Dog Infection Diagnosis Explained

A dog infection can make a canine feel ill or be in pain.

Dog Infection Symptoms

Some dog infection symptoms are specific to the illness. However, there are symptoms that are common in dogs no matter what the infection may be.

Unusual behavior can indicate something is wrong. A dog may be more lethargic or not want to participate in activities he once enjoyed. A dog that has infection may not want to eat a lot, but will have a tendency to want to drink more water. The dog's posture and gait may also change, depending on the infection.

Altered vital signs can also be a good indication of an infection. A dog's heart rate is usually 60 to 160 beats per minute. The normal rate of breathing is 10 to 30 breaths per minute, and normal temperature is 100˚ to 102.5˚ Fahrenheit. A fast heart rate and high temperature can be symptoms of an infection in dogs.

Dog Ear Infection

An ear infection is very painful for a dog. You may notice your dog pawing or scratching at his ear or shaking his head.

Symptoms for diagnosing include seeing if his ear looks normal: pink and dry. If the ear has an infection, it will look wet, swollen and red. An odor will be smelled and you may notice a discharge from the ear that is pus-like or black and dry. If the infection is not treated, the ear will eventually no longer have a discharge present, and the lining of the ear will be hard and thick.

A vet will look in a dog's ear with an otoscope. Under a microscope, the discharge from the dog's ear will be looked at on a slide. A culture may even need to be grown if the infection is not caused by fungus or bacteria.

Dog Yeast Infection

When a yeast infection is present, a dog's skin will appear wax-like or greasy, smell bad, have rashes and look crusty. The dog's tongue may also appear white. A discharge may even be apparent from the eyes, nose or ears. A dog with a yeast infection can also develop a persistent cough and develop other infections.

A veterinarian will study a sample of the yeast from the skin of the dog to rule out any other suspected illnesses. In some cases, a vet will perform a biopsy of the dog's skin to confirm a diagnosis.

Dog Bladder Infection

When a dog has a bladder infection, he or she will want to urinate frequently, but will only produce small amounts of urine. A dog may whimper, cry or strain while urinating when a bladder infection is present.

A veterinarian diagnoses dog bladder infections by feeling the dog's bladder to see if it is firm or tender. A urinalysis will also be done to see if traces of bacteria, blood, white blood cells or other abnormalities are found. In some cases, a vet will take an x-ray or do an ultrasound to see if bladder stones are present in a dog.

If one suspects their dog has an infection, it is crucial to take the pet to the veterinarian's office for a thorough evaluation.