Signs Your Dog Needs the Vet

©istockphoto/Jodi Jacobson

Signs Your Dog Needs the Vet

Has your dog’s behavior suddenly changed? Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit. When they begin to show signs that are abnormal to their routine, owners should prepare themselves for a veterinarian visit. The following warning signs indicate whether a emergency or a regular vet is recommended.

Abnormal Eating Patterns
It’s no secret that dogs love to eat. Oddly enough, during hot and humid days, it is not abnormal for a dog to eat less or skip the occasional meal. However, if a dog skips his meal for two or more days then owners should contact a veterinarian. Also, if your dog skips his meal, but raids the garbage or pantry, contact the vet.

Color of Gums
Normal and healthy gums are pink in color. If you notice white, yellow, or blue-looking gums, contact your veterinarian. This could be a sign of anemia and requires immediate care.

Strange Physical Behaviors
If you notice any odd behavior or abnormal appearance such as lethargy, limping, foaming from the mouth, fever, or persistent vomiting or dizziness, contact your emergency vet. If your normally spunky dog refuses to go on a walk or play, there’s probably something more significant going on.

Excessive Thirst
Obviously, dogs who exercise or live in hot climates will be thirstier in general. The saliva a dog produces keeps the mouth moist, so they do not require as much water as other animals. If your dog seems to be emptying his water bowl faster than normal, it could be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes. Pay attention to how often he has to go to the bathroom; if it’s happening more than normal or if he’s going in the house, you should take him to a veterinarian.

Unusual Stool
Looking at a dog’s stool is not an owner’s favorite hobby, but it is a good indicator to a dog’s health. Dry and hard stools could be a sign of dehydration, dietary concerns, or general health problems. Abnormal shapes could indicate worms and dogs with diarrhea. Blood or mucous in the stool for two or more days should seek immediate vet care.

Dragging the Rear
If your dog is scooting or dragging his rear on the ground, it could be a sign of worms or anal gland blockage. If it happens for more than a day or so, contact your veterinarian. If the dog is also constipated you can consult an emergency vet to relieve the bowels.

Eye Problems
If your dog has red, cloudy, or squinty eyes, consult your veterinarian. Most likely your dog has an eye infection and is easily fixed with medication. Do not let eye infections linger, as they will get worse and might require expensive procedures to remedy.