Not quite sure what is and is not vet worthy? Here are nine signs to watch out for. By Melanie Hearse.
Most dog owners have faced the conundrum — your pooch develops a cough, a limp, goes off their food or perhaps throws up. And, because they can’t talk to you (and have a tendency to soldier on and hide pain), you’re not quite sure if they require a visit to the vet or if the problem will self-resolve. While you should always check with your vet if you feel it’s necessary, Dr David Neck from Cottesloe Animal Hospital in Western Australia says the following are common signs and symptoms that require a visit to the vet.
Sign #1: Rashes, red skin or other skin disease
While rarely life threatening, Dr David says skin conditions are terribly uncomfortable for your dog and are easy to treat. “If you see rashes, constant scratching, red, inflamed skin or bald patches, then [your pet] is likely to be suffering from allergies. This means they are itchy and uncomfortable and the good news is, we can treat them very easily and resolve the discomfort.”
Sign #2: Drinking excessively
While a 5km run on a hot day is likely to result in a thirsty pooch, if you notice your dog drinking more than usual for no apparent reason, Dr David says it’s best to visit your vet. “This can be indicative of diabetes, Cushing’s disease, kidney failure or, for female dogs, an infected uterus.”
Sign #3: Vomiting or diarrhoea
This sign comes with a caveat, as Dr David says the occasional vomit or bout of diarrhoea is not vet worthy and can be caused by something as simple as a change in diet. “Obviously, if your dog looks unwell, perhaps they have a lack of energy or are shivering or shaking in addition to vomiting or diarrhoea, or there is blood in their stool, then the sooner you visit the vet, the better. Otherwise, you are unlikely to need to see your vet unless it occurs several times in one day — and especially if it continues the following day or becomes a regular occurrence.”
Sign #4: Obvious injuries
If your dog has a serious cut or wound they are constantly licking, it is best to see your vet.
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