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How to Tell if Your Dog is Really Sick

April 12, 2023

If you suspect that your dog is sick, it's important that you take them to the vet as soon as possible. You can't just assume they're fine or that their symptoms will go away on their own; if left untreated, many illnesses can be fatal or even lead to long-term health problems for your furry friend. Here are some of the most common signs that indicate a dog may be coming down with something serious:

Cold Ears:

If you notice your dog's ears are red and they're not able to hold their own shape, it could be an ear infection. Ear infections can be very painful for dogs and may cause them to shake their head back and forth as they try to relieve the pain. The good news is that most cases of canine ear infections do not require treatment other than keeping your pup hydrated with clean water and a few drops of olive oil in the morning for about two weeks until the symptoms go away on their own (and never going swimming!).

Loose Stool:

Loose stool can be caused by a number of things. It can be a sign of a serious illness, but it can also be caused by something as simple as eating too much or drinking too much water. Take your dog to the vet anyway! Your vet will run tests and make sure everything's okay with their health. You'll have peace of mind knowing that they know exactly what's going on with them—and they'll also help treat whatever condition is making your pet uncomfortable if possible (so don't wait!).

Lack of Appetite:

If your dog isn't eating, it could be a sign of illness. If you notice that your dog is not eating and has lost weight over a short period of time, take them to the vet right away. If they're vomiting or having diarrhea, then it's even more important to get them checked out as soon as possible.

Changes in Behavior:

Changes in behavior can be a sign of illness in dogs. This is because a dog's behavior can change for a number of reasons, including stress or excitement. If your dog starts to act differently and loses his usual personality, this could be an indication that he was sick. The following are some examples:

  • He becomes more aggressive or fearful
  • He stops eating or drinking
  • He becomes clingy or rejects human contact

Excessive Thirst:

If your dog is drinking more water than usual, it's a good idea to get him checked out by a vet. This could be an indicator that he has kidney disease or diabetes. Dogs with these conditions are often thirsty because their kidneys aren't working as well as they should, which means the dogs need more liquid in their bodies to help balance out the extra sugar circulating through their blood stream.

Constipation or Diarrhea:

You should also be aware of the signs of constipation or diarrhea. These can indicate a gastrointestinal disorder, so it's important to watch your dog closely if they exhibit them. For example, diarrhea can be caused by eating something that doesn't agree with the dog (like a particular food), parasites in their system (which may have been picked up from another animal), or even an underlying medical condition such as cancer.

Lethargy or Depression:

Lethargy is lack of energy, and depression is loss of interest in things the dog normally enjoys. Both can be signs of illness, pain or old age.

If you think your dog may be depressed or lethargic for no reason at all (or if he doesn't respond to his usual activities), talk to your vet about it.

Skin and Coat Changes - dry skin, dandruff, hair loss, scratching and dull coat

If your dog's coat is dull, it might be because of a skin condition. There are many reasons why a dog's coat can get dry or scaly:

  • Allergies - Your dog may be allergic to the flea bites that cause the itching and scratching. This allergy can result in hair loss and dandruff as well as skin problems such as rashes and hot spots (red patches).
  • Parasites - Your dog could have parasites such as lice or ticks on their body causing irritation which leads to rashes and hot spots too.

Weight Loss or Weight Gain:

If your dog is losing weight, it's important to rule out diabetes. In this case, their glucose levels will be high and their urine will be dark yellow or brown color. This can also happen if they are overweight and have Cushing’s disease.

If you notice that your dog is gaining weight but not eating enough or exercising often enough, make sure he or she is getting plenty of exercise every day by taking them on walks around the neighborhood and playing fetch with them regularly!

We hope that this article has helped you understand your dog’s symptoms and allowed you to make an informed decision as to whether or not they are showing signs of illness. If you notice any changes in your pet’s health, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet as soon as possible.