Dog Illness Diagnosis: Does your dog need a vet?

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We all want to make sure our pets are happy and free of pain, which is why a few simple dog illness diagnosis indicators are useful to learn. The good news is that, the more you know, the less likely it is that you’ll have to pay for a costly veterinary consultation each time your pet is feeling under the weather. Here’s a quick guide to the main categories of symptoms you should look out for.

Behavioral Changes

Behavioral changes can be a sign that something’s wrong. It’s important to note that these can occur for non-medical reasons. For example, your pet may be jealous of a new pet or child, or they could get separation anxiety when you leave them alone. If you can’t think of an obvious reason then these symptoms could be useful for dog illness diagnosis:

* Anxiety
* Depression
* Not sleeping
* Shaking
* Fatigue
* Falling

You don’t necessarily need to head straight to the vet when you notice these signs, but keep a close eye on your pet: note down whether the symptoms are changing, whether they get any better, and whether they are intermittent. Either you’ll notice a recovery or you can use your observations to help your vet make a dog illness diagnosis.

Is Your Dog In Pain?

If your dog is in pain they can be pretty good at keeping it hidden, but there will be some signs. They may be continually biting or licking a certain area of the body, they may cry or whimper when you touch the painful area, or start showing changes in temperament, perhaps even becoming aggressive. Dog illness diagnosis means watching carefully for signs of pain, and they may not always be obvious.

Check Your Dog’s Vital Signs

As well as looking out for any changes, you can check your dog’s vital signs at home. First, check their temperature using a thermometer in the rectum. It should be between 100.5°F to 102.5°F.

Next, check their gums – they should be pink in color (this can range from light pink to darker pink). If they’re grey, white, red, blue, yellow or extremely light in color then this could be a sign that something’s wrong.

Next, apply some pressure using a finger on the gum, and see it go lighter in color. If it takes longer than 1.5 seconds to go back to the normal color this can be a sign of circulation problems, which can lead to a number of serious conditions.

You can also check their rate of respiration (it should be between 10 to 30 breaths per minute) and their heart rate (around 180 beats per minute in puppies and ranging from 60 to 160 beats per minute for adult dogs, with larger dogs having a slower heart rate).

When To Take Your Dog To A Veterinarian

If the symptoms don’t seem to be getting any better, of if there is something seriously concerning you, then it’s time to take your dog for an official diagnosis. When you’re there, come armed with some information that can help them make a proper diagnosis. Some questions they may ask you include:

* The age of your dog and how long you’ve owned it,
* Whether it has suffered from any previous health problems,
* Whether you’re giving your dog any medication,
* Whether any other pets in the household have become ill,
* If they have had their vaccinations, and when,
* Any recent activities that could have lead to the condition,
* Foods commonly involved in their diet, including table scraps, dog food brands etc.,
* Whether they are urinating normally and have had any changes in bowel movements,
* And any other changes you may have noticed.

Dog illness diagnosis is something that may require professional advice, but knowing the basics will allow you to tell whether your dog is safe at home or whether he needs specialist attention.

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