How do you tell if your dog is sick?


Quick Answer

The most common signs of illness in dogs are behavior changes, change in eating or drinking habits, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Appearance changes can also signal illness.

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Full Answer

Behavioral changes include a lack of energy, sleeping more often, irritability and antisocial behavior. Reduced appetite has several possible causes, such as stress or stomach issues. Dogs should be taken to a veterinarian if reduced appetite lasts more than 24 hours. Excessive water consumption and urination could be caused by an electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease. Reduced urination can result from a urinary tract infection. Dogs with a temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit have a fever and should see a veterinarian. A temperature above 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit indicates heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. Vomiting and diarrhea are not always a sign of illness. The dog could have eaten something that was bad for its stomach. Multiple occurrences or blood in the vomit or stool are signs of a more serious problem. Appearance changes in sick dogs include lumps on the body, rashes, hair loss and rapid weight fluctuations. Respiratory problems, such as coughing or heavy breathing, can be caused by heart or lung problems. Kennel cough is a common problem among dogs. Most cases are mild, although it can be more dangerous among puppies and breeds with pushed-in faces.

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