A good dog owner should always be aware if his dog has a health problem. Whether it’s common or serious, each dog-owner should be able to tell that there is something wrong even if the dog doesn’t seem to feel weak or ill. Included in this article are several symptoms of ailments that every master should know.
Diarrhea happens commonly to dogs which may have swallowed harmful or spoiled food, have inconsistent diets, and thus have trouble digesting. Its symptoms include runny and very liquid waste that may have abnormal color, as well as a more intense waste odor. It can also be observed that a dog will have difficulty in defecating as there is pain both in its stomach, as well as in its anus.
Withholding food for 12 to 24 hours will allow the dog’s digestive system to settle down. Give it a bland diet such as white rice and chicken afterwards and gradually introduce its regular diet in the next few days. Introduction of new kinds of food should always be done gradually, as it takes several days to several weeks before a dog can adjust its digestion for new food.
A bacterium known as Borrelia, that is transmitted through tick bites, causes what is called Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, no observable symptoms could be seen during the first few weeks of infection and if there are, they are commonly mistaken to be symptoms of other kinds of ailments such as arthritis. The most apparent symptom that will appear is the dog’s difficulty moving, walking or even laying down. This is because of the swelling in its joints and lymph glands. The dog may refuse to eat, go outside of its house and it may even make its doghouse or cage into a toilet because it hurts very much to move.
Another effect of Lyme Disease on a dog is its change of affected area or limbs. It can occur that in a given week, the left side of the dog would be affected, and then the week after, the right side would instead be affected and the left would be completely healed. This symptom is what differentiates Lyme Disease from arthritis since the latter does not change its affected area.
Antibiotics taken orally serve as effective treatment for Lyme Disease but should be given by licensed vets.
Distemper and Parvo
Distemper is caused by a highly contagious, life-threatening, airborne virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Initial symptoms include a cold showing watery eyes, a runny nose, coughing and sometimes diarrhea. Further development of the disease will cause the dog to suffer from disorientation, twitching and convulsions.
Parvo is similar in aspects such as being virally caused, life-threatening and affects the gastrointestinal system. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, high fever and depression. Later stages involve bloody diarrhea, shock and eventual death.
Adult canines only have a fifty percent chance of survival while puppies only have around twenty percent. Dog owners who regularly take their pets to licensed vets for their monthly check-up have greater chances of detecting the disease before it develops into its incurable stage.
Ear infections are common for dogs which have heavy earflaps such as Dachshunds, Labrador Retrievers and Beagles. The most common infections are due to scratches and cuts that may be self-inflicted or may have been caused by other animals. Yeast bacteria infections are also common with such dogs and they appear as inflammations or tick/mite-infestations. Symptoms include head-shaking, pawing of the ears, as well as foul odor and pain coming from the ears.
Treatment of ear infections may be done also through the use of orally taken antibiotics and ear-examinations by licensed vets.
Many more ailments can affect your pet. That is why it is a must that they be fed with nutritious food and provided with a clean environment. Keep them away from strays which may be carrying harmful bacteria and viruses and always remember to consult your local veterinarian if symptoms persist.