What to look for in a dog health checkup?
Don't get distracted by cute puppy dogs! The health check is as much a part of buying a dog as the air you breathe.
Do it yourself! Dog health check
Dog owners and those interested in buying a dog must check a few points during the health check of the four-legged friend. A check should not only be carried out before the purchase; owners must check the health of the dog regularly. How to help if necessary. Recognize problems early. Initiate appropriate treatment by the veterinarian. In the following we will tell you what you have to look out for during a check-up.
If there are any abnormalities on the body of the dog?
At regular intervals, you as the owner must check the dog thoroughly from snout to paw. This also applies to people considering buying a dog – check on the health of the puppies during the initial viewing process. The observation must be made on both sides, d. h. Left and right eye, left and right leg, etc. For example, in the case of the latter, palpate the front legs in parallel to detect any abnormalities or. to recognize differences.
Eyes. The eyes are popularly considered the gateway to the soul. Test the pupils: These should react evenly to light and darkness. The view should be clear, the cornea unharmed. Slight reddening is not unusual. Slight watering of the eyes is also not an abnormality. Tears in the eyes have increased? Consult a veterinarian. Describe the changes. Excessive watering eyes can be caused by conjunctivitis, foreign bodies or allergies. Which symptoms indicate an allergic reaction, we tell you in the guide How can I tell if my dog suffers from an allergy??
Ears. The ears of a healthy animal are relatively clean, do not emit odor and are not reddened. Dirty ears can be tackled with a damp cloth. Heavy soiling can be removed with saline solutions from the pharmacy. Unpleasant smelling ears indicate an infection. Other indications of an existing inflammation or mite infestation are increased scratching, head shaking or head tilting. Dark earwax is also an indication of mites.
Mouth. When looking into the dog's mouth, you need to look closely at the teeth: Are the dentures intact? If the tongue shows injuries? If the gums are slightly pink? Perform the "gum test": Press a finger lightly on the gums – if they turn a slightly lighter color, everything is in the green zone. They perceive a strong odor? Tartar or inflammation may be present. Further information can be found in the guide The ABC of dental care in dogs – tips for dog teeth.
The owner must take care of the claws regularly.
Does the dog show conspicuous behavior?
Observe your dog always attentively. First signs of illness are often noticeable in the dog's behavior. Conspicuous behavior can manifest itself in the following ways:
restlessness/apathy. Both a particularly restless dog that constantly runs back and forth, as well as an unusually quiet dog that stares ahead of itself and constantly sleeps, can be signs of disease. In the worst case, there is something serious underlying. At best, the situation is harmless, d. h. the animal is not exercised or K.O. due to a stressful day.
Loss of appetite. your dog refuses to eat? Lack of appetite or complete refusal in combination with abnormalities such as increased temperature or diluted feces can indicate a disease. Loss of appetite can in turn also have psychological causes (e.g., a cold, dry eye). B. love-struck males suffering from "lovesickness" – a bitch in heat is in the immediate but unreachable vicinity – or even seemingly pregnant bitches).
Aggressiveness. Aggressive animals snapping. excessive growling. Causes can be on the one hand bad experience or. can be a wrong education (see also: Aggressions in dogs – How to avoid bites?). In addition to this so-called "weakness of character", the behavior can also be an indication of pain.
Abnormal thirst. Your dog drinks excessive amounts of water? In the worst case, diabetes or fever can be the cause of this behavior. Dogs also tend to drink more after eating salty food or in case of water loss (due to a particularly hot day).
Coughing/sneezing, Itching/scratching. In itself, this behavior is not abnormal, as it is in humans. If the symptoms get out of hand, you should visit the vet. Causes can be inflammation, parasite infestation, etc. its. You can stop scratching by applying a bandage to the affected area.
Crooked head. The dog often holds its head crooked or shakes it more often? This can be an indication of an ear infection or a foreign body in the ear canal. Similarly, disorders in the brain can trigger the permanent crookedness.
Movement disorders. Disorders of the musculoskeletal system are not to be trifled with. Lame animals must be observed closely: In which situations does the quadruped lame?? Are the affected limbs sensitive to pain? The answer to such questions can help the veterinarian in the treatment very much. If the dog falls over regularly, there may be a cardiovascular problem. Evtl. there is also a slight circulatory weakness, which occurs after getting up as a result of lying down for a long time.
We have further information in the guide Worry about the well-being of your dog? Typical diseases. The treatment of which put together for you. Questions about preventive care for animals are answered in the guide Are regular preventive examinations for dogs necessary??