Some symptoms you shouldn’t ignore in your dog.
As a dog parent, there are going to be times when you know that your dog is sick and that they need veterinary intervention.
There will also be times when your dog has symptoms that may leave you questioning whether or not to pay your vet a visit.
Today we are covering 10 symptoms you shouldn’t ignore when you see them in your dog.
10 Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore in Your Dog
1. Discolored Poop
Discolored poop may be a sign that your dog has simply eaten something with large amounts of artificial coloring, too much of a certain thing or the result of food moving too quickly through the digestive tract. However, discolored poop may also be a sign of much more serious health concerns – primarily, bleeding or irritation in the gastrointestinal system. If you notice that your dog’s poop is discolored, it’s worth checking in with your vet. Most significantly, black, tarry, coffee ground appearance, or red colored poop requires immediate attention.
2. Labored Breathing or Troubled Breathing
Difficulty breathing is an immediate concern for any living thing. If you notice that your dog is struggling to get a full breath, taking shallow breaths, breathing much slower or faster than usual, breathing loudly or with a gurgling noise, or shuddering when breathing, head to the vet. These are all signs that your dog is not breathing normally and requires assistance right away.
In some instances coughing may be a sign of nothing more than throat irritation, a “cold”, or allergies. Unfortunately, coughing may also be a sign of much more serious conditions like the highly contagious kennel cough or heart disease. If you notice that your dog is coughing, consult your vet as soon as possible to prevent the spread of contagious illness or begin treatment for more serious illnesses.
4. Unproductive Vomiting
Retching or unproductive vomiting requires immediate veterinary attention, DO NOT WAIT. This may be a sign of torsion (bloat) or obstruction – both conditions in which seconds matter. If your vet is not open, go to the emergency vet.
5. Bloating or Distention in the Abdomen
Bloating or distention in the abdomen may be a sign of various medical conditions, all of which need IMMEDIATE veterinary intervention. Most notably this can be a sign of torsion (bloat) or a build up of fluids symptomatic of a serious health condition.
6. Passing Out, Fainting or Collapsing
Passing out, fainting, or collapsing has various causes, but all of which require a check in with your vet. As with Jet, this may be a side effect of medication, or it may be a sign of sudden changes in blood pressure, respiratory difficulties, or cardiovascular problems.
7. Loss of Balance or Stability
Loss of balance or stability may be the result of something benign like an ear infection, but it may also be a sign of a neurological condition. Any change in balance or stability requires veterinary intervention whether for antibiotic treatment or for imaging to look for more significant causes.
8. Ongoing Diarrhea
Diarrhea may seem benign, but ongoing diarrhea can be a sign of something more serious requiring veterinary intervention. In addition to getting to the root of the cause of your dog’s diarrhea, it’s critical to treat side effects such as dehydration.
You know the difference between a small cut or scrape and a serious wound. If your dog has uncontrollable bleeding, a deep wound, or has blood in their poop or vomit, go to the vet immediately. Exterior wounds require dressing and possibly stitching and the sources of internal bleeding must be identified and treated.
A change in your dog’s energy level may be the result of a flu-like virus, but it may also be a sign of something more serious. If your dog’s energy level drops quite suddenly – particularly if associated with other symptoms – head to the vet. You may simply be looking at a 24-hour virus, but your dog may also be experiencing psychological distress or a symptom of a more concerning condition.
When in Doubt…
No matter what symptom your dog is expressing, if you have any question as to whether or not you should visit your vet, always go with your gut instinct. It is better to pay a vet bill than to lose your best friend or be left wondering if you could have done something to prevent the spread of illness by acting sooner.