Girl with beagle puppy.

Body language, communication style, and the absence of certain expressions, clue us into someone’s true thoughts and feelings. The same can be said for the dogs we live with and care for. Since we can’t speak the same language, we rely on their appearance and behavior to fill in any gaps. Some symptoms can be subtle enough to go unnoticed or misunderstood for quite awhile; other warning signs are glaringly obvious. An overview of the top pet emergency warning signs may lead to early intervention and a positive outcome. 

Show and Tell

Dangerous symptoms aren’t always distinguishable from normal signs of aging or other known reasons. As such, it is crucial to observe a dog’s behavioral patterns, habits, and appearance every day for clues. Any changes to their behavior should be noted and tended to within a short window. Left alone, even small or subtle symptoms can rapidly develop into full-fledged health emergencies. 

Number 1: Eating and Drinking

Dogs are highly motivated by food. If you ever see your dog turn away from a full bowl, or dodge your efforts to provide a fresh drink of water, seek help. If your dog leaves food behind, they could have dental pain or disease.  

If your dog visits their water dish more often, or asks to go outside to urinate more than ever before, it’s time to investigate. A variety of health problems can cause excessive thirst and urination, including diabetes, kidney failure, or Cushing’s syndrome. Rapid results in our laboratory can lead to effective treatment methods and a good prognosis. 

Number 2: Activity Levels and Social Interest

Dogs know exactly when people leave, arrive, eat dinner, exercise, and so much more. Any changes to their activity levels or social engagement should be scrutinized. A previously energetic dog that shows no interest in going for a drive or a walk, a known snuggler or close companion that suddenly naps alone in a dark corner, or a highly social dog that demonstrates confusion or aggression when being touched, all signal immediate concern. 

Pet Emergency Warning Signs

Regardless of whether or not you know the origin, other symptoms that must be quickly addressed include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bad breath
  • Dull, patchy, coat or flaky skin
  • Sudden, constant scratching of red, itchy skin
  • Respiratory distress, including coughing, excessive panting, sneezing, or shallow breathing

Also, if they wince or back away when you try to pet them they are probably in pain. 

Dog Illness Prevention

Many health conditions found in dogs can be prevented through regular wellness exams. Seeing dogs every 6-12 months helps us stay in front of common age-related or genetic problems. Plus, the ability to catch issues before they get out of hand can lead to an effective treatment plan and positive outcome.

Our veterinarians and staff members at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital aim to provide the highest level of preventive care. If you have any questions about your dog’s health, appearance, or behavior please call us at (916) 939‑1705.