25 Top Symptoms in Dogs
Here are the top 25 dog symptoms most people are concerned about
While there are more than hundreds of symptoms in dogs that can get us worried, these are the most common
Bad breath - is doggie breath that is very stinky! When our dog’s breath really smells, there could be an underlying issue.We can mask it with breath fresheners, drops or brushing their teeth with scented toothpaste for dogs, but in the end there is a reason for the dog symptoms they are experiencing. Some of the reasons for the offensive breath could be gingivitis, periodontitis, abscessed teeth, lung disease or kidney disease, tumors in the mouth or something stuck in the mouth.
Panting – is the dogs primary method of cooling itself. It can also be a result of fear, stress, pain and disease or overheating. It is important to watch how rapidly your dog is panting to address if it needs medical attention.
Diarrhea – can be chronic. These symptoms in dogs can lead to weight loss and essential nutrients not being absorbed. When diarrhea persists for 3 or 4 days, it can be from bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, fungal infections, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, blockages or a host of other reasons. Check for mucus or blood in the stool and contact your veterinarian if your dogs diarrhea persists. Letting diarrhea go on can lead to death.
Coughing – in dogs is just like we do to remove an offending particle or obstruction in the throat. Coughs that last for a few weeks are more serious. This can be from bronchitis, heart-worm disease, lung tumors, kennel cough or heart failure among a number of other reasons. As always, if a cough persists consult with your veterinarian.
Constipation – can cause your dog distress and pain. When the dog has difficulty passing stool it is usually dietary, environmental, or from drugs and medication. Sometimes it can be from neurological, endocrine or metabolic diseases. If a dog receives fiber in their food every day and regular exercise, they usually will have no problem with regular bowel movements.
Depression- can be from a variety of influences. If there has been a change in the household, a family pet deceased, an illness, a divorce, or a move, this can all lead to behavioral changes in your dog. Dogs are very sensitive to their surroundings and will pick up on the energy of their owners and mirror back what they are projecting. Pain can be another reason for depression in dogs. Watch closely to the symptoms of dogs to find what the underlying cause may be.
Vomiting – can be very minor or very serious.
These symptoms in dogs can be secondary to an underlying disease such as cancer, diabetes, kidney failure or an infectious disease. If a dog appears lethargic or continues to vomit and does not want to eat, then it is important to see a veterinarian. This condition can lead to death if not looked after promptly.
- Drinking or Urinating a lot – can be from several different diseases. If your dog has an excessive thirst or is having to urinate constantly, they could be suffering from a variety of illnesses. Some of these diseases are diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, pituitary gland problems, thyroid issues, an infection or a urinary obstruction. There are many more potential reasons for the dog symptoms and tests would need to be done to rule out what is causing the condition.
- Red Eyes – can be caused from inflammation in the eye, glaucoma, diseases of the external eyelids, conjunctiva or cornea. Usually the symptoms in dog will be redness, squinting, pawing at the eye, tearing of the eye, increased blinking or a discharge from the eyes. Other dog symptoms could be cloudiness of the eye or a decrease in vision. Another possibility is that the dog scraped the cornea and it is irritated. Always check with your veterinarian if the condition persists.
- Flatulence - is also described as gas or farts. Some gas production is normal but when it is constant and foul smelling it is a reason for concern. Usually swallowing of air from eating too quickly will cause these symptoms of dogs. Diets that are high in fiber can also cause gas in dogs. When the flatulence is foul smelling, it could be malabsorption issues with their food. If they are eating a low grade food they can suffer from poor digestion and inadequate nutrient uptake. Other concerns could be gastrointestinal cancer, lymphosarcoma or inflammatory bowel disease. Allergies to certain foods can also be the cause of these symptoms in dogs.
- Hair Loss – occurs in all dogs with the exception of those breeds who do not shed. Hormones will affect a dog’s hair growth as well as their diet. A deficiency in the hormone thyroxine will result in the thinning of the coat. Antibiotics, allergies, mange and other fungal infections can lead to dog hair loss and a thinning coat.
- Hearing Loss – affects many older dogs. Deafness in dogs can result from neurological issues, waxy buildup or ear infections, drug toxicity, or inherited abnormalities. Most owners notice symptoms in dogs when the dog is not responding to verbal commands. Many dog symptoms involve shaking the head or pawing at their ears and responding only when they can see you. Most older dogs will gradually develop a hearing deficit but it does not make them unable to function and lead a full life.
- Lameness – in any dog can result from trauma, a life-threatening condition, or an underlying illness. Should your dog become lame on one or more of their limbs you need to check out the underlying cause. A dog that cries out in pain upon moving is needing medical attention. A reluctance to go up and down stairs could indicate arthritis in the knees or even hip dysplasia. This dog symptom could be only a strained muscle or too hard a playout with their friend. Monitor your dog and determine when it is sore and to what degree. Get it checked by a professional if necessary.
