Doctors Say Knowing These 11 Symptoms Could Save Your Dog’s Life

phil Phil Mutz

One of the best ways to spot serious medical problems is by paying attention to what is going on inside your body. Unfortunately, our pets are not able to tell us when something is wrong inside of their bodies  or are they?

Just in the same way that we should be on the lookout for certain symptoms in our own bodies, there are also signs and symptoms that we can observe in our dogs that let us know when something is very wrong.

Veterinary specialist Dr. Justine Lee writes, “Playing doctor to your pets can be dangerous,” and points out that there are many cases “when you must ask a vet.”

But how are we supposed to know when we should be concerned enough with our dog’s symptoms to take him or her to the vet?

While this list should never take the place of medical advice, this is an exclusive look into the signs and symptoms that indicate something major might be wrong.

The most important thing to do when you observe these symptoms in your dog is to get them medical attention. After all, your pet can’t use words to tell you what’s wrong, so it is your job to make sure you get them to someone who can.

This is some of the most important information I’ve seen in years, and I am so glad I know this!

dog symptoms you should never ignore unexplained weight loss
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Unexplained weight loss in your dog can be a sign of a serious problem that requires a trip to the vet.

Dr. Bari Spielman writes that there could be quite a few serious causes of weight loss in your dog, such as metabolic disorders, neuromuscular diseases, cancer, and heart disease. The loss of weight may also come from dietary causes including a loss of appetite.

While losing a pound here or there shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, if your dog loses 10 percent of their normal body weight, it is a sign that there may be a bigger underlying problem, and a trip to the doctor is definitely warranted.

dog symptoms you should never ignore fever
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

A significant and prolonged fever in your dog is a sign that something significant may be going on inside their body.

Dr. Karen Becker writes, “If your dog’s temperature spikes, it usually means his body is fighting an infection. The normal temperature in dogs is 100.5 to 102.5°F. If your pet feels warm to you and his temperature is higher than normal, make an appointment with your veterinarian.”

A fever is a sign that your dog could be fighting off something serious. Especially if it accompanies other symptoms, you should take your dog in to see a doctor.

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Diarrhea or blood in your dog’s stool should indicate that something might not be right internally.

Dr. Krista Vernaleken writes, “Diarrhea can cause dehydration and can be life threatening to small dogs.” She goes on to say that you should take your dog to the vet if they have blood in their stool. This could be a sign of an ulcer, a parasite, or even colitis and anal gland conditions.

Blood should always mean a trip to the vet, and diarrhea accompanied by any of these symptoms should certainly set off a red flag.

dog symptoms you should never ignore persistent coughing
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Persistent coughing in dogs is never a normal thing.

Dr. Justine Lee writes, “Dogs don’t get asthma, so coughing could signal bronchitis, pneumonia, a heart problem, or tracheal collapse (when weak cartilage in the airway hinders breathing). Treatments include anti-inflammatories and surgery.”

An infrequent cough shouldn’t necessarily be cause for alarm. However, all pets who experience a persistent cough should be checked out by a vet to rule out some of the more serious possible causes.

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Extreme fatigue and fainting are both symptoms that should be taken very seriously.

Dr. Debra Primovic writes, “Some dogs recover very quickly and look essentially normal just seconds to minutes after collapsing, whereas others stay in the collapsed state until helped. All the reasons for collapse or fainting are serious and should not be ignored. See your veterinarian immediately.”

If your dog appears to be abnormally tired, a trip to the vet could be crucial in catching the potential illnesses, which include cancer, kidney disease, and pancreatitis.

dog symptoms you should never ignore distended abdomen
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

A distended belly is when there is abnormal swelling of the stomach area. This should always be taken very seriously.

Dr. Krista Vernaleken says that many of the potential causes of a distended abdomen could be life-threatening. This swelling could be a sign of some kind of hormonal disease, or even internal bleeding.

Not only could this distention be a sign of disease, but the swelling could put pressure on the chest cavity, making it difficult for your dog to breathe. Always seek medical advice when you notice this symptom.

Go to the NEXT page for more vital and surprising symptoms in your dog that you should never ignore!