Ask Away...: 5 Signs Of Illness In Your Dog (And What You Should Do Next)

Monday, January 8, 2018

5 Signs Of Illness In Your Dog (And What You Should Do Next)

Even the most well-cared-for animals can get sick, but the signs can sometimes be difficult to spot. Unlike humans, dogs are less likely to broadcast their illnesses to anybody who will listen, and they will put on a brave face instead. As a vigilant dog owner, you want to do all you can to look after your pet, so you need to know the symptoms of any illness. In this article, we will look at some of the common signs that indicate your dog may be unwell and give you some basic advice on what to do next. However, we are not qualified animal professionals. Always speak to your veterinarian for educated advice to ensure your canine friend gets the treatment he or she needs.

Symptoms you need to look out for

Excessive scratching

All dogs scratch themselves - they have to get rid of that persistent itch somehow. However, if you see your dog driving themselves crazy with scratching, there is something else going on. Often, the issue may be a flea or a tick, but your dog may also have an allergy, possibly reacting to his bedding or food. Your first instinct will be to check for any parasites, and you can do this by combing through your dog’s fur. If you can rule this issue out, then you need to take pooch to the vets for a more thorough examination.

Continuous limping

If you see your dog limping, you may naturally assume he has hurt himself or sprained his leg. You should check for any signs of injury, but if none is present, you should confine the dog’s movements for a day and see if the limping begins to cease. If it continues, or if any areas become swollen, you will need to see the vet. A breakage may have happened, and your dog may need a splint. The other scenario is osteoarthritis, especially in older dogs. As with humans, our dog’s bones do degenerate with age, but their pain can be managed. The vet will advise you further, and pain relief medication will normally be prescribed, as well as natural remedies, such as turmeric for dogs.

Urinating in the house

Younger dogs are prone to urinating in the house, at least until they have been sufficiently house-trained. However, if your dog has been well trained, and suddenly begins to have ‘accidents’ in the home, you know there is something wrong. Quite often, the issue will be a urinary tract infection. Other symptoms of this include lethargy and excessive thirst. You may also spot blood in their urine. Again, you need to speak to your vet. If there is something wrong, antibiotics will normally be prescribed, and the problem will cease within a few days - much to your relief as well as your dogs.

Regular vomiting

You don’t need to panic every time your dog vomits. Quite often, they will have eaten something unsavoury, and their body will react naturally to get rid of whatever it was. However, if your dog vomits continually, there may be a deeper problem. They may have swallowed something toxic, or they may have something stuck within their gastrointestinal tract. Your dog may have also developed a serious condition, such as colitis, liver disease, or even cancer. As we said, if the vomiting is an isolated incident, you don’t need to worry. If, on the other hand, your dog is sick often, struggles to keep food down or doesn’t eat at all, then you should see your vet immediately.

Bad breath

Considering the food our dogs eat, it’s no wonder their breath is a little unpleasant at times. However, as with humans, your dog’s bad breath may also be symptomatic of dental disease. If you haven’t taken steps to protect their teeth and gums from decay, there will be a buildup of plaque and tartar that will stimulate bacterial growth. Not only will this create issues within the mouth, but the bacteria can spread into other areas of your dog’s body, leading to more serious problems, such as kidney failure. Your vet will be able to deal your dog’s dental issues, but you can take preventative measures before potential problems arise, such as brushing their teeth with the appropriate toothpaste and providing chew toys which can naturally strengthen your dog’s molars.


These are only a few of the symptoms indicating something may be wrong with your four-legged friend. If your poor dog does get sick, you should read the advice we gave you here when caring for him at home. Of course, as we have repeatedly said, you do need to see your vet to ensure your faithful companion gets all the help he needs to get better again quickly. After all, your dog is part of your family, and you would miss him terribly if he was no longer with you.

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