Is Your Dog Ill? The 7 most Common Canine Illness Symptoms

A number of signs can indicate your dog is ill. You can learn how to read your dog's behavior and recognize symptoms of illnesses. Even though you may not be able to pinpoint a specific illness, at least you'll know when to ask for help from your vet.

1. Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are two symptoms that are frequently met in dogs that are ill. The dog may just have an upset stomach, but may also be affected by other infections or diseases that require treatment. Blood or worms in the vomit or feces are a clear sign the dog needs treatment.

2. Hiding Behavior

Hiding behavior is not a good sign and can indicate your dog is not well. Dogs often hide when they are stressed or have an emotional problem, but may also do this when they are ill. Additional symptoms indicating the dog has a problem include:

  • Insomnia
  • Barking
  • Whining

See if you can notice other symptoms as well and get the needed veterinary help.

3. Lethargy

Lethargy is a sign your dog is ill. Many diseases can cause lethargy and make your dog inactive. Your dog will try to sleep more, as he may lack the energy to perform his daily activities and exercise. When it's time to go outside, your dog may not be as enthusiastic as he usually is. Typically, lethargy is paired with a lack of appetite and seeing these two symptoms should be an alarming sign. These symptoms are also indicative your pet is aging, but if your dog is under age 7, you need to visit the vet.

4. Severe Weight Loss

A healthy dog preserves his weight and is full of energy. If your dog is ill, he may not eat and may lose weight. You should weigh your dog on a regular basis to see if he is healthy.If your dog has lost an excessive amount of weight, you'll be able to see his ribs or backbone.

5. Excessive Thirst and Increased Urination Frequency

If your pet drinks more water than usual and urinates more frequently, these are signs that he is ill. Your dog may be affected by the following problems:

  • A urinary tract infection
  • Diabetes and an excess of glucose in the blood
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver disease

6. Pale Gums

Pale gums and mucous membranes can point to a health problem, which may be:

  • Hypoglycemia, or a lack of blood in the sugar and system of the dog
  • Liver disease and increased toxins in the blood
  • Hypothermia, which means the dog has a temperature below normal and which may be caused by a number of health issues

Normally, the gums of the dog are pink or a pale red. If you press the gums and it takes more than 5 seconds for the color to come back in, this may also indicate a problem.

7. Halitosis

Halitosis, or bad breath, is a symptom that can be due to an internal problem, cavities or gum disease. The dog needs to be examined in order to determine the problem.