4 Crucial Signs Your Dog May Have Declining Health

Dogs of all ages and sizes are vulnerable to a range of health problems, especially infection. The hardest part is that we can’t entirely avoid bacteria infection. They can quickly spread through the air and stay on surfaces where there is a dense concentration, such as your dog’s kennel, beddings, grooming equipment, bowls, and bodies.

The best way to determine any signs of illnesses is to warrant a check-in with your vet as soon as possible. It’s equally important, nonetheless, to know the common indicators that your dog is sick. Be wary if your dog is showing any of these symptoms as they can have major underlying causes.

Vomiting

There are two reasons why your dog throws up. First, it’s trying to get rid of undigested food, which usually stays in its oesophagus or stomach. This action is called regurgitating, not vomiting. Your dog usually regurgitates almost fairly shortly after its meal, especially when they gobble their food too fast. It’s very normal.

However, if your dog is forcefully throwing up its partly digested food from its stomach, it’s called vomiting. It could be a sign that your dog is suffering from clinical diseases, ranging from mild to severe conditions, which can either be the following:

  • Motion sickness
  • Side effects of medication
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Food intolerance
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Ingestion of foreign bodies
  • Ingestion of toxic substance
  • Heatstroke
  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Kidney or Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastrointestinal disease

Moreover, a dog vomiting virus is currently spreading throughout the U.K. Affected dogs would usually vomit for up to five days, more frequently than is commonly seen with canine gastroenteritis. They tend to throw up profusely with five or more bouts within 12 hours while showing symptoms of lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea.

Worse is there’s a spike in cases of prolific vomiting in dogs recently. It’s very worrisome, but you have to stay calm and prudent. You’ll know your dog is about to vomit when it shows symptoms like retching, drooling, or experiencing contraction on its abdomen. Should you suspect your dog is suffering from prolific vomiting, contact your local vet right away.

Decreased Appetite and Thirst

It’s no cause for alarm if there’s a slight decrease in your dog’s water and food consumption. It usually happens when your dog gets less exercise, especially during cold weather. When they’re inactive, they feel less thirsty and hungry.

However, if your dog persistently shows disinterest in water and food, it can be caused by a disease. Health issues, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and some cancers in dogs, can cause your dog’s thirst to fluctuate.

Decreased thirst could even be one of the signs of a dying dog. It usually happens when a dog is infected with a bacterial or viral infection, like the Parvovirus. This virus attacks the cells of dogs’ intestines, particularly those of young puppies and unvaccinated dogs.

When your dog’s gut can’t absorb vital nutrients, your dog will suffer from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, depression, loss of appetite, and, worse, death. Parvovirus easily spreads through body fluids, so it’s highly contagious. And with no up to date cure, dog owners can only rely on vaccination. Make sure to protect your pup against this fatal infection by vaccinating them.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence happens when your housetrained dog loses its bladder control due to some abnormal health conditions, which generally vary depending on your dog’s age and gender. Check WebMD Veterinary Reference from the ASPCA for more in-depth information.

For the most common causes of urinary incontinence in dogs, here’s a rundown categorized into age and gender.

Adult Female Dogs
Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI)

Adult Male Dogs
Prostate problems
Perineal hernia

Young dogs
Ectopic ureter
Congenital USMI

Any age
Spinal problems
Urine Infection
Urine Blockage
Urinary Tract Injuries
Urinary Tract Tumors

Urinary incontinence can cause your dog to change its appetite, drink more, and pee more than usual. In the worst scenarios, your dog might be in pain while peeing, suffer from pain in its back legs or lower spine, or bleed while peeing.

While it doesn’t directly cause your dog’s demise, medical research shows that it’s a reliable predictor of death caused by another medical disorder. Hence, urinary incontinence in dogs is entirely abnormal and shouldn’t be ignored.

Changes in Gum Color

This is a very common indicator of a dog’s health condition. Your dog is very healthy if it has nice moisty bubblegum-pink gums. It means that there’s oxygen-rich blood circulating throughout your dog’s body.

On the other hand, dogs with dry, whitish or bluish gums are usually terminally ill and dying. Sad to say, there’s nothing much that we can do to reverse the gum colour to normal. A vet may advise emergency transfusion or euthanasia, depending on the dog’s condition.

Takeaway

Reduced mobility, disinterest in food, declining hygiene, social detachment and other signs of illness shouldn’t also be overlooked. For the most part, any changes in your dog’s behaviour are among the first signs of their sufferings. If these changes occur, don’t wait and consult a vet immediately.