- Lethargy – can be caused by an underlying disease or it could just be a state that an animal is in due to not feeling totally well. Some causes for concern are electrolyte abnormalities, inflammation or infection, anemia, heart or respiratory disorders. These symptoms in dogs can relate to a wide array of conditions. Keep a watch on your dog for changes in their demeanor, a reluctance to play, tremors, weakness of any kind and changes in levels of consciousness. There are so many reasons why your dog could be feeling lethargic.
- Sneezing – is normal for all dogs. Sometimes a sneeze can result in a reversed sneeze which sounds frightening but is really harmless. When sneezing is chronic then we need to worry. If your dog has a constant running nose afterwards or has a blood tinged discharge, then see a veterinarian. Sometimes a foreign body can cause this symptom in dogs. Viral infections, tumors, fungal infections and seasonal allergies and sinus disease can all be causing the sneezing. Most often, it is something fairly normal.
- Obesity – is the most common condition in our society and it usually always relates back to the nutrition a dog is being fed. The main reasons for obesity are overeating and lack of exercise. An overweight dog can not function very well with its breathing or with its mobility. Obesity places an enormous amount of stress upon the dog’s joints and respiratory system. An overweight dog needs more exercise, food reduction and limited treats. Seldom is it due to a thyroid imbalance or other imbalance in their body.
- Pain – symptoms of dogs should never be ignored. Pain in any form needs to be dealt with and its cause determined. There are so many reasons for a dog to be suffering from pain and recognizing it as soon as possible is important. Is the pain asociated with trauma, exposure to heat or extreme cold, spasms of tissues, joints or ligament strains, inflammation of tissues or gastrointestinal disorders. Most dogs will tend to hide their discomfort because that is how they survived in the wild. If your dog symptoms involve pain, have a veterinarian look into it immediately.
- Stool Eating – in dogs is usually caused from a lack of digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid. The feeding of poor quality diets or genetic flaws can also lead to this condition. A dog who is not assimilating their food well will turn to other sources and this can involve other stool for nutrients. A trace mineral deficiency could play a role in this dog symptom. Supplementing with a digestive enzyme could help as well as changing their food to a much higher quality.
- Scratching – can be associated with allergies, bacterial skin infections, skin parasites and yeast infections. Sometimes if a dog is bathed too often it can lead to dry skin and cause irritations, or the shampoo used is an irritant itself. Flea allergies can also lead to incessant scratching and secondary skin infections. Scratching symptoms in dogs can lead to a whole host of reasons and ruling out allergies or fleas is a good first choice.
- Hot Spots – is a condition that can really get out of hand if not dealt with promptly. This condition is known as wet eczema and has open sores that your dog continually licks and bites, making it worse. Some say this is caused by internal stress, a food allergy or the body trying to rid itself of toxins. Be sure to deal with these right away or they can get pretty nasty and infected.
- Lumps or Bumps – on a dog can be fairly common. Many of these are just a nodule on the skin, an abcess or cyst, or a lipoma which is an accumulation of fat. Some lumps can be cancerous and all of them should be checked. Pay attention to the bump if it is growing or bleeding. Watch if the color has changed or if it is where an injury occurred. Stay on top of any lump you find on your dog. Get a veterinarian to check it for malignancy or it could lead your dog to death. I explain all about this in Chapter three in The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs.
- Odors – in dogs can be from bacterial skin infections or antibiotic use. Odor symptoms in dogs can have an underlying condition and needs to be checked. Some cancers can have a very pungent odor and is detectable by the smell. Of course if the dog has been outside and is wet, we all know what wet dog odor smells like. If there is an unusual odor coming from your dog, have it checked. I explain in Chapter three about how my dog developed a very strong odor when she got cancer and it is a smell I will never forget.
- Scooting – around on the floor or in the yard is the dog symptoms you will see with impacted anal glands. This is the most likely reason your dog will do this and other reasons would be allergies, fleas, itching, hair mats and skin parasites. If your dog is dragging their hind end around on the floor or there is a foul odor from the anal area, chances are likely they have a condition that needs to be dealt with.
- Urinary Incontinence – in a dog can result from an abnormality at birth or from hormonal imbalances. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones and weakness of the sphincter mechanism can also cause this. It is important to have the condition checked and any infection ruled out. Dogs which are spayed sometimes develop this condition.
- Straining to Defecate – is very obvious when seen in your dog. It can be very painful and can indicate a more serious illness is present. There are a multitude of reasons for these dog symptoms and they range from constipation being the most common one to cancers and herniation. Disorders of the prostate, infections, foreign bodies, fractures and strictures are all possible causes for the painful and strained defecation. Dietary being the most common reason for this condition is also one of the simplest to correct. Don’t let this dog symptom go unchecked.
What dog symptom concerns you? Share your comments and information below.