10 Warning Signs You Should Take Your Dog To The Vet

Most animals are likely to mask or conceal any vulnerabilities they have, which is true when they have injuries or feel sick. However, it’s important to note that this instinct is hard for them to overcome, making it challenging for pet owners to tell if their pet is unwell or in need of immediate medical help. In addition, it can be tough to settle on whether to wait for a regular appointment or to see a vet immediately in certain instances. 

There are several indications you need to monitor. Here are 10 potential warning signs that tell you when you need to bring your dog to a vet right away:

  1. Breathing Difficulties 

When your dog has a hard time breathing, consider it an emergency requiring an immediate vet visit. Breathing difficulties include gasping sounds, wheezing, or other signs of evident distress.  

Some of the usual causes of breathing issues among dogs include a severe allergic reaction, an object lodged in the throat, lung infection, or even heart disease. Once you suspect your dog is having breathing difficulties, get in touch with your vet in your area or at—especially in the State of New York—Bond Vet’s Garden City, NY Animal Hospital right away.

  1. Excessive Thirst 

Although you may not monitor your dog every hour, you might have a good idea of how much your companion drinks throughout the day. In case the amount of fluid your dog is drinking increases, it might be an indication of a developing health condition such as kidney disease or diabetes.

In some cases, you’ll also notice your dog frequently urinating than usual. After consulting a vet, an assessment can help determine an underlying cause for excessive thirst.

  1. Persistent Vomiting Or Diarrhea 

Dogs can become sick now and then, especially when most aren’t selective with what they eat and often chew on something inedible. In the same way, episodes of diarrhea can occur from time to time.

Nevertheless, if either of these becomes continuous and your dog suffers from multiple episodes in 24 hours, it might be a developing condition, and there is a need to see a vet. A cause for concern is if your dog is passing blood or fever is evident. Don’t wait any longer and seek immediate medical attention.

  1. Lethargy/Lameness 

When your active and playful dog suddenly sleeps all day and seems tired or reluctant to exercise, there’s an underlying cause. For example, it might be an injury or an internal condition making your dog sick.

Reluctance to exercise and lethargy are the common symptoms linked with heartworm infestations. Although it might not be an emergency unless your dog is in pain, it’s best to seek emergency care as soon as possible.

  1. Suspected Poisoning 

Both diarrhea and vomiting can be signs of poisoning. Even if you think that poisoning is unlikely, it’s one of the leading reasons for a vet checkup. Remember that various substances are potentially dangerous to dogs, including some human foods, medications, chemicals, and even flowers and plants.

Ensure that you learn more about the potential poison hazards you might have in your home to avoid a case of poisoning. Depending on the substance that your dog ingests, some of the symptoms of poisoning include the following:

  • Rapid breathing/difficulty breathing 
  • Drooling 
  • Diarrhea and vomiting 
  • Pale gums 
  • Weakness 
  • Convulsions 

If you believe your dog ingests something that it shouldn’t have had, see a vet right away.

  1. Abdominal Pain Or Distention 

A warning sign of a medical emergency is when your dog has abdominal distention. When your dog shows this sign or appears to be in pain or vocalizes when you feel the abdomen, consult a veterinarian right away.

Abdominal distention often indicates a severe condition known as gastric dilation volvulus or bloat. When this condition develops, the stomach twists over itself, which results in complete obstruction. Other possible causes of distention include fluid distention due to heart disease or internal bleeding.

  1. Poor Appetite 

Lack of appetite within 24 hours may not indicate a severe issue, but it’s best to see a vet if it lasts longer. Your dog might have an underlying condition. When your dog refuses to eat, it can also lead to dehydration and lethargy.

  1. Seizures 

A seizure with an abrupt onset and the potential for multiple episodes to occur should require immediate assessment by a vet. It’s important to note that the seizure episodes can be due to various underlying conditions including metabolic disorders, electrolyte imbalance, epilepsy, or toxin ingestion.

Seeing a veterinarian right away is vital to stop further episodes, understand the underlying cause, and potentially treat or prevent seizures from occurring in the future. 

  1. Leg Paralysis 

When your dog suddenly has difficulty or can’t use one or more legs, it’s a medical emergency. Leg paralysis might indicate a herniation in a section of the spinal cord, which can be painful. The condition requires immediate assessment and treatment to improve the outcome. Dogs with longer bodies are predisposed to this condition.

The paralysis might also indicate a neurologic condition that can cause changes to your dog’s status. You should monitor for lethargy, poor coordination, lack of alertness or inadequate response to sounds, and rapid eye movement. If you notice an abrupt change to your dog’s mental status, see a vet right away. 

  1. Eye Emergencies 

You should never overlook any eye issues since they result in severe consequences. For example, once your dog’s eye appears severely red, bulging out of the socket, has excessive tearing, or significant swelling, seeking emergency care is essential.

A red eye might indicate a bacterial or viral infection, corneal bleeding, trauma, or conditions such as glaucoma and hypertension. If you delay treatment, it can potentially lead to loss of vision.


For pet owners out there, keeping your furry companion in good shape is essential. However, it can be worrisome to find your playful and active dog sleeping all day or not eating. When your dog exhibits any of these warning signs, don’t wait any longer for them to worsen and see a veterinarian right away. Prompt treatment can go a long way in ensuring a good outcome.

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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