In many ways, dogs are just like people. We are not happy when we are sick and neither is man’s best friend. Our pets can suffer from many of the same ailments that we do and they deserve the best level of health care that we can provide to them. There is a lot of info about dogs on the internet and quite honestly, some of it is a bit misleading. Here is your chance to learn more about your dog’s health so that you can make better decisions regarding the general well being of your extended family member!
The first sign of ill health in your dog is usually a change in behavior. Loss of energy, a reduced appetite and problems “relieving” themselves are warning signs that there may something wrong. The dog’s eyes should be clear and bright and their nose should be moist and cool most of the time. Bowel movements should be regular and urine should be clear. A dog’s fur should be shiny and smooth and should shed normally, not in large clumps or only in certain spots of the body.
If you notice your dog rubbing its head against objects, holding its head to one side or shaking its head, this could be an indication of an infection in the ear. This can easily be treated by cleaning the ears with white vinegar and a cotton ball but if it doesn’t clear up within a few days, a trip to the vet is necessary. If you notice that your dog seems lethargic or just “not himself” it might be a good idea to take his temperature. A rectal reading is the best way to go and is easier done with two people. Be sure to lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly and slowly insert it about 1” into the dog’s rectum. Wait for 2 minutes and then read the results. Important info about dogs to remember is that their normal temperature range is between 100.5° Fahrenheit (38.1°C) and 102.5° Fahrenheit (39.2°C). Any result lower than 99° Fahrenheit (37.2°C) or higher than 104°Fahrenheit (40°C) is dangerous and your dog will require immediate medical attention. If the dog sits on the thermometer and breaks it, it is best to flush the rectum thoroughly with warm water and take him to the vet immediately. Broken glass can cause internal damage and possibly death.
Although there is a lot more info about dogs and their health that you should know, these are some of the more important things you shoul be aware of. Remember that a good pet owner is always alert for any symptoms of illness in their best friend! The best place to get more info about dogs and the many health problems that they may encounter is of course your local veterinarian.