9 Signs Fido Should Be Going to the Vet
Your pet's health isn't something to take for granted. Fears about making a fuss over nothing and running up a hefty vet bill might give you pause. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry. After all, your doggo is your best friend! When he isn't feeling well, he's not happy, and neither are you.
You might be tempted to question your instincts. It's important to decide whether going to the vet immediately or scheduling a visit is best. Tune in to your dog's health by watching for certain signs that tell you he's not feeling well.
Nine Clues Your Pup Should Be Going to the Vet
1. He's eating a lot less — or a lot more
It's not unusual for a dog to skip a meal here and there. Losing interest in food for more than a day or two, though, is a sign something could be up. So is the opposite: If he's wolfing down meals and never seems satisfied, you should take your dog to the vet. A physical exam and tests can help determine if anything unusual is going on.
2. He's drinking and peeing too much or not enough
Excessive thirst can be a red flag. Drinking a lot is usually accompanied by urinating a lot. You may notice he needs to go out more often than usual or has accidents in the house, even if he's house trained. On the other hand, you may notice he's not drinking or urinating as much as usual. These are reasons to head to the vet. If you see blood in his urine or he's straining to pee, go as soon as possible.
3. His stomach and bowels aren't happy
If your dog eats something that doesn't agree with him, he may vomit, have diarrhea, or be constipated. When this happens on a reoccurring basis or continues for 24 hours or more, you should contact your vet. If you notice blood in his vomit or stool, or if your pooch seems to be running a fever, bring him to the vet immediately.
4. He's losing weight very quickly
Noticeable and rapid weight loss is cause for concern, even if your dog could stand to shed some pounds. Weight loss might be easy to miss in small dogs, so it's crucial to pay close attention. For a purse-sized pup, losing even one pound in a short amount of time could signal a health concern.
5. He won't stop itching, licking, scooting, or rubbing
Licking or scratching any part of his body more than usual may mean your pooch has inflamed or irritated skin. Fleas and ticks, allergies, and diet issues are all potential causes. If he's scratching at his ears, rubbing them on things, or shaking his head often, he may have an ear infection. If he won't leave his hindquarters alone and keeps scooting across the floor, he could have worms or swollen anal glands. These are all solid reasons to have the vet look at him so you can get your pup some relief.
6. His fur loses luster and dries out or he's balding
Any time your dog's coat turns from shiny and soft to dull and dry, a visit to the vet is in order. The same goes for hair loss and bald patches. These may be signs of allergies, parasites, or a skin disorder. All these need veterinary intervention.
7. He's suddenly a lazybones — or way too hyped up
Your pup may not be feeling well if he displays lethargy, loss of energy, reluctance to play or exercise, restlessness, pacing, or sudden aggression. If these unusual behaviors persist for more than a day or two, schedule an exam with the vet.
8. His eyes are irritated, cloudy, or goopy
Redness, swelling, or pawing at his eyes could be red flags. The same goes for squinting and runny, watery, or goopy eyes. Cloudiness or redness may also point to a serious eye concern. It's best to get this checked out soon.
9. His behavior seems off
Some dogs tell us they're hurting by whining, whimpering, limping, moving stiffly, shivering, panting excessively, or acting stressed. Others can also be real troopers and remain stoic in the face of pain. Subtle signs that your dog is in pain include restlessness, appetite loss, depression, lethargy, and increased heart rate.
It can be difficult to gauge these signs. If they're chronic, call your vet and explain the behavior. They'll decide how quickly you need to come in to find the cause and provide treatment. Even if it seems like something you can manage yourself, it's wise to call your vet for advice and to keep them in the know. However, any trauma, such as a broken bone or open wound, needs immediate care.
Signs You Should Go to a Vet ASAP
If your pup displays any of the following , take him immediately to your vet or an emergency clinic:
- High fever (persistently above 103 degrees)
- Fainting, collapsing, or loss of consciousness
- Stumbling, disorientation, or lack of awareness
- Difficulty breathing, especially if gums are blue or pale
- Irregular heartbeat
- Seizures or convulsions
- Swollen abdomen that's hard to the touch
- Extreme vomiting, bleeding, or pain
Our puppers are as individual as we are. These signs should be taken as general guidelines and not universal truths. You know your pal better than anyone. You'd likely be the first to notice any unusual behavior that might indicate a health issue.
Trust your gut. When in doubt, give your vet a call.