Dog health problems can be difficult to detect, since they seem so normal. They are however very serious and require immediate attention. The first sign of a dog health problem is usually a dull pain in the neck or shoulder, especially in the chest area. This pain usually lasts for a day or two and may even progress to the throat, heart or lungs.
Skin: The coat is soft and supple, with no bald spots, scuffs or other growths. The coat is shiny, free from matted, wet hair, and without dandruff. Eyes are bright and not droopy, free from discharge or darkening, and without blood vessels. Ears are clear, moist or not darkened, with or without a slight luster, not swollen and not bleeding. Ears of the inner ear are shiny, without discharge or redness.
Nose: The nose of a dog is normally pink or red and there are very few signs of infection. However, if there is a chronic cough, then a vet will take a look at it. If there is inflammation, fever, or an ear infection the vet will examine the ear. Sometimes dogs can also show signs of depression such as a depressed mood, constant licking their ears, whining and licking their paws. If this is the case, the vet will most likely examine the dog for signs of depression as well. Other signs that could signal depression signs such as excessive licking of the lips, pawing at the face, drooling, constant whining, biting, scratching the body, whining constantly, or licking and chewing at themselves.
Liver: The liver of a dog is very similar to that of humans. There are very few symptoms of liver disease that are more serious than an abnormally high level of cholesterol. High cholesterol levels can lead to problems such as heart disease and diabetes. A dog’s liver will show an increased level of bilirubin or bile when a veterinarian takes a blood test. Bilirubin and bile are usually found in both the urine and feces. These changes will occur when the liver produces cholesterol, or when the liver produces bile, the two substances used to break down food.
Liver disease is also called hepatic failure and a dog that show symptoms of liver disease usually dies within three days. A dog’s liver produces a lot of bile but does not process it properly. A dog with liver disease can develop jaundice and ketoacidosis, which are kidney failure. A canine version of the disease is kennel cough.
Canine nutrition is very important. Since diet affects a dog’s health, you should check and see how much your dog eats each day, what it drinks, where it eats and if there is any type of illness that affects its health. If you find out early on, it can help prevent dog health issues from getting worse.