12 Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore in Your Dog


Dog Symptoms to Watch Out For

Don’t Ignore These Health Signs

Dog Symptoms

As a dog owner, there are many symptoms in your dog that shouldn’t be ignored. While there are symptoms more obvious than others, the seemingly milder symptoms can lead to greater health issues if not treated early on. Below, we’ve listed 12 symptoms you should never ignore in your dog.

Unproductive Vomiting

Unproductive vomiting is another symptom of bloat. In the case your dog is vomiting, call your local veterinary office and explain your dog’s symptoms to the vet assistant. If it’s an emergency, your dog will need immediate attention, which may include surgery.

Loss of Appetite

This is the first indicator of illness. Your dog may not want to eat or is unable to eat, which can become a serious health issue if it continues for more than 24 hours.

Labored Breathing

If your dog is having trouble breathing, he’s not getting enough oxygen to his lungs. Plus, in the case of heart failure, the heart will not be able to pump blood to the muscles and other tissues. This could be labored breathing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. There may be an accumulation of fluid around the heart and/or lungs causing the symptoms.

Redness of the Eye

Your dog may have redness in one or both his eyes due to a foreign object in the eye, glaucoma (pressure with the eye itself) or certain diseases. Eye redness can affect the cornea, third eyelid and the eye ball itself. If left untreated, it could lead to blindness.

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Distended Abdomen

Known as bloat, distended abdomen is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. An enlargement of the liver, spleen or kidneys may also give the appearance of a swollen abdomen. The accumulation of fluid places pressure on the lungs, causing labored breathing. This is an emergency situation.

Bleeding and Bruising

Abnormal clotting can occur on your dog’s skin, mucous membranes (the gums), internal organs, tissues and body cavity. Clotting can cause your dog to bleed and bruise.


Continuous coughing could be a sign of pneumonia, heartworms, lung tumors, kennel cough, an obstruction in the windpipe or health failure. Persistent coughing needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Fainting or Collapsing

A sudden loss of consciousness can cause your dog to lose strength and fall. Dogs usually recover fairly quickly and can appear normal afterwards. However, whatever caused your dog to collapse needs to be addressed by your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Weight Loss

A loss in weight can be considered clinically important if it goes over 10 percent of the normal body weight. Reasons for weight loss vary greatly, including gum disease, tooth problems, reduced caloric intake, tumors in the stomach or intestines, worms, or cancer.

Trouble Urinating

If your dog is straining to urinate, shows discomfort while
urinating or makes frequent attempts to urinate, there are several underlying causes. Your dog may have trouble urinating if he’s constantly licking the urogenital region, crying out when attempting to pass urine, or turning around and looking at the urogenital area while trying to urinate. This is an emergency situation.


Jaundice is a condition, in which there is an appearance of yellow in the whites of the eyes, gums and skin. This is caused by an elevated amount of bilirubin in the blood. There are many reasons as to why this may happen, but your veterinarian can determine it.

Excessive Drinking and/or Urination

Excessive drinking or urination is a classic sign of diabetes mellitus, thyroid gland problems or pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus in a female.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, please contact your veterinarian right away. Make sure to let the veterinary assistant know how long your dog has been displaying the symptom(s) and if they have worsened. This can help the veterinarian decide how to effectively treat your dog’s symptoms for a healthy canine.


READ MORE: What You Need to Know About Dog Anal Glands

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