Whenever dogs are sick you will notice a change in their behaviour. They often change their routines and they lose their enthusiasm to do things they normally love. On top of this they aren't interested in food and don't want to go out for a walk but prefer to cuddle up in their favourite dog bed or chair. In short, your pet withdraws into themselves not wanting to interact with you in their normal way.
However, in the early stages of an illness, the signs that something might be wrong can be a lot more subtle and could just be something like suddenly not liking a favourite food or not quite being their usual bouncy selves and it could include a very slight change in their personalities. If you think this is the case with your pet, then you should take them to the vet and have them thoroughly examined so you can explain your concerns in detail to the vet. It is better to be wrong than to ignore any behavioural changes because if caught and treated early, many health issues can be resolved.
Your dog might love being groomed and looks forward to this routine with glee. However, if they suddenly resent you touching their ears, it could be an indication they are developing an ear infection which a vet would need to take a look at and follow up with the right sort of treatment. The same could be said of any other part of their body which they normally let you groom with pleasure and although your dog's reactions may not be aggressive but rather defensive"", you should take them to the vet to have them checked out.
As dogs grow older, just as with people, they start to get a bit stiffer, slower and less agile which is a perfectly natural ageing process. However, older dogs are more prone to suffering from arthritis so it's really important they are not left in cold and damp conditions which would aggravate their condition. This in turn might result in your old dog being a little irritable which you would have to forgive before making absolutely certain their living environment is improved. It is really important to keep a close eye on your dog and to register any slight and gradual changes in their temperaments because these could be happening because they are developing some sort of illness or because they are in pain.
If you notice your dog is losing hair, even if it is just a small amount you need to find out why. The key is to catch a condition early because if treated as quickly as possible, you nip the problem in the bud and in the process make life a lot more comfortable for your pet. The next step is to make the environment as allergen-free as possible, treat your dog for internal parasites and ask the vet if the skin condition could be due to a food allergy.
There are certain metabolic diseases which can also cause your dog to lose their hair and suffer skin issues, two of which are Cushing's disease and Hypothyroidism. However, dermatitis can rear its ugly head if your dog has some sort of viral or fungal infection too. If you notice they are scratching incessantly or pulling out their fur creating bald patches, this will eventually lead to the skin becoming inflamed and sore. Not only will this irritate your dog but it may lead to changes in their personality due to emotional and physical stress. You would need to get them to the vet so a diagnosis can be made followed up by the right sort of treatment.
If you notice your dog is chewing on their food and any treats you offer them a little oddly and maybe only favouring one side of their mouths when they eat – it could be because they have a tooth problem or it could even be the start of some sort of oral disease that's causing the problem. You may also notice they are drooling a lot, something their breed does not typically do. Some dogs will even start to chew at their own tongues because of the discomfort they are experiencing. If you see them behaving like this, you need to make an appointment and get them to the vet.
Dogs that suddenly or gradually start drinking more water, no matter what age they happen to be, could be suffering from a kidney infection or disease. Excessive drinking could also be due to a hormonal, urinary tract or digestive system health issue. Another reason why a dog may start drinking a lot of water is because they are experiencing some sort of emotional stress. Again this type of behaviour needs to be investigated by your vet because the sooner the underlying cause is diagnosed, the better.
Sometimes it's hard to notice if your dog has experienced a seizure and although it could originate in the brain, a seizure could be brought on by other things which includes diseases that have taken hold in other parts of your pet's body. This includes the heart, liver and kidneys. A dog suffering from diabetes will have low or high blood sugar which can bring on a seizure and which may result in your pet acting strangely. They may start doing things that are completely out of character. Some of the signs they have indeed suffered a seizure include the following:
All of the above could indicate your dog has suffered a mild seizure. However, some dogs may become a little aggressive when they have had a seizure which owners need to be aware of and as such approach their pets carefully. Veterinary attention needs to be sought as soon as possible so a correct diagnosis can be made after a thorough examination. This will enable the vet to recommend the best form of treatment for your dog.
If your usually very clean dog starts messing in the house, this could be an indication they are suffering from some sort of illness. The list of reasons for a dog messing in inappropriate places is long and includes infections in their bowels or urinary tract and hormonal imbalances. However, it could also be due to some form of neuromuscular disease which affects their bladder control or anal sphincters. Again veterinary attention needs to be sought to find out the root cause of the problem so a correct treatment can be started as soon as possible.
If you notice a slight change in your dog's personality or if they just don't seem to be their usual selves, it is worth making an appointment with the vet to have your pet checked over. If there is anything untoward going on with their health, the condition can be picked up early and then treated accordingly sooner rather than later. As with all medical issues, if they are caught early enough, you not only make your dog's life more comfortable that much faster but you increase the chances of them making a full recovery from their illness.