Signs Of A Sick Dog

Your dog will give you signals that they are not feeling well. Get to know the signs of a sick dog and what they mean, so that you can help them get healthy.

Heartworms – easily preventable by vet recommended oral medications. One worm infestation can kill your dog. Signs of a sick dog are coughing, collapsing, depressed mood, lethargy.

Obesity – can cause diabetes; strain on the heart and joints. Like people, a dog needs daily exercise to feel good, for weight control, and get rid of pent up energy. Feed a good quality diet and keep treats in check. No human food!

Vomiting and Diarrhea – most common is parvovirus. Dogs can also get into things around the home they are not supposed to. Some dogs will eat tennis balls, wrappers, chocolate, and chemicals. If you think your dog has been poisoned, call the animal poison control hotline in your area.

Infectious Diseases  – Canine Parvovirus: from infected dog urine, or feces; Distemper: which affects the respiratory system. Prevention is vaccination.

Kennel Cough – very contagious – inflammation of the dog’s voice box. Your dog can have a preventable medicine given through the nose before exposure to other dogs takes place. Recommended before boarding your dog at a kennel or a doggie daycare facility.

Dental Disease – infection of the gums. Preventable by brushing the dog’s teeth, giving oral bones or raw hide chews. Symptoms include smelly breath, can lead to more serious issues.

Lower Urinary Tract Infection – Frequent urination and pain from bacterial infection due to bladder stones, cancer.

Skin Issues – fleas, ticks, mites, allergies, scabies, and ringworm. Symptoms can be itching, hot patches, scratching, biting at fur/skin. Injections, shampoos, and topical medications help address these issues.

Broken Bones  – caused by traffic accident, jumping out of window etc. Dog will normally limp, whimper, pant, and not move. Surgery, splints or casts are normally how this is treated.

Cancer  – Skin cancer is most common among dogs. Some common signs of a sick dog are white patches that can be seen on top of ears and nose, black stool, swelling/sores, rapid weight loss.

Preventative Measures

  • Do take your dog to have annual check-up with your local vet
  • Don’t ignore vaccinations, they are a necessary part of responsible dog ownership
  • Do feed your dog a good quality high protein dog food
  • Don’t feed your dog table scraps
  • Do get the yearly flea and tick medicine for your dog (program starts June 1 until Nov)
  • Don’t ignore the warning signs if your dog is unwell
  • Do get annual vaccinations for your dog and biannual rabies vaccinations
photo of sick dog
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