Dog behavior: 7 possible symptoms of illness in the dog recognizeDogs do not let themselves immediately notice if they are not feeling well. Therefore, pay special attention to changed dog behavior – it could be a symptom of disease. The following tips show which warning signs make a visit to the vet advisable.
If your dog suddenly withdraws or hides, he may be sick – Shutterstock / Sundays Photography
Basically, it is better to go to the vet once too much than once too little. Is your four-legged friend behaving strangely or has he changed visually? Then, to be on the safe side, have it checked out to see if it could be a symptom of illness. The following signs may indicate an illness:
1. Interpret listlessness and increased fatigue
If your dog seems lazier than usual, this does not necessarily mean that he has suddenly become lazy. Possibly he is ill. Has less energy because of it. Listlessness and noticeable fatigue can be caused by high temperatures in summer or reduced daylight in winter. However, if this behavior occurs from one day to the next without any visible cause, it could be a symptom of illness.
There are several illnesses that dogs can exhibit with fatigue as a symptom, including:
– Infections – Metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism – Stomach upset – Nutrient deficiencies
2. Restlessness and aggression as unusual dog behavior
The opposite of lethargy can also be a symptom of illness. If your dog suddenly seems to be restless or even aggressive for no reason, you should definitely take him to the vet.
It may be that he is in pain. This is also indicated if he is sensitive to touch or rolls nervously back and forth in his dog basket. He may not be able to find a lying or sitting position that is painless and comfortable for him. What triggers the pain – such as an injury, a foreign object or digestive problems – the vet can find out.
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3. Recognize changes in appetite as a symptom of disease
Dogs are usually not picky about food. If your four-legged friend suddenly suffers from a loss of appetite and no longer wants to eat, this is most likely a symptom of illness. In case of pain, indigestion or nausea, the dog may not eat.
The reverse is just as worrisome: if your dog suddenly gobbles down his food, seems insatiable, or eats feces and other things that are not really edible? This dog behavior can also indicate that something is wrong.
4. Frequent scratching as a sign of illness
If your four-legged friend scratches himself only from time to time, this is quite normal. If he does not stop and has already scratched his skin, parasites, a skin fungus or an allergy may be behind the itching. A visit to the vet brings clarity.
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5. Dog withdraws and hides
Your normally trusting dog seems anxious, hunkers down or withdraws remarkably often? In this case there is something wrong with him.
Can you rule out external circumstances such as thunderstorms or New Year's Eve as anxiety triggers?? Then he feels the need to withdraw because he is uncomfortable and probably sick. Try with the help of the veterinarian to find out what your pet is missing.
6. Difficulty walking or climbing stairs
If your dog is limping, walks slower than usual or recently has problems climbing stairs, this is also a clear warning sign. It may be a symptom of disease, for example, from:
– Incipient osteoarthritis – Congenital or acquired deformities such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia – Other joint problems
If he is only slightly lame, your dog's behavior may also indicate an injury to the paw or a foreign body between the toes.
So take a good look at the dog's paws. Maybe your animal companion has cut his paw on a piece of broken glass or a sharp stone. In winter, road salt can get caught in it. You live in the country? Then awns, bristly plant particles such as grain ears, or sharp stones could be the cause.
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7. Unusually heavy panting as a warning sign
While it's normal for dogs to pant when they're hot or physically exerting themselves. However, if neither one nor the other applies, you should have this dog behavior investigated.
The panting can, for example, be a kind of appeasement signal during stress – your dog may be trying to calm itself down. This can be emotional stress as well as physical stress due to pain or an organic disease.
What if there is no physical illness behind the dog's behavior?
If these seven possibilities can be ruled out, the dog behavior probably has no physical causes. Then the reason may be psychological, for which an animal psychologist or a dog trainer specializing in behavioral problems is helpful.