Being a pet parent comes with a lot of responsibility. Many adopt a pet as a practice run for having a child, and they can certainly be hard work sometimes!
While that is the case, they bring so much joy and excitement to our lives and can cheer us up on our darkest of days.
The last thing that we want is for our beloved dog or cat to be experiencing any health issues. While for some conditions, they can be challenging to spot, there are other conditions and health issues that can be noticed and treated. However, as a pet parent, you will probably want to do everything in your power to ensure your pet's health and safety and not to let things get to this challenging stage. For example, with joint issues you can find glucosamine for your dog to alleviate the suffering and as a preventative measure.
If you are about to adopt a dog, it is often recommended that you research the relevant information about the breed of dog you are getting, information about their recommended diets and required nutrients, and the health conditions that they could be prone to. That's where we are here to help! Detailed below are a range of health issues that a dog might experience in its lifetime.
Ear Infections and Related Issues
Ear infections for both pup and human alike can be irritating and painful.
While most pet parents are very apt at getting their pets seen by a professional when experiencing ill-health, there are reports that the rate of attendance at follow-up appointments when treating things like ear infections are not that high.
When looking for symptoms of ear infections, you should be aware of any signs of discomfort; dogs tend to scratch their ears and shake their heads in an attempt to relieve the symptoms themselves. Not to mention, any sign of discharge will require attention sooner rather than later.
Furthermore, ear infections are a health issue that should not be overlooked in dogs, whether they have long, floppy ears or short, pointy ones. Ear infections that are left and not treated can result in more severe health issues, like loss of hearing.
Whether you notice your dog has become a little on the skinny side or is retaining more weight than usual, when these health issues are present, you should consider getting your beloved dog assessed by a professional. The question that a lot of pet parents might be asking themselves: how can you tell if you have an overweight dog?
You could do things at home to assess whether your pooch is experiencing any weight fluctuations and of which, could help in giving you a better idea of what is going on with your dog.
If it is discovered that your overweight dog is experiencing health issues due to its weight, then you should consider changing their diet. You could take your pet to the vet, to get a professional opinion. You could also try to make small changes to their diet, such as reducing the number of treats you give them. If you decide on a more drastic change, then you should seek the advice of your vet.
Excessive Panting and Breathing
As most seasoned pet parents are aware, dogs pant at times when they are trying to cool themselves off, so naturally, they pant a lot more during periods of warmer weather and after a long run around.
While the panting is sometimes deemed ‘normal' for dogs, you should be aware of signs of excessive panting and breathing as a devoted dog owner.
This type of symptom can hint at numerous health issues, which certainly should not be overlooked. The health issues in question can include heat stroke – mainly when in periods of warmer weather or when residing in warmer climates – chronic health conditions, and in worst-case scenarios, has experienced some sort of life-threatening trauma.
Each of these health issues should be addressed and are generally easy to notice in comparison to more internal health issues. That being said, as the person who loves them the most in the world, if anyone is going to notice that there is something wrong with your pet, it is you.
If you have the slightest gut feeling that there is something wrong, nothing is stopping you from contacting your registered veterinary surgery, just for some peace of mind.
Pressing or Resting Their Head on a Wall
This can sometimes be missed by even the most devoted pet parents, especially if you are away from your dog throughout the day with other responsibilities.
While it can often be missed, it is a sign that could be indicative of something more severe. When a dog is pressing or resting its head on a wall, it can hint at various health issues, each of them as severe as the next.
On one end of the spectrum, your dog could be doing so as a way of alleviating a headache. Other, more serious health issues that head pressing could be indicating can range from a range of neurological and nerve problems, including an infection of the nervous system or a tumour of some sort.
Either way, this is a particularly significant health issue, which should not be ignored; as a pet parent, you should contact your registered veterinarian as soon as possible.
Increased or Decreased Urination and Hydration Levels
Just like humans, your beloved pooch must have adequate access to a water source at all times. Trying to ensure that they are drinking enough water, and consuming the right food, is of utmost importance.
So, what happens if you are noticing that your dog is consuming less or more water than usual, or is urinating more or less? Both of these symptoms could indicate something more serious, and could require some treatment from a professional.
Increased water intake could range from fevers and infection to more severe health issues, like kidney or liver disease and cancer. By addressing these kinds of health issues, when you notice them, you are helping to ensure the continued health of your four-legged friend in the best way possible.
If There Are Bits Present in Their Vomit
This is most certainly, an issue that is easily noticed, and something that could indicate something is wrong with your dog’s digestive system.
Particularly if you have noticed that there are black bits within their vomit, which look like coffee granules, getting your dog seen by a professional could help to uncover the cause. A health issue like this could insinuate that your dog might have a stomach ulcer of some sort and has partially digested blood.
Contacting your veterinarian is of utmost importance, as they will be able to provide your pooch with the care they need during this delicate time.
Generally speaking, we are confident that as a pet parent, you will be responsible for ensuring your pooch's health and will ensure that they can access the care that they need when posed with a health issue like this.
There is nothing wrong with addressing health issues big and small; if it is bothering you or your dog, get them seen. Vets are understanding, and will empathize with your situation and your emotions.