Table of Contents
Complete range of motion or movement
There shouldn’t be any mobility issues for a happy, healthy dog.
Even if the symptoms are mild, keep an eye out for any obvious changes in your pet’s range of motion or restricted movement. Even though a pronounced symptom doesn’t always indicate a serious health problem, it is still reason for concern.
Take the likelihood of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), for example. The following mobility issues are caused by this degenerative disease, a slipped or ruptured disc, and other orthopedic issues:
- Diabetic Dog
- Doberman Spaniel
- Shepherd in German
- Apaso Lhasa
Dogs may exhibit low head stance, a rounded back, knuckle one or both paws, struggle with natural gait, and exhibit reluctance to stand, move, or jump. Cervical (neck), thoracolumbar (back), or lumbosacral (lower back) disc or spinal problems are examples of these.
There are five different stages of disc disease in dogs, so it is preferable to catch the symptoms early.
Keep an eye out for crossing, dragging, and weak hind legs. In this context, red flags include stiffness, unusual sensitivity to particular movements or postures, and labored walking or jumping.
Your Dog Is A Good Healthy with Orthopedic Issues
Canines are susceptible to:
- The degenerative joint disc or osteoarthritis
- a dysplastic hip
- Ligament cruciate
- muscle wasting
- Sliding disc
- broken disc
- Diffuse intervertebral disc
Despite what the general public believes, both younger and older dogs can develop arthritis.
Dogs with degenerative myelopathy typically have advanced age. Degeneration of the spinal cord and nerves affects the strength and coordination of the limbs, which is why old dogs alter their gait, lose their natural balance, and have other mobility problems.
Since these illnesses progress over time, you can and should ideally identify the mild or obvious symptoms well before they become severe.
I acknowledged early on in this guide that there are many observable signs in dogs and that some of them may be misinterpreted. Dog behavior is the most complex characteristic since most of us assume that popular breeds will act, react, and interact in predictable but distinctive ways.
Screaming, howling, and whining may indicate a disease, a restricted range of motion, or mobility problems. That may also be typical behavior, though, if your dog is just trying to get your attention.
There is a difference that only you, the owner, and a veterinarian can evaluate and comprehend.
Think about the most prevalent dog behavior, barking, and its applications. When your dog is happy, playing, interacting with people or other animals, or attempting to get your attention, it will bark.
On the other hand, a dog will bark when it feels frightened, bored, nervous, or awake.
Most likely, you are aware of the various barks in various contexts. With this knowledge, you can determine whether your dog is acting normally or whether there is a strange sound. Additionally, if a dog barks excessively without obvious reasons, it’s time to look into it because something is wrong.
Your dog isn’t consuming as much food as usual.
Dogs who have diarrhea, vomiting, or other medical conditions frequently exhibit decreased appetites as well. If your dog has stopped eating, it may be a sign that there is discomfort in the mouth or stomach. Alternatively, your dog might simply be in a bad mood and not want to eat.
A dog may stop eating due to a number of more prevalent illnesses, which include:
- Canine kidney failure
- Canine liver disease
- Inconsiderate eating or an alien object
- The pancreas
- Cancer (such as canine lymphoma, prostate, or liver cancer, among most other types of cancer)
- Canine dental disease, including tooth loss, abscesses in the teeth, fractured teeth, and other dental pain causes
- Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections
- Lung or heart disorders
Although I’ve made an effort to keep it brief, this list could easily fill several pages. “Not eating” is a prevalent sign of numerous illnesses.
The amount of water your dog drinks has changed.
Dogs that aren’t eating well or that are sicker than other dogs occasionally quit drinking water. However, some sick dogs might actually begin to drink more water.
I advise dog parents to be mindful of how frequently they are filling the water bowl because both decreased and increased thirst in dogs can indicate a problem. I also advise dog parents to monitor how often their dog needs to go outside, since drinking more water and urinating more frequently go hand in hand.
In this section, we will only address the causes of increased water consumption because many of the conditions that cause a decrease in appetite can also cause a decrease in water intake.
The following are some typical causes of increased thirst (also known as polydipsia, or PD) and increased urine volume (also known as polyuria, or PU):
- Diabetes mellitus, also known as canine diabetes,
- Canine kidney disease
- Dogs with Cushing’s disease
- Dogs with diabetes insipidus
- Dogs with pyometra, or uterine infections
- Canine hypercalcemia
Please let your veterinarian know if you notice any changes in your dog’s water intake. To determine the cause of the PU/PD (increased thirst and urination) or decreased water consumption, he or she can run some diagnostic tests.
Continual Thirst and Hunger
Any notable deviation from your dog’s usual hunger and thirst schedule is strange unless there’s a clear reason for it.
For example, it’s normal and expected for food or water intake to fluctuate after strenuous activities and on leisurely days. But abrupt and inexplicable excesses or loss of thirst and appetite are concerning, and one important contributing or enabling factor is quality of life.
