie down or stand up. Movement that is awkward, continuous circling, and/or overall weakness.

  2. Lethargy - your dog will refrain from daily activity, walk around in a daze and may lie around in different areas of your house and spend more time than usual resting or sleeping.

  3. Changes in Appetite - A decrease could signal tooth and gum problems which can be very painful causing a dog to stop eating. Food boredom or a need to change to another flavor or product. An increase could indicate seeking additional nutrients via eating more to help ward off illness (metabolic rate has increased) such as worms or a thyroid condition.

  4. Fever - normal temperature ranges for dogs 100-102.5 degrees. A rise in fever can be attributed to the body trying to fight off an invader.

  5. Vomiting - continuous vomiting can be a sign of a major problem. The dog may be suffering from a toxic substance ingested (many dogs lick up the sweet taste of antifreeze causing this problem), excessive gas or fluid within the stomach or intestine. Organ failure in the pancreas, liver or kidneys. Unfamiliar elements causing an obstruction. Enlarged abdomen. Drug reactions can cause vomiting. Anxiety, Fear. Make sure your dog receives water and electrolytes as vomiting can cause a loss of these vital elements and cause greater damage.

  6. Diarrhea - this may occur when changing from a commercial dog food to a nutrient active dog food. Eating table scraps or garbage. Parasites, Parvovirus type 2 or any other infections, allergenic reaction to foods or treats (especially those loaded with byproducts, chemicals, artificial colorings, and chemically extracted fillers)

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  8. Obesity - did you know that potatoes have a higher glycemic index than table sugar and maybe a major reason for obesity in dogs. Many commercial foods use large amounts of potatoes in their diets. Commercial foods that do not breakdown efficiently in the system lead to weight gain. Obese dogs risk diabetes, circulatory problems, and heart problems. These conditions and lack of proper exercise can lead to overweight problems and complications.

  9. Urination - foul or discolored, increased frequency, blood in urine, straining to urinate, incontinence.

  10. Heart and Lungs - labored breathing (no exercise), blue or pale gums, excessive coughing, choking, refusal to do normal activity.

  11. Eyes - yellowing, discharges of tears or fluid, failure to open eyes completely, discoloration in white of eye, quick eye movements.
  12. Nose - dry, skin cracking, discharges.

    These are some of the frequent signs showing you your dog needs some additional attention.

For additional information or questions- you can email me directly at pethealer@gmail.com .

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