Having a pet is like having a child — they need extra supervision so they don’t harm themselves. There’s nothing worse than having a “What’s wrong with my dog?” moment.
While children can describe what’s wrong, dogs cannot. This means it’s the owner’s responsibility to recognize potentially life-threatening symptoms. It’s certainly a lot of pressure for any pet owner.
On the other hand, a trip to the vet is not cheap. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether it’s time to ask a vet for help.
To prevent a deadly situation, don’t forget these 6 signs that your dog needs an emergency trip to the veterinarian.
1. Breathing Problems
The occasional cough or sneeze is nothing to worry about. A persistent condition, however, can signal something much more serious.
2. Severe Weight Loss
If your dog has only lost a couple of pounds, there’s no cause for concern. If they lose 10% of their body weight, however, they could have a serious condition.
A loss of appetite is a sign that your dog is experiencing a great amount of pain or stress. They could also be suffering from a metabolic, neuromuscular, or heart-related disease.
Convulsions and seizures are always serious. However, a single seizure is not necessarily fatal. Unless your dog experiences repeated seizures, or a seizure lasting several minutes, it’s not essential to make an emergency trip to the vet.
Instead, make an appointment to find out the cause of the condition. You need a proper diagnosis to get your dog the treatment they need.
4. Swollen Abdomen
Swelling of the abdomen is a symptom that requires emergency medical attention. Even if the cause isn’t life-threatening, the swelling can make breathing difficult and put too much pressure on the dog’s organs.
Other symptoms that may accompany this include pacing, dry heaving, and drooling.
5. Urination Issues
Whether your dog is urinating too much or urinating too little, it can be a sign of trouble. It’s important to keep track of your pet’s bathroom habits.
If your dog constantly needs water, there’s something wrong. It could be diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or an adrenal problem. Excessive thirst and excessive urination warrant an appointment with your vet.
Infrequent urination could mean bladder stones or a UTI. While not immediately fatal, they are painful and uncomfortable conditions that require an exam and medication.
6. Extreme Lethargy
If your dog is less active or even collapsing, it might mean there’s a serious problem internally. If they can’t move without help they need to see a veterinarian ASAP.
They could have a neurological, musculoskeletal, circulatory, or respiratory problem that needs immediate treatment.
What’s Wrong With My Dog?
The next time you wonder, “What’s wrong with my dog?” make sure to check that they don’t have one of these symptoms. If you see these signs, don’t neglect to get your dog immediate medical attention. It could mean the difference between life and death.
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