Dogs do not advertise the fact that they are ill.  It is up to you to know your dog, and spot any tell-tale signs.

What to look out for:

The following signs of illness can indicate potentially serious problems. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should call your vet:

  • She seems tired or sluggish.
  • She has trouble urinating or she’s urinating more than usual.
  • She’s dragging her rear on the floor.  This is an indication of worms or blocked anal glands or kidney disease or diabetes.
  • She’s drinking a lot more water than usual.
  • She won’t eat and misses more than two meals.
  • She eats a lot but is losing weight.
  • She’s drooling a lot. She might have tooth or gum problems, or she could have picked up something poisonous.
  • Her gums are red or swollen.
  • Her eyes are cloudy or red, she’s squinting, or has a lot of discharge from her eye.
  • She’s gasping or short of breath.
  • She flinches or whimpers when she’s touched.
  • She has any kind of lump on her body.
  • She vomits, gags, sneezes, or coughs repeatedly.
  • Her coat is rough or dull.
  • She is unspayed and has a vaginal discharge.
  • She coughs or vomits up blood.
  • She has a fever.

The following signs of illness can indicate an emergency. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately:

  • She’s dehydrated. Pinch the skin at the back of her neck. If it doesn’t return back in place quickly, she might be dehydrated.
  • Dry or tacky gums also indicate dehydration.
  • Her gums are pale, white, or blue.
  • She can not urinate.
  • She faints or collapses.
  • She has a seizure or convulsion.
  • She becomes overheated.
  • Her abdomen is enlarged. She might have a gastric torsion (a twist in her stomach), mammary tumour, heart or liver disease, peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining), or pyometra (uterine infection).
  • She’s unable to use her back legs.