7 Signs that Your Dog Needs to See a Vet

February 24, 2011 by · 16 Comments 

Pet dogs are like family members, but when it comes to illness and disease, they’re like children who cannot talk yet. They know that something is wrong with them, but they’re unable to communicate the problem to you. So if you notice them behaving abnormally and out of character, it’s best to schedule an immediate visit to the vet. Some symptoms may be serious, while others may be temporary hiccups that disappear in a day or two. You can easily tell if your pet needs to see a vet by using the below checklist:

  • General appearance: If your dog seems pale and if there are other marked changes in the way they look, if he/she refuses to eat or drink anything for many hours together, it’s time to take them to your vet. Dogs tend to get dehydrated very quickly, so if they refuse to drink water, treat the situation as an emergency and seek medical help.
  • Physical changes: If your dog seems lethargic and less active than usual, if he/she limps around or shows any signs of pain, if they seem disoriented and are clumsier than usual, or if they show signs of restlessness and discomfort, talk to your vet or take your dog in for a check.
  • Body temperature: The normal body temperature of canines is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. So if a rectal reading shows a temperature outside of this range, call your vet immediately.
  • Vomiting: Your dog may throw up a little if it has eaten something unpalatable and it may not be a cause for concern. But if your pet seems to exhibit lethargic, dull and lifeless behavior and also vomits, it’s best to check with your vet to rule out the possibility of a serious illness.
  • Color of gums: If your dog seems listless and dull, check his/her gums. Pink gums are a sign of a healthy dog while white, yellow or bluish gums signal that they may be anemic and require the care of a vet immediately.
  • Unusual urination: If your dog is urinating more frequently than usual, or if he/she is not able to produce any urine in spite of straining to do so, it’s time to rush your pet to the vet. Your dog could be suffering from a serious illness and it’s best to get him/her checked out immediately.
  • Changed food habits: Your dog could be in the habit of overeating or not eating much on some days, but if this kind of behavior becomes repetitive, call your vet immediately.

It’s easier to identify when your dog is sick if you know how he/she looks and behaves when they’re perfectly healthy. Notice all that your pet does when they start to behave abnormally because of the illness wracking them – it helps your vet if you’re able to provide detailed information about their symptoms. Also, it’s wise to sign up with a vet who’s not averse to making house calls during an emergency or one who is available for you when your dog is really sick.

This guest post is contributed by Tina Marconi, she writes on the topic of online vet tech programs . She welcomes your comments at her email id: tinamarconi85[@]gmail[.]com.

About Tina Marconi
Tina Marconi writes on the topic of online vet tech programs at http://vettech.org . She welcomes your comments at her email id: tinamarconi85[@]gmail[.]com

  • Dawn

    My dog is a Queensland Heeler she has very dark pink gums and is listless, showing signs of fatigue while walking, she is fit and not over fed. She is 7 years old. Please respond asap this is sooo not her normal behavior.

  • Dawn,

    You need to bring your dog to a veterinarian. She needs a physical exam and possibly blood work to determine the cause of her problem.

    Dr. Dan

  • My dog is not acting normally, she has trouble walking and looks like she is going blind in her eyes, can you respond asap.

  • Virg

    i put ear cleaning drops in my dogs ears 2 days ago now she wont eat, is justing laying around. She just isnt herself…Could she have an ear infection from the drops I put in?

  • Virg,

    She sounds like you need to bring her to your vet to have a complete exam. A dog that is not eating is in need of professional assistance. 

    Dr. Dan

  • Lisachalup

    My dog has had a definite lack of energy the last few days. He’s normally very energetic being a 4 yr old lab. We recently bred him with our 2 yr old lab and he’s been off sine then it seems.

  • It certainly sounds like your dog needs to see a vet.

  • Autoo

    My dog has been laying around lately and he is usually very active. Everything else is fine. Should I be worried?

  • maria

    I hardly ever check my dogs my mouth but yesterday i noticed my dog has black gum. I have noticed she has bad breath too is this curable or really bad

  • Ben

    My dog got into the trash and now her stomach feels really hard. She is a 4 year old bichon, should I be worried?

  • Carinna

    What if I’m a kid and my mom won’t listen to me that my dog is sick she doesn’t even want to bark anymore or anything she can’t even get up ???? I’m worried and crying

  • Dodie

    Came home was crying could not stand up took to vet said she hurt herself he said she has wipeblast but turns in cyrcles when she is hand feed and walks to one side are the other when going down hall

  • angie

    I have a 9 week old lab an he will not eat he is drinking but want eat any thing an checked his gums an they r pink so what should I do plz reply asap don’t have much time our vet closes early asap please

  • Take him to the vet

  • Mel

    Hi everyone. I am new to this forum and so as my first time to become a foster parent to our pit mix. We got her from the animal shelter 2 days ago and seemed so fine normal and energetic. When she first came in to the house she ate a lot, very hyper, and pretty active when we are to walk her out. However 48 hrs later she act so differently that we start to get worried about because she barely eat and barely drinks her water, sleeps a lot, and never in a mood to walk nor move. She only move at her own pace which is not really the dog we once used to for the past two days. And we noticed that she’s having some mucus discharges too. We brought her to the vet and was provided antibiotics, like oral medication and vitamins, and never say a thing only that the vet told us that it could be more of a respiratory kind of illness. Now, what we are struggling about is how to let her swallow her medicines the fact that she doesn’t eat. please help, THANK YOU.

  • Kyle adam

    My dog hasn’t been eating all day and he has been vomiting all over the place plus he hasn’t been active like he usual is