We spend so much time with our beloved furry friends that we tend to know each other well without having to say a word. Sadly, dogs age much quicker than their human counterparts, so it’s our job to make sure they stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. That isn’t always an easy job because dogs have a way of concealing their ailments. Breeds like Cocker Spaniels are notorious for carrying on with their daily routines, even when they’re in pain. So, what are the signs that our dogs may be feeling under the weather?
Bad Breath and Drooling
Now, for some dogs, bad breath and drooling may be part of everyday life. If you have a dog that drools over the sofa constantly while asleep, you may not worry too much about a bit of excess drooling. That’s where your intuition comes in. You’ll know how normal it is for your dog to have bad breath or drool. If it’s out of the ordinary, it could signal that something isn’t quite right. For example, persistent bad breath could be an indication of a dental problem, which can become infected and painful the longer it’s left without treatment.
Excessive Drinking or Urination
If you spend a lot of time with your dog, you’ll notice his drinking habits without even thinking about it. Most dogs only visit their water bowls a few times a day, unless it’s particularly warm weather. So, if your dog is frequenting his water bowl and seems more thirsty than usual, this could indicate a stomach problem. If your dog is urinating more often, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. This is usually more common in female dogs and can occur around the time they would be in season. It can become painful but a quick visit to the vet should solve the problem.
Of course, every dog will scratch at some time or another, just as every human does. But, if you notice your dog scratching more than usual there may be an underlying skin condition that needs to be seen to. The most common reason for dogs scratching is fleas. If you notice fleas hiding in your dog’s fur, you can treat your dog and home with Advecta products. If left untreated, fleas can cause your dog to scratch to the point where hair is lost, and in the worst cases, dogs have gnawed at their own skin and caused damage just to stop the itching.
If your dog is normally energetic and ready to play but suddenly becomes uninterested and less active, it could be a cause for concern. Any sudden breaks in routine, including the loss of appetite is reason enough to investigate further with a vet. It’s difficult to pinpoint why a dog suddenly becomes lethargic, but a vet will be able to run tests, including blood work and basic check-ups. This should help you to find the problem and treat it quickly before any weight changes take place or your dog’s health becomes worse.
Stiffness or Difficulty Walking
It’s quite common for dogs to sprain their legs or suffer a minor injury while running and playing outdoors. Just as we humans often do when we compete in sports events. You may notice a slight limp in your dog for a day or so and he may return to normal. However, if stiffness of the joints continues or you notice an inability to climb stairs or run as he usually would, it’s time to see a vet. Some injuries may be easily fixed with time, but there are occasions when stiffness of the limbs indicates something more serious, like arthritis.
Your dog’s panting will almost certainly increase after exercise and you may notice more panting during a hot day. It’s your dog’s way of cooling himself down. However, if you notice that your dog is panting a lot for no particular reason, he may be having a hard time catching his breath. This is almost never a fluke, so it’s a good idea to book a veterinary appointment as soon as possible. Your vet will check your dog’s breathing and may do an x-ray to determine the cause.
Vomiting or a Change in Bowel Movements
If your dog is unable to keep food down, there could be many causes of the problem. Firstly, you’ll need to check whether you’ve recently changed your dog’s food. Certain dogs may be allergic to dog food ingredients, so it’s always worth checking. If your dog is vomiting first thing in the morning, it could be due to acid reflux. The vomit may be yellow in color and resemble coffee froth. Some medication from your vet can quickly resolve the problem. A change in bowel movements or constant diarrhea can be a sign of a digestive problem or a stomach bug that can be passed from dog to dog.
Red, Itchy or Dry Eyes
If your dog’s eyes are bothering him, it won’t be long before you notice. You may notice your dog attempting to scratch his eyes or you may see red blotches in the eyes. Dry eyes will soon appear to look sore and your dog may become lethargic if they are bothering him. This can often be to do with allergies that dogs suffer with, mainly during Spring and Summer time. Hay fever will sometimes cause red blotches and dry patches on the skin too. Some simple eye drops and soothing warm baths for the skin will have your furry friend back to normal in no time.
Coughing and Sneezing
Yes, it is possible for your dog to catch a cold. So, before you venture out in the pouring rain on a cold Winter’s day, think about your dog’s health. Coughing and sneezing can also be signs of Kennel cough, which is common among dogs. Vets recommend that you vaccinate your dog against kennel cough every annum, as there have been cases where Kennel cough has been fatal.