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How to Tell If Your Dog Has an Illness

Many people consider their dogs part of the family. However, unlike other members of the family, dogs are incapable of communicating when they are feeling ill. Most dog owners are able to easily identify when their pet is acting strangely. However, it can be difficult to know when a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Luckily, there are a few obvious warning signs that you can look for to help determine when your dog might need a professional examination.

Like humans, dogs can act abnormally for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes, dogs can become temporarily lackadaisical due to fatigue or depression. In this case, some simple TLC can be a suitable cure. However, there are certain symptoms and behaviors that should be taken seriously. If your dog demonstrates any of the following symptoms, you should immediately take him or her to a veterinarian for a proper examination.

Physical Symptoms

The skin, ears, eyes, nose and mouth can tell you a lot about whether or not a dog is ill. If you notice redness, swelling, crust or discharge coming from either the eyes or the nose, your dog might be suffering from a viral or bacterial infection. In this case, a veterinarian might be able to prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and provide drugs that can relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

The ears can also give hints to how your dog is feeling. If you notice drainage or foul odors emitting from the ears, you should be suspicious of a possible infection. Also, unusual twitching, scratching or shaking of the ears can point toward feelings of discomfort caused by a potential illness.

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The skin and mouth should also be checked for strange, foul odors. The dog’s tongue should be checked for dryness or strange coloring. Flaky, dry or red skin also represent warning signs as these could point to a potential fungal or parasitic infection.

Behavioral Symptoms

Most people have a good idea of how their dog normally behaves. If your dog is acting differently, it may just be a faze. However, if he is not eating or drinking water at the usual rates, this is generally a cause for alarm as this can be a sign of a variety of illnesses. Rapid weight loss, scratching, sleeplessness or sleeping too much are also indications that something might be affecting his or her health. Trembling, stumbling or falling should prompt immediate action as this could point to serious, advanced illness.

For many, their dog is more than just a pet. More than a few homes are full of photo albums peppered with images of the family canine. A lot of people consider their dogs an integral part of their family life and can’t imagine life without them. By knowing what to look for, you can help keep your dog healthy and get him the proper attention he requires if he falls ill.

Copyright © 2009, Ian White pet-sitters.biz

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