2001-Tue Oct 17 02:08:44 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Your dog can't tell you when he's sick, but he can give you clues. You are your dog's most important health care provider, since you see him every day and decide when he needs to see the veterinarian. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if your dog might be ill.
A normal temperature is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, though it's important to keep in mind that your dog can be sick without running a fever. If your dog's temperature falls outside this range, call your veterinarian for advice.
In general, a healthy dog's gums should be pink, and if you press on them with your thumb, they should turn white and return to pink within two seconds after lifting your thumb. Gums that appear to be paler than normal or bluish gray can indicate a medical problem that needs attention.
Lethargy is a common sign of illness. When your dog doesn't feel well, he may have a decreased energy level. Any behavior that is unusual for your dog, such as hiding, listlessness or pacing, difficulty breathing, or trouble walking, merits a call to your veterinarian.
Dogs who don't feel well often don't want to eat. Some illnesses, however, can cause increased appetite, so don't ignore your suddenly ravenous dog. Increased thirst and urination may be signs of a number of conditions, including kidney disease or diabetes. Frequent, sudden attempts to urinate, especially if only small amounts are produced or if accompanied by signs of pain or blood, may indicate a urinary tract infection or stones. Inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency.
Occasional vomiting of bile or grass is usually no cause for worry, but consult your veterinarian immediately if your dog vomits foreign materials (such as pieces of a bone) or blood, has accompanying fever or pain, or if the vomiting lasts more than a few hours. Prolonged vomiting can cause dehydration.
There are many reasons your dog may have diarrhea. It often occurs when a dog eats something that's not part of his normal diet, but many illnesses can cause diarrhea as well. Watery diarrhea; diarrhea with lots of blood; or diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, fever or other symptoms of illness warrants a call to the veterinarian. Prolonged diarrhea can cause dehydration.
Coughing can signal a number of different problems. If your dog is coughing frequently or violently, has difficulty breathing or abnormally bluish gums, he should see his veterinarian immediately.
Remember, when in doubt, call your veterinarian for advice.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.