When it comes to the health of the pet, vets are certainly the experts but you, the owner would be the “first responder”. Vets were trained to act on the symptoms but you would be in the position to know anything unusual in the appearance and in the behavior of the pet not only because of the close proximity you have with the pet but also because you know the pet much better than the vet. Owners would be upset when the pet gets sick primarily because the situation would somewhat be a guessing game. Dogs, no matter how intelligent cannot tell the owners what ails them. Dogs indeed depend on their human friends not only for their basic needs but also for their health care. As with any kind of ailment, prompt treatment is necessary to give the pet a good chance to recover fully. Dogs have the tendency to nurse what ails them – ALONE. Ailing dogs would usually hide in dark corners. It is necessary therefore for a dog owner to be a keen observer to be able to see symptoms of health concerns.
So what are the telltale signs that all is not well with the pet? Knowing the illnesses most common for a particular dog breed would be a big help. Vomiting and diarrhea are very common in dogs especially in puppies. This condition may not be a symptom of a health concern given the voracious and indiscriminate eating habits of the pet. Dogs not only have gigantic appetites, they also have the tendency to eat rotten things and spoiled food. These habits often result to diarrhea and vomiting bouts but once the dog has eliminated the unwanted substances from its system, vomiting and diarrhea will stop. Vomiting and diarrhea can be a sign of distemper, parvovirus, allergies, food poisoning and intestinal parasite infestation.
A distended and painful abdomen can mean that the pet is suffering from canine hepatitis or canine enteritis. The dog may be harboring freeloaders in its intestines. Severe roundworm infestation can cause abdominal swelling. Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation is a life threatening condition. In a few hours the pet can die if treatment is not immediately administered. Abdominal swelling that occurs when the stomach fills up with air is one of the symptoms of this health concern. Unproductive retching, shallow breathing and profuse salivation are other symptoms of bloat.
Blood in urine, incontinence and urinating difficulties can be due to urinary infection or to a blockage in the urinary tract caused by bladder stones. These symptoms can also indicate prostate enlargement, other prostate problems and kidney disease. Inflamed joints, lameness, movement difficulties are signs of canine muscle and joint problems such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and arthritis. Musculoskeletal disorders can occur in dogs of all ages but this condition is more prevalent in aging dogs. We know that scratching is a natural behavior of dogs. Excessive scratching can be a sign that the dog is bored. It can also mean that the dog is infested with parasites.
Every dog lover should know the facts concerning the health of the pet. Knowing the symptoms of the most common canine health concerns will enable the owner to get medical help for the pet. The vet will administer the necessary treatment but it would be up to the dog owner to make the first move to save the life of the pet. Dogs are wonderful creatures. Since domestication, these animals have made a significant difference to human’s way of life. Dogs though would be entirely dependent on their human family. The kind of existence these animals would have would depend on the care provided by the owners. In spite of protective measures, canine diseases cannot be totally prevented. A fair amount of knowledge about canine illnesses will enable you to get the necessary medical attention for the pet.