It is often hard to understand what is going on with your dog. Since you are not able to ask him how he is feeling, you must be able to read his body language and behaviors. Sometimes, your dog may just be tired. It is important that you recognize a sick pooch so that you can take the necessary steps to make him feel better.

Often, the signs of a sick pooch are right in front of your eyes. Diarrhea and vomiting are indicators that your dog is sick, but they do not necessarily tell you what is going on. Both symptoms can be caused from something as trivial as a change in diet to something as serious as dehydration. It is up to you to figure out how serious the matter is. If you have recently changed your pet’s food or he ate something that he shouldn’t have, you have probably identified the cause. If vomiting and diarrhea do not clear up within 24 hours, then you should contact your veterinarian. If your dog has been out in the sun with little or no water, this is a pet emergency and needs to be handled right away.

There are numerous other visible symptoms and each one can indicate a different health problem. Things to look for include: bloody or discolored stools, discharge or swelling of the eyes, excessive scratching, hair loss, problems breathing, coughing, lethargy, decreased or increased appetite, and problems urinating. Many symptoms are not treatable at home and require medical attention. One of the most telling signs that your pooch is sick is a change in behavior. If he suddenly sleeps all day, does not want to move, or becomes aggressive or shy, then you should take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Another sign that requires immediate attention is pain. If it hurts your dog to walk, move around, urinate, eat, be petted, or accomplish any daily activity, then you need to have him checked out.

You can already see how hard it is to identify a sick dog. As you spend more time with your pet, you will be able to notice the smallest behavioral changes. Your motherly or fatherly instinct will let you know when something is wrong. Always take care of your pooch, and never assume he is “just tired;” let your veterinarian make that assumption for you. Often, behavioral and health changes can indicate a serious illness or disease.

As a dog ages, some symptoms will appear naturally and are no need for concern. An aging dog may slow, and therefore eat less and lose weight. Arthritis pain may make him more reluctant to chase after a ball or perform a trick for a treat. Aging dogs may also exhibit graying fur and cloudy eyes. An aging dog should be taken to a veterinarian for a checkup. Your vet can prescribe an anti-inflammatory or pain medication to help your pet cope with arthritis, and offer other suggestions on how to deal with an aging pooch.

If you suspect your dog may be ill, then check his temperature. A dog’s temperature is normally higher than humans (101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit). Check for the presence of fleas and ticks. An infested dog could have picked up a disease carried by the parasites. Make a call to your vet and relay what is happening. Your vet will let you know whether you should try a home remedy or head to the office. There may be a 24-hour wait period before the vet will see you. This way, you can make sure that your dog didn’t just eat something that upset his stomach.

A sick dog causes an unhappy dog and an unhappy owner. Some signs of sickness can be caused by trivial things and can be treated within a day, while other signs can mean serious health problems. Since there is limited communication between an owner and a dog, it can be hard to identify the underlying problem. Follow your instinct and be sensitive to your dog’s behavior. If you think your pooch is sick, then contact your veterinarian immediately. You should also contact your vet if symptoms haven’t cleared up within 24 hours. With extra attention and care, your dog can be on his way to feeling better!

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