How To Tell If Your Dog Is Sick
When dogs are not well there are
ordinarily certain signs that indicate
that the pet is indisposed. The most constant symptom is a lack of
appetite. This is accompanied by depression, change of disposition,
indifferent response to commands or other stimuli, a ruffled and dull
hair coat, or a fever.
The normal temperature of dogs is about 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The
temperature of puppies and excited dogs may go up as high as 102
degrees and still be considered within the normal range. Any deviation
from this norm should be accounted for.
The temperature of dogs may be taken with an ordinary human rectal
thermometer. The thermometer should be shaken down until the reading is
no more than about 96 degrees, the mercury tip is covered with
vaseline, the thermometer is inserted into the rectum and allowed to
remain in this position for about one or two minutes, then removed and
There are many manifestations that point to bodily dysfunction. The
eyes may bear an expression of pain, listless-ness, or discomfort;
their membranes may be a deep red; and a watery or pussy discharge may
be apparent. The nose may be warm, dry, and encrusted, and it may bear
a discharge of variable nature. There may be intermittent sneezing
attacks. The membranes of the mouth and gums may be inflamed or eroded,
and the teeth may be dirty, infected, loose, or encrusted with tartar
and emitting a foul odor. There may be a cough; labored, quick, or very
slow breathing; or exhaustion after
Vomiting and diarrhea are very common symptoms. There may also be
manifestations or obvious signs of injury. Swellings of various sizes
and descriptions may appear on any part of the body. There may be
expressions of pain, hysteria, or fear. There may further be nervous
twitchings, convulsions, partial or complete paralysis. The urine
elimination may be dribbling, painful, bloody, excessive, or
insignificant in quantity. The animal may have painful bowel movements
or strain excessively or unsuccessfully to pass the stool.
The animal may rub on its bottom, shake its head excessively, dig at
its ears, have inflamed ear membranes, or be infested with observable
external or internal parasites. The skin may be laden with dandruff or
scurf and show variable degrees of irritation.
These are the paramount signs of disease in dogs. It is hoped that this
concise summary may serve as a simple guide to assist the owner in
determining when the pet is not in a normal state of health.