Is your dog not playing anymore? Are you having trouble feeding him? Is he always in the corner and looks lethargic? If so, it is obvious that your dog is sick. For dog owners, Dog sickness is no less than a trauma.

Being dog parents, we go through many situations like these and honestly, they could be the worst nightmares for us. We can’t bear that our dog looks gloomy and sad, not juggling around anymore.

Therefore, to understand why your dog loses interest in everything, let’s delve into the causes, symptoms, treatments, and preventions of the common sicknesses in dogs. This short guide includes all the necessary information about dog sickness that would help you deal with situations like these. Let’s get started!

1. How To Know if Your Dog Is Sick?

Occasionally it is difficult to tell whether a dog is sick or not.

Dogs generally do not exhibit symptoms of illness at first when they feel ill. As per PetsWebMD, dogs conceal or hide their disease instinctively as a means to protect themselves (being sick would make them vulnerable, dogs apparently think).

A staggering 10% of dogs and puppies that appear healthy in annual checkups have hidden diseases—a fact that troubles pet owners and veterinarians alike.

Having said that, you still can get signals from your dog when he is not feeling alright. A simple method of reducing your pet’s risk of being affected by the most common diseases is being aware of their signs. Dogs are unable to express themselves through words, so we must rely on their actions and attitude to follow them— signals, as we said.

In the case of dogs, there could be many symptoms, from which you can deduce if your dog is sick or not. Let’s discuss those symptoms in detail.

2. What Are the Common Symptoms of Dog Sickness?

If a dog is sick, there are some symptoms that are not clearly apparent but on a close look you can see them as clear as daylight. You can’t understand them unless you pay very close attention to your pooch. These symptoms can appear in the form of a change in the emotional response and body language of a dog.

Body language or behavior of a sick dog is not always alerting or alarming at first. An ill dog will exhibit specific symptoms in their emotional responsiveness and attitude when they cannot conceal their illness any longer. These symptoms include:

a. Unresponsiveness

Several things could be wrong with your dog if it is being unresponsive,  is indifferent to games, or not playing as much as before.

Normally, with this symptom, you don’t think it’s something serious because your dog is looking fine.

b. Bad Breath

Bad breath is another important but often overlooked symptom. If you don’t kiss your dog on his face often, or you are too busy to spend time with him, chances are that you wouldn’t notice it.

However, bad breath is the red flag for many stomach problems that can potentially make your dog sick.

c. Acting Aggressively When Touched

That is not a subtle symptom, right? Because, dogs are often friendly, playful, and joyous and aggression is not their thing—especially towards their owners. However, many dog owners may construe it as a usual mood swing and not a sign of dog sickness. But know that there may be something wrong with your dog. To exactly find it out, Keeping Pet advises you to consult a vet.

d. Guarding a Part of the Body Intensely

In case if a dog has been bruised, injured, or feeling some pain in their body part, then they start to guard that part of their body.

As mentioned earlier that dog doesn’t start crying about their pain, rather they try to hide it. Guarding the body part is one of the symptoms that something is not right and your dog might be sick.

e. Lethargy and Laziness

Laziness and lethargy are the most common signs of dog sickness. We have heard many dog owners asking why my dog is being lazy. Why is my dog not playing around?

Well, the plausible reason for this sluggishness maybe your dog not feeling okay.

f. Excessive Scratching

So, this is something serious! Scratching could be an indicator of some serious things such as mites, lice, or at worst rabies.

But the symptoms wouldn’t be obvious if you are not attentive to your dog. They can be scratching their ears, head, or any other part of their skin. Again, consult a vet when you notice them scratching excessively.

g. Frequent Panting

Some aging dogs seem to pant for no apparent reason but only for brief periods of time. However, if a puppy or young dog is panting, this could mean that something doesn’t keep the dog at rest.

Panting excessively appears unusual for a dog’s normal behavior. This type of panting in sick dogs is erratic and more raspy, loud, or wheezy than normal. If your dog hasn’t been to some active play recently, this type of panting could be yet another symptom of dog sickness.

h. Dizziness

This mostly happens to old dogs.  However, when a puppy or a dog is sick, they feel dizzy and unbalanced.

i. Sleeping More Than Normal

Sleeping more than usual indicates low energy levels which means something is not right with your dog. Vets opine that mostly the reason behind excessive sleeping is obesity or some heart disease.

These are the most common body language or behavioral symptoms of dog sickness. If you are not vigilant enough, your pet friend might be at risk.  

3. What Are Some Serious Symptoms of Dog Illness?

In this category, we mention symptoms, outlined by pet experts, that are apparent and can be easily identified.

It is worth mentioning that before the development of serious symptoms, there are always some common signs. If you are careful, it can actually save your dog from getting really sick.

Here are some serious symptoms that are exhibited by a sick dog:

a. Crying Out Very Loudly And Excessively

This could be very heart-wrenching for you if your dog is crying and whining in pain. There are numerous reasons behind this and these symptoms mean you need to contact your vet at the earliest.

b. Excessive Drinking or Urination

If you notice that your dog drinks excessively or urinate often, etc., this could be an indicator of some serious sickness in the dog.

Drinking a lot of water from excessive thirst is called polydipsia. This is an indicator of dog illnesses such as diabetes mellitus as well as various kidney diseases.

c. Blue or Very Pale Gums

Blue or pale gums mean your dog is not getting enough oxygen and might have respiratory system problems. If your dog is having blue or pale gums, it could be a symptom of his airways blockage or heart and chest problems.

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d. Collapse or Loss of Consciousness

Fainting or loss of consciousness indicates internal weakness in your dog. These symptoms can indicate anything from low blood sugar to serious heart disease.

e. Extremely Bloated Abdomen

WebVets, call it “the mother of all emergencies”. If left untreated, stomach bloating can be fatal to a dog within hours. Bloat happens when gas is locked in the dog’s stomach which blocks the blood supply.

f. Vomiting

If a dog is vomiting, it’s not just a symptom but also a sickness in itself. Vomiting may indicate abdominal heaving and nausea which means that your dog is sick. Is your dog vomiting, throwing up yellow foam, or trying to vomit but nothing comes out? If so, there may be something bad going on within your dog’s stomach.

g. Constipation or Incontinence

If you see your dog frequently squatting and straining while defecating (pooping) then it can be a symptom of brain tumors, brain trauma, liver and kidney disease, or toxins.

h. Nasal Discharge or Congestion

If your dog has a crusty, dry, or runny nose and the discharged material is watery, pus-like, blood-tinged, or contains food bits, it means your dog is really sick. Such signs could indicate that a bacterial or fungal infection in dog has begun. To nip it in the bud, consult your vet.

i. Weight Loss

When a dog is sick, then weight loss could be the most obvious of signs but it takes a lot of time to appear.  Some pet parents don’t realize that their dogs have lost weight until the vet weighs the dog. For dogs with long hair, it becomes even more difficult to detect. That said, weight loss in dogs and puppies is a very slow sign and therefore, it is advised to get your dog weight checked after every two to three months.

4. Why Is Your Dog Getting Sick?

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There could be various reasons behind dog sickness. Some of them are below.

Above are some of the symptoms of dog sickness. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive—and authoritative—list. Your dog may display some signs not listed in this article.  If your dog is displaying any of these signs, consult your vet as soon as possible. We hope that this article has helped you. Are you interested in more resources on Dog Health and well-being? Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first one to stay updated about everything you need to know about dogs. And worry not, we won’t spam your inbox.

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