A few typical triggers, like a shift in the kind and amount of food, the time of day, and the quality of the water, must first be ruled out. Pet dogs can also have particular dietary requirements, and they like to eat and drink normally in comfortable or familiar environments.
A substantial alteration in the surrounding environment may cause them to alter how much and how often they eat and drink.
A contented and healthy dog will sleep soundly. Dogs typically sleep for 12 hours a day on average, but depending on their size, age, and breed, many may sleep for less or more. Older and larger dogs typically sleep longer.
But you also need to evaluate the pattern and posture in addition to the duration.
Dogs in good health and with a high quality of life don’t require much assistance to sleep on a regular basis in their natural positions. A dog, however, might favor a location other than its bed. Dogs who suffer from psychological triggers like stress, anxiety, or fear as well as physiological conditions like orthopedic problems might not get the necessary sleep to reach their blissful state.
Interest in One’s Preferred Past Times
A dog seldom requires an invitation in particular to go on an adventure, particularly if it includes one or more of his or her favorite activities. There are times when your dog may be unsure about an adventure because it has to decide between two favorite activities that are still going on.
Dogs’ short-term memory only lasts for around two minutes on average.
Dogs do, however, generally acquire long-term memory through repetition. This implies that everything you have taught your pet to do through practice, including all the enjoyable memories connected to particular activities, is retained in its memory. Their favorite things will stick with them, whether it’s making regular trips to the park or packing up the backseat of the car for an exciting adventure.
If a dog misses out on an opportunity to have fun, it isn’t happy or has a health issue.
Gregarious with pets and familiar people
Even among friends and family, an unwell dog may not be as gregarious as it once was.
Being less gregarious doesn’t have to mean that your pet isolates itself. A dog may loiter, but it may not interact or respond as you would hope. For instance, after being lavished with attention, it might no longer run to the door, jump on someone it knows, or play with a ball.
Being sociable is not the same as a dog acting gregarious all the time.
A dog will typically behave differently in new situations or among strangers. It isn’t a given, but it should become somewhat accustomed to the area, people, and other pets in the new surroundings.
If there are no external factors like moving to a new town or home, you need to focus on any potential physical or mental health problems your dog may be experiencing. Examine any additional alterations in its life that might act as a trigger and that you aren’t currently taking into account.
Dogs that are in good health and have plenty of energy are usually friendly, even towards strangers and other dogs.
Dogs that are unhappy can be less enthusiastic about social interactions, regardless of any underlying medical conditions. This indicator should alert you to the need to slightly improve its quality of life.
Not a Spectral Seclusion
Being reticent is not the same as not being interested in socializing. But if your dog isolates himself and does this repeatedly, you have to step in and try to figure out what’s wrong. Typically, the most common physiological triggers are pain and discomfort.
Stress, anxiety, fear, boredom, lack of mental stimulation, and depression are the other important causes.
The surrounding environment, interactions with people and pets, food, hydration, and other external factors can all contribute to stress. Similarly, any of these external factors may also be the source of fear or anxiety. Ideally, you should rule out any medical issues as your first course of action.
If your dog has a medical condition, it should be discovered through a thorough examination.
This is an essential step because you don’t want to start using any home remedies before being certain they will be effective. Knowing that a dog is healthy but likely unhappy or depressed, leading it to become reclusive, allows you to organize activities, set aside time, and allocate certain resources to help bring back its lively personality.
No Intolerance for Exercise
Unless you are training a dog to do something that it is not capable of doing, exercise intolerance is usually the result of medical issues, depending on the breed and age of the dog. Exercise intolerance, however, can be caused by dietary, hydration, sleep disorders, and behavioral issues to some extent.
The main factor may or may not be the kind, caliber, and amount of food consumed.
If a dog’s gastrointestinal system is compromised, it may be unable to absorb enough nutrients, leading to a nutritional deficit. Cancers are among the numerous acute, progressive, or chronic illnesses that can have the same outcome.
Additionally, certain dog breeds do not do well in particular climates, such as the hot and muggy tropics, while other dogs are more likely to gain weight and become obese. In addition, dogs are susceptible to hypothyroidism, pulmonary disease, anemia, irregular heartbeats, cardiovascular issues, and anemia.
Obese, elderly, and sick dogs frequently experience exercise intolerance. Poor quality of life is both a possible cause and an effect if there are no such triggers.
Before making dietary or lifestyle changes, have a veterinarian check you out for any health issues.
Undiagnosed or untreated medical conditions may get worse if an improper diet and lifestyle are adopted. In addition, many serious diseases require some adjustments in addition to medication, pain management, and general caregiving. Therefore, in order to treat exercise intolerance and enhance quality of life, all other lifestyle interventions or modifications must be complementary.
Self-assured and Naturally Curious
Dogs exhibit a wide range of instinctive behaviors, many of which are primarily the result of their proactive and inherently curious nature. A curious dog leads a healthy and happy life. Additionally, this natural curiosity drives dogs’ gregarious behavior. Dogs are also inherently territorial.
They must therefore be completely cognizant of their immediate surroundings.
