Be Doctor Dog When Dog Health Problems Strike!

A healthy dog is a happy dog. Just picture it: your beloved pooch runs to you with its eyes clear and shining, and upon his muzzle, an endearing canine smile is in place. His fur is shiny, not matted, and if ever he sheds, it is on schedule. He responds to your calls, jumps around, and wags his tail always, just because he wants to.

That’s the general picture of what an owner wants to see in his dog each and every time. However, no matter the precautions, grooming, and the steps undertaken to ensure the pet’s health, there comes a time when a trigger crops up (be it in the form of the weather, some epidemic, or another dog), and in no time at all, Spot is not as active as he used to be.

Fortunately, for dogs and their owners, it is very easy to detect if there is something wrong. Part of a dog’s natural charm is his eagerness to please his owner and friend - when there is a routine in a dog’s “schedule” and the owner somehow factors in it, he will attend to it right away. One concrete example is when you fill his food bowl, he will enthusiastically lap up his ration; when you run outdoors, your pet will follow with gusto. Hence, when he does not tackle his day-to-day routines with his usual enthusiasm, nine times out of ten, there might be something off happening in his system. Do not look for (or much less, wait up for) the usual warning signs of diarrhea or nausea – usually those are signs that whatever’s ailing the pet, it has progressed into a much critical level.

There ARE ailments most common to dogs. For instance, there are the parasites, to name a few: mites, lice, and ticks. This should not be taken lightly, for they might trigger more serious – or in some cases, fatal – illnesses. One definite sign of infestation is a dog’s furious and intermittent scratching. When this occurs, visit the vet and talk about what resolution to undertake: there are shampoos, medicinal sprays, and prescription washes that could counteract and eliminate parasites. To take proactive stance, regularly groom, trim, bathe, and brush your pet, and make sure his play and sleep areas are flea-free.

Other dog health problems could range from external concerns (mange, which could be treated with ointments or prescribed injections) to the extreme and fatally degenerative cases (rabies, the most dreaded dog-related disease, of which there is no cure, only proactive prevention).

At any case, again, do not wait for your dog to scratch himself to death (no pun intended) or to go crazy. Other than being lethargic, these are other health problem symptoms: a) depression, b) loss of appetite, c) excessive water intake; d) unwarranted aggression, e) breathing difficulties, f) stiffness, g) sudden and immediate growth of lumps or sores, h) hair loss, i) foul breath, j) thick discharge from nose and/or eyes, and k) vomiting, and other digestive/bowel irregularities.

And at the onset, consult the vet right away. Remember, it’s now or never!

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