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10 Red Flags from Dogs you should Never Ignore

In Dogs, Puppies by Krislyn1 Comment

1. Loss of appetite, weight loss.

One of the first signs of illness is loss of appetite. Not being hungry is just one of the reasons why your pet is not eating. It is just a tip of the iceberg, it could be more. Watch carefully as it can negatively impact his health within 24 hours. The issue could be more serious for puppies 6 months or younger. Loss of appetite or when a dog’s body uses or eliminates essential dietary nutrients faster than they are replenished. Weight loss exceeding 10 percent is considered a red flag for your vet. Rush out to a vet to determine the underlying causes to prevent further complications.

2. Lethargy, extreme fatigue.

Dogs are naturally active and observant. They can even sense if there is an incoming earthquake as most of other pets so it is unusual that they become lethargic. You will know when they respond to any stimuli in the environment slower than the usual. However, this is a non-specific indication of life threatening case but if it last for longer than 24 hours, this can be your red flag! Time to visit the vet.

3. Coughing.

Continuous coughing in dogs generally indicates an underlying problem. It could be due to the airway being irritated by something. It could be inflammation, fluid or infection. Examples include a possible windpipe obstruction, kennel cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, heart failure, and tumors of the lung.

4. Fever.

When the body temperature rises, it means that it’s compensating to fight infection and that is what usually happens when your dog’s temperature increases. The normal temperature in dogs is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees F. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you think that your dog has a fever.

5. Difficulty breathing.

Labored breathing or shortness of breath is an indication that your dog in having respiratory distress that can occur when she breathes in or out. That means low level of oxygen is reaching her tissues. Additionally, dogs with heart failure may not be able to pump enough blood to their muscles and other tissues. It may also be caused by buildup of fluid in the lungs or chest cavity and for your dog to be diagnosed, you have to visit the vet.

6. Trouble urinating.

If you see your dog licking her genitalia more often than usual while crying, it may indicate that she is preoccupied with that area. It may be due to discomfort while urinating, straining to urinate, and frequent attempts to urinate with little success. Don’t ignore this as this is a red flag! There may be underlying cause of urinary difficulties which might result in death within just a few days.

7. Bloody diarrhea, urine, vomit.

Fresh blood in the stool indicates bleeding in the colon or rectum.You will know that there is a bleeding in the stomach if the stools are black tarry because of the acidity. Blockage in the urinary tract or bacterial infection can cause hematuria which means presence of blood in the urine and you can see this by the naked eye or via microscope. If your dog vomits with blood, you have to immediately seek for vet assistance. Blood can be bright red which indicates that it is a fresh blood and coffee-ground-like if it is partially digested. None of these should be dealt as minor because there might be underlying causes.

8. Pacing, restlessness, unproductive retching.

If your dog behaves irritably, it may indicate that she is in pain or distress. It may be characterized by restlessness or pacing, heavy panting, shyness or even aggression. One very serious condition in which these symptoms are common is gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), also called bloat. Another sign of bloat is when a dog tries to vomit but brings nothing up. This is a life threatening condition that most often occurs in large breed dogs and those with deep chests.

9. Fainting, collapsing.

When a dog collapses, no doubt it’s a red flag. In some cases, dogs faint and seem to be normal again in a few minutes, still you shouldn’t think it’s okay. This may indicate problem in the nervous system (brain, spinal cord or nerves), musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles), the circulatory system (heart, blood vessels, blood), or the respiratory system (mouth, nose, throat, lungs).

10. Red eye(s).

If your dog’s sclera (white part of the eye) turns red, it may indicate inflammation or infection in certain parts such as external eyelids, the third eyelid, the conjunctiva, cornea, or sclera of the eye.


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