Common Health Problems for Dogs

One aspect of animal health care is knowing if there is a health problem, what that problem is and what to do to treat it. Most issues will settle with gentle care and time, but some problems are more serious and require more action.

Dr. Patricia Joyce, an emergency clinician at NYC Veterinary Specialists, breaks down the typical problems pet owners confront:

My Dog has Swallowed Something

First, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435. (A consultation fee may apply) “A lot of stuff isn’t poisonous, and they [ASPCA representatives] can give you advice for what to do at home or how to treat it so that a plan’s in place when you get to the [veterinary hospital] ER,” says Joyce.

My Dog is Bleeding

“At first sight of blood, people freak,” says Joyce. But applying direct pressure can often stop bleeding at home. Like torn nails or cut ears, common injuries can generate a lot of blood that goes everywhere — but they’re minor wounds you can handle. However, any bite wound should be inspected by a doctor since infection could set in. Any bleeding that won’t stop requires veterinary attention too.

My Dog has Diarrhea or Vomiting

“In most cases, even with blood, this is not an emergency,” says Joyce. Joyce usually sends these cases home for a “nothing by mouth” trial. “It’s instinctive for dogs to drink and instinctive for people to give the dog water,” she says. But you should cease all food and water to see if the vomiting resolves. If it doesn’t, have your dog checked out.

My Dog is Injured and is Limping

Joyce recommends giving leg injuries some time to heal. “A dog’s instinct is to cease weight-bearing immediately after an injury, which scares owners,” she says. “But by the time they get to the ER, the animal is putting pressure on its leg and wagging its tail.” See a doctor the following day, however, especially if the limping persists.

My Dog is Experiencing Respiratory Problems

Any evident and unusual increase in effort or breathing rate should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. Other issues requiring prompt attention include pale or abnormal gum color, urination issues, skin color change, yellow in the white of the eyes, strange bruising, and seizures.

This article was written by Author: Brad Kloza

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