Dog Health Problems that Absolutely Require a Vet

It is important as an owner to be aware and educated on dog health problems that require veterinary treatment. Knowing what symptoms need medical attention can help save your dog's life, especially since symptoms are often hard to identify because of a dog's natural instinct to hide illness to detract predators. The following article lists illnesses and their symptoms that require the attention of a veterinarian.

Suddenly Consuming Large Amounts of Water

If the weather is hot, it is common for a dog to start drinking more frequently. If your dog suddenly begins drinking large amounts of water and there has not been a significant change in weather, it could be a sign of diabetes or severe kidney problems.

Dragging or Scooting Across the Floor

It is common for a dog to scoot occasionally, however, if your dogs scoots on a regular basis, veterinary attention is necessary. Scooting is a symptom of worms, kidney disease and anal gland blockage, all of which can become serious if not treated.

Hard or Enlarged Abdomen

If your dog's abdomen is enlarged or hardened, take him to the veterinarian immediately. An enlarged or hardened abdomen signals a greater problem and can be a sign of tumors, heart disease, liver disease, infection or twist of the stomach.

Frequent Diarrhea and Vomiting

Diarrhea and vomiting may not be concerning to most dog owners, especially if the dog seems to have eaten something that has upset his stomach, however, most don't consider the real threat: dehydration. If a dog has excessive diarrhea or vomiting that lasts more than a day, veterinary attention is needed to prevent the dog from becoming dehydrated. Severely dehydrated dogs may require an IV to administer and replenish fluids that cannot be attained through drinking.

Changes in Behavior

A change in behavior is a prominent symptom of rabies. Other symptoms can include foaming at the mouth, refusal to eat or drink, aggression, seizures and fever. Although the rabies vaccine is required by law, rabies is still a very common infection in dogs. Rabies can lead to severe aggression, dog attacks, and is always fatal. For your safety and for the safety of those around you contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog is exhibiting signs of rabies.

Lethargy, Bloody Vomit or Refusal to Eat

All of these symptoms require veterinary diagnosis and treatment. They can be signs of parvovirus or distemper which are highly contagious infections. Parvovirus is treatable, however, there is no cure for distemper, only management with medication. Dogs who survive distemper often suffer brain damage. To prevent your dog from becoming infected, get him vaccinated as a puppy and annually as an adult. Parvovirus and distemper are required vaccinations for all dogs.

Pawing at Ears

Pawing at ears is a common sign of ear infection. While curable, ear infections must be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. Ear infections are most common in dogs who live outdoors, are exposed to water or have floppy ears. You can help prevent ear infections with over the counter ear drying creams.