Your dog’s instinctive behaviors and reactions will become less acute, timely, and expressive if it loses this proactive and inborn curiosity. A sick or elderly dog tends to become lethargic, which can affect how it follows its instincts and natural curiosity.
Your dog passes out unexpectedly or gets really weak
Abrupt weakness or collapse are signs of illness that need to be treated carefully. It’s critical that you schedule an emergency veterinarian visit as soon as possible if you hear yourself saying things like, “My dog just fell to the ground,” or “My dog is shaking and can’t stand up.” Dogs that collapse are typically suffering from a potentially fatal illness like:
- Dogs that experience heat exhaustion or stroke
- Canine heart disease or irregular cardiac rhythms
- internal hemorrhage
- An allergic response, such as anaphylaxis
- low glycemic level
Again, let me say it. Please take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if it collapses. Dogs that collapse should always be seen by a veterinarian, even if they recover quickly.
Your dog has pale gums.
Pale gums are a serious symptom in a variety of diseases that can affect dogs. What I mean when I refer to “pale gums” are gums that lack the typical bright pink color. Dogs with moderately to severely affected gums may have light pink, bluish, or nearly white gums.
Among the reasons for pale gums are:
Dog anemia, including immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA in dogs) and other related conditions
Blood loss resulting from a ruptured hemangiosarcoma in dogs—a cancerous tumor that typically affects the liver, spleen, or heart
- Exposure to toxins (such as anticoagulant rodenticide)
- Shock resulting from anaphylaxis, trauma, sepsis, etc.
- Canine heart disease
- severe lack of water
Numerous illnesses that result in pale gums can be fatal and necessitate emergency veterinary care. This implies that you should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice anything unusual about the way their gums are growing.
Your dog is coughing, breathing abnormally, or experiencing breathing difficulties.
Coughing or wheezing may be symptoms of a sick dog. Alternatively, they might exhibit variations in their breathing’s depth, effort, or rate. Indicators of the issue that the dog may have include:
- excessive salivation or panting
Coughing and wheezing (or a coughing and gagging dog)
- discharge from the nose
- breathing heavily or gasping for air
- Standing with the elbows pointed outward and the neck extended
- deep, stomach-based breathing
- Dog breathing quickly
- shallow respiration
- breathing noises (sharp, high-pitched, or snoring)
- making a choking noise as if the dog
The common cause of coughing and gagging is irritation of the throat or airways. And irregular or challenging breathing is a sign that your dog is having trouble breathing in enough oxygen. There are a many possible reasons for these symptoms, including:
- Lung disease, including chronic bronchitis in dogs, lung cancer, pneumonia, and other respiratory issues
- Heart disease-related congestive heart failure in dogs
- Dogs with laryngeal paralysis
Dogs with collapsed trachea
In dogs with flat faces, brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome
Breathing difficulties should always be treated as an emergency, particularly if the dog is going blue. The best course of action is to visit your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency clinic as soon as possible if you have any concerns about your dog’s breathing.
Your dog is having accidents in the bladder or is urinating irregularly.
In contrast to subtle personality changes, inappropriate or abnormal urination is frequently an obvious indicator of illness. The majority of people can detect urine spots on the sofa or throughout the house if their dog is urinating. Additionally, you should definitely take notice if your dog starts to strain or wants to go outside to urinate every hour.
- The phrase “inappropriate or abnormal urination” can refer to a number of different situations.
- The dog is suddenly urinating more frequently or with greater volume than usual.
- A dog that was housebroken before is now having accidents inside the home.
- Without realizing it or waking up, the dog is urinating while sleeping.
- The dog is having trouble urinating, is having trouble urinating, or his urine contains blood.
Any of these modifications to urinating habits are deemed abnormal. They may also indicate that the dog has one of the following illnesses:
- UTI (canine urinary tract infection)
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Dogs with enlarged prostates
- urinary blockage
- Infection of the kidney (pyelonephritis in dogs)
- renal failure
- Diabetes type I
- Cushing’s illness
- glucose insipidus
- Canine bladder cancer
- Canine urinary incontinence
Urine inability in your dog is an emergency. Kindly take your dog right away to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian. Otherwise, make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog is still urinating, but it’s unusual or inappropriate.
As a dog parent, you have a crucial responsibility.
I want to take a moment as we come to an end to remind you of the crucial part you play in your dog’s health. Nobody knows your dog like you do. Because you two spend so much time together, you are familiar with your dog’s favorite food, toy, bed, activities, and more. Nobody else is as knowledgeable about your dog as you are.
As such, you are in a unique position to detect alterations in your dog’s mannerisms, level of activity, and disposition. You can advocate for your dog more successfully if you pay attention to things that seem abnormal and are aware of the warning signs of illness.
And you can give your dog the best chance of a full recovery by recognizing those changes and seeking the assistance of your veterinarian. Thus, act quickly if you suspect that your dog may be ill. Consult your veterinarian for guidance and begin the process of bringing back the health and happiness of your dog.