How often do we say we wish our dogs could talk to us, tell us when they hurt?
But the thing is, they do! We just need to learn how to listen.
|Having just experienced a tragedy that still has my friend’s children crying themselves to sleep, I am compelled to give just one answer to this question—LOSS OF APPETITE.
Recently my friend was babysitting a senior dog for her close friend on vacation. Less than 24 hours into their time together, the dog became lethargic and began vomiting. Rapid breathing followed. My friend texted me video of the dog and we walked through a crude exam by phone. My heart sank, because intuitively I knew this was very serious.
My friend rushed the dog to a local vet who diagnosed a large mass of the spleen on physical exam.
The poor dog was a time bomb for bleeding to death internally, and she was too weak to even get up. After communicating with the dog’s owner several times via phone, it was determined unanimously that the kindest thing for the suffering dog was euthanasia. It was a tragic, traumatic outcome, and completely blindsided my friend and her family.
However, in discussing the unfolding situation with the out-of-state owner, it came to light that the dog had not been eating normally for weeks. The lady had naively ignored this symptom, which in most dogs is a major red flag.
If your dog has an unexplainable/uncharacteristic decrease or cessation of appetite that lasts for more than one meal, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
|—Dr. Julie Buzby, South Carolina, ToeGrips
Dr. Julie on Facebook and on Twitter
|Interesting question considering I have had clients come in to see me because the hair on their dog is going a different way in a spot than it did a couple months ago - NOT an exaggeration!
When should you bring your dog to the vet
The obvious such as excessive bleeding, gaping wounds, loss of consciousness, multiple seizures, obvious broken limbs, difficulty breathing, paralysis, or painful cries dictate a need to get to the vet ASAP
For other symptoms that may not be as obvious to some people but do dictate a visit to your vet include
I am sure I have missed some other concerns that would require a trip to the vet, but I did purposely leave out a spot of hair going in a different direction than it once was. It's fine if you bring your dog to a vet for an issue such as that, but it is not an immediate concern and certainly would not be in a top 10 of what to watch out for.
|—Dr. Daniel Beatty, DVM, Dog Kinetics
Dr. Dan on Facebook and Twitter
|Top 10 symptoms owners should watch out for in their dogs
|—Dr. Keith Niesenbaum, VMD, New York, Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital
Dr. Keith on Facebook and on Twitter
|At this time of year a panting agitated dog in a parked car!
|—Dr. Rae Worden, DVM, Ontario, Fergus Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Rae on Facebook and Twitter
|—Dr. Anna M. Coffin, DVM, Guthrie Pet Hospital
Dr. Anna on Facebook and Twitter
|This is a fairly broad question, so here are my answers:
| —Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Los Angeles, The Daily Vet
Dr. Patrick on Facebook and Twitter
|Most people know to watch out for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
For purposes of this survey, I will mention 10 important symptoms that people are more likely to ignore. If any of the following are observed, consultation with a veterinarian is warranted:
|—Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM, Speaking for Spot
Dr. Kay on Facebook and Twitter
|—Dr. Krista Magnifico, DVM, Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian
Dr. Krista on Twitter
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Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?
Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.