Recognizing Signs of Sickness in Dogs

Part of the Dog Health & Nutrition For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your dog will probably get sick at some point in its life. Learn to recognize the signs of your minor maladies in your dog - a tummy ache or soreness after playing hard -and signs of real illness. If your dog shows any of the following symptoms, it's time to call your veterinarian:

  • Any loss of appetite that continues for 24 hours or more.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea that persists for more than 24 hours, or any vomiting or diarrhea in a dog more than 8 years of age.

  • Symptoms of bloat, such as unsuccessful attempts to vomit, rapid shallow breathing, a distressed appearance, pacing back and forth, or a painful or enlarged abdomen.

  • A first seizure, recurrent seizures, or any seizure that lasts more than three minutes.

  • Body temperature above 104 degrees or below 100 degrees.

  • A serious fall or blow to the head, chest, or abdomen, even if there is no apparent injury; any injury to the eye, no matter how minor; or any encounter with a moving vehicle.

  • Any open wound or injury in which bleeding continues for more than five minutes, despite your efforts to control it.

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Collapse or unconsciousness.

  • Snake bite.

  • Heatstroke.

  • Poisoning.

  • Burns, no matter how minor.

  • Straining or difficulty urinating or defecating.

  • Lameness lasting more than 24 hours.

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