15 Warning Signs
1. Behavior changes: lethargy; lack of normal energy or playfulness; reduced tolerance for exercise; viciousness.
2. Changes in eating habits; excessive weight gain or loss.
3. Changes in water intake and urination: unquenchable thirst; changes in urinating habits; straining or inability to urinate.
4. Changes in defecation: frequent, bloody, uncon trolled, or forced stools; constipation or inability to defecate.
5. Vomiting: short periods or continual episodes over a long period, especially if vomitus is bloody or accompanied by weakness, pain, or fever.
6. Eye abnormalities: redness, excessive tearing, mucus discharge, frequent squinting, film over eye, sensitivity to light.
7. Pain and limping: pain in getting up or lying down or when touched or lifted; difficulty in walking.
8. Coughing: prolonged coughing (other than single episodes) and sneezing; nasal discharge or dry, scaly nose.
9. Ear abnormalities: foul odor, excessive wax, unu sual discharge, shaking or tilting of the head, he matoma (an accumulation of blood beneath the skin) on ear flap.
10. Fever: temperature over 102.5° F.
11. Lumps or masses: swellings or lumps on or beneath the skin, particularly those that are growing rap
idly or bleeding; abdominal swelling; tumors of the breasts or testicles.
12. Skin abnormalities: hair loss, baldness, open sores, pustules, lesions, excessive external parasite infesta tion or any other skin problem, intense biting or scratching at the skin and coat.
13. Bleeding or discharges: bleeding from any body part; abnormal discharges from any body opening.
14. Changes in respiration: difficult or shallow breath ing.
15. Convulsions: stiffening and jerking of the legs, chomping, facial twitching, dazed expression.
When you do take your dog to the veterinarian, be pre pared to give an accurate account of the symptoms, the time of the problem’s onset, and any other important observations. The more information you can give, the better the veterinar ian can diagnose and treat the problem.