Dog Health Check
Hints & Tips
Very often, merely looking at your dog will tell you quite a lot about their overall health. Whether you have had your dog for some time, it was born at home or you are searching for a new puppy, It is important to know the things one should observe your new additions health. Please remember when adopting a new dog, that even one with less than excellent health may be a wonderful pet once it gets the proper medical treatment.
Once you bring your new dog home, it is important to keep an eye on its health and to pay attention to changes in its condition. As a dog grows its appearance will change, however it should never change overnight, so keep observing and interacting to pick up on any signs of illness. Dog's cannot speak and tell us when something hurts or annoys them, and it is our duty to be alert. When a medical problem is suspected, do not hesitate. The veterinarian should be called and consulted at once. Do not wait to see if your dog gets well on its own. Many medical problems can be treated easily early on, while postponing treatment causes suffering to the animal and higher treatment costs.
Here are some things to look for when trying to assess your dog's health.
The level of activity may vary from one dog to another. Some perfectly healthy dogs are very calm and do not easily respond to external stimuli. Still, puppies are in most cases particularly active and curious if not a little boisterous - one that is indifferent and does not move around much might be ill. After keeping your dog for some time and coming to know its nature, you can identify with relative ease any significant change in the way they behave.
Your dog's coat directly reflects its state of health. The fur of a healthy animal is smooth and pleasant to touch, and does not show bald patches, wounds, or fleas. A dry and coarse coat may be a sign of unbalanced nutrition. The presence of fleas usually indicates the presence of worms in the dog's intestines, as well as possible skin problems that might be directly caused by fleabites.
Your dog's ears should be pink and clean. If you see a waxy brownish-black secretion in the ears, check for the presence of ear mites (a miniscule ear parasite common among cats and dogs). Very often, a dog infected with ear mites will also scratch its ears and shake its head. A vet needs to give the final diagnosis and will also guide you about the treatment.
A healthy animal's eyes are shiny and clear, and lacking any secretion. A dog's eyes should be bright and clear at all times with no excess discharge. If you notice that your dog's eyes look red and sore, or if they shy away from bright lights, consult your vet.
Your dog's nose should also be clear of discharge.
Your dog's mouth should be pink, clean, and without any bad breath. The teeth should be whole, white, and without excess tartar. It is recommended to have your dog's teeth regularly examined, and teeth problems dealt with in a timely fashion. Other signs of possible mouth disease are drooling and an apparent grooming problem.
Your dog's rear end and genitals should be clean - dirt in that area might indicate a problem of diarrhoea. Diarrhoea may be a sign of poor nutrition, worms or even some form of disease.