Who doesn’t hate the ‘D’ word? Disease is one of the ugly parts of every living thing’s life—including you and your sweet poodle. And, I have good reasons to believe it is worse for dogs.
While we can verbally communicate our symptoms, Tootsie and Bosco—your dog and mine will ‘just look sick’. The communication barrier between us and the lovely animals we pet makes it hard for dogs and other pets to get a quick working remedy, or the vital early diagnosis required to cure some diseases.
In unfortunate situations a dog might battle a disease to death, or infect its owner; leading to double distress.
Understanding dogs’ biological system and quickly noticing negative changes can be the difference between giving your dog a second chance at life when disease comes knocking, and having to kiss him or her goodbye when the fight is lost.
Other than knowing your dog too well to notice a change, there are helpful pointers to determine whether a dog is unwell, and the symptoms can always guide you to the best home remedy, or signal you need to make a dash to your local Vet’s Emergency Room.
A dog can die of bloating, Addison’s disease, cardiac problem or even stroke, seizure, kidney failure, and a host of other immunity-related diseases; most of which can be prevented.
The first thing you need to understand is if your dog is old, he or she is more predisposed to kidney problems, cardiac failure, or cancer—which by the way happens to be world’s number one dogs’ killer disease.
If you are raising a pup, you are likely to deal with immunity-related diseases, and bloating. In pups, early immunization is key.
How to tell if symptoms are pointing to a deadly disease ora curable disease
There are many symptoms that should tip you off on your canine’s health including: red or cloudy eyes, lethargy, excessive coughing, panting and sneezing, disinterest in a normally playful dog, loss of appetite, diarrhea, foul breath and drooling, fever, and changes on the skin or coat.
Sometimes the signs are similar to normal disease’ but if your dog has a certain combination of more symptoms… it’s usually a sign of a bigger underlying issue.
For example, lack of appetite, quick weight loss, fever, lethargy, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea points to the Parvovirus Infection.
Rush your dog to a Vet if he or she shows these symptoms. Parvovirus is about 50% curable, and over 90% preventable if you get your pup immunized ASAP.
How long you should wait before going to a vet officer
Unless your dog shows tremendous improvement after you’ve tried home remedies, you are advised to call the Vet or take your furry friend for checkup.
Signals to life-threatening dog diseases – signs you should NEVER ignore
- Coughing – It could be a sign of: a lung tumor, bronchitis, heart failure, windpipe obstruction, pneumonia, etc.
- Difficult breathing – Like coughing, this could mean your dog is suffering a heart failure, or struggling with a respiratory infection.
- Bloody diarrhea – Mostly, these points to a bleeding colon or rectum, Parvovirus infection, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), etc.
While Parvo is just deadly, HE causes death following dehydration which subsequently causes shock or low blood pressure. Never ignore blood in your dog’s stool.
- Trouble urinating – Your dog could be suffering from Urinary Retention caused by obstructing cancerous tumors, a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), or Kidney Failure.
- Fever – This is usually a pointer to the fact that your dog’s system is trying to fight off an infection. It is always advisable to see a Vet to find out if it’s serious, or just a transient ailment.
- Collapsing – Even if your dog passes out for a while then comes to, you should see a Vet to rule out nervous system problems.
- Restlessness – If your dog is evidently unhappy and pacing about; unable to settle… he must be in pain or very uncomfortable. The culprit could be bloating—which is life threatening. See a Vet!
Safety precautions for handling a sick dog
This should be your daily routine, but be stricter with yourself and family members if you suspect your dog is down with a disease that he or she can pass to you:
- Clean your hands thoroughly—with soap (add disinfectant if your dog is infected) after handling the dog.
- Regularly clean after your dog.
- Clean and disinfect your hands after cleaning the dog box or cage, or disposing the dog’s waste.
An annual preventive care screening is one of the great ways to know your dog’s health condition and to watch it, and then, cleanliness is the way to keep diseases at bay.
Not forgetting a healthy diet of course…
Luckily, we covered this extensively, thanks to TLC Dog Food. Take a look at our previous posts and take notes.
A toast to your dog’s good health… and to long life, cheers!