Dogs are man’s best friend, but despite the close relationship we have with our canine buddies, it’s not always easy to spot the signs of sickness. A dog can’t tell you if he’s feeling ill, so you need to be vigilant, especially with an older dog. Dogs are pack animals, so they instinctively hide signs of poor health because, in the wild, they would be hounded out of the pack and left to die. Yes, nature can be brutal at times!
Loss of Appetite
As an owner, you know your pet better than anyone, so you are in the best position to spot any subtle signs of illness. The first, and usually most obvious, is a loss of appetite.
Most dogs love their food, so if your dog happily eats anything most of the time, but suddenly refuses his dinner for a few meals on the trot, he’s not well.
Change in Behavior
Pay close attention to your dog. Any change in behavior is cause for concern. If your happy dog starts growling for no reason or displays signs of mental confusion or fear and you can’t work out what the problem is, he needs veterinarian attention.
Loss of Interest in Walkies
There will be times when your dog doesn’t feel like going for a walk, but for most dogs, a twice-daily walk is the highlight of their life. It’s a chance for them to let off steam, sniff lampposts, and have fun. Be concerned if your dog seems reluctant to leave his bed. He could be feeling poorly.
Older dogs do get lazier as they age – and who can blame them? However, a normally active dog that becomes extremely lethargic is not well. Monitor him for a day and if he doesn’t show any signs of improving, have him checked out.
Lameness and arthritis are common in older dogs, but it can be treated. A lame dog is likely to be in pain, so look at treatments to soothe the inflammation and help repair the damage to his joints. Canna Companion is worth trying if your dog is in discomfort.
Panting or Wheezing
Dogs pant when it’s hot or they are anxious, but this normally passes. However, if your dog continues to pant or wheeze and it’s not hot, he could be suffering from something more serious.
Whimpering or Crying
Whimpering or crying noises are a sign your dog is in pain. Most dogs don’t exhibit symptoms of pain until it’s quite bad, so do not ignore his cries for help. Be careful when touching him, as he may react aggressively if you inadvertently hurt him. If you can’t move him or he’s aggressive, ask the vet to visit your home.
Dogs urinate several times a day as a matter of course, but excessive urination is usually a sign of a bladder or kidney infection. It may also be symptomatic of diabetes, so have your dog checked out as soon as possible.
Don’t ignore signs of illness in a dog – take him to the vet as soon as possible.