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:
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
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
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
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.
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
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)
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.
Urination - foul or discolored, increased frequency,
blood in urine, straining to urinate, incontinence.
Heart and Lungs - labored breathing (no exercise), blue
or pale gums, excessive coughing, choking, refusal to do normal
- Eyes - yellowing, discharges of tears or fluid, failure to open eyes completely, discoloration in white of eye, quick eye movements.
Nose - dry, skin cracking, discharges.
These are some of the frequent signs showing you your dog needs some additional attention.
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