A Complete Guide on When to Take Your Dog to the Vet
We love our pets and want nothing but the best for them. Apart from giving them a nutritious meal and a daily dose of exercise, we often need to take them to a vet. Barring the routine checkups, it’s really a judgement call to figure if a particular symptom or sign is important enough to be taken seriously.
Why Even Seemingly-Trivial Symptoms Can Be Serious?
Here’s the thing when it comes to pets there is no such thing as trivial symptoms and signs. For example, a lethargy, which is often confused as laziness, can be a sign of heartworm disease. Coughing at night may be a sign of heart problems.
Now, because dogs cannot express how they are feeling explicitly, it’s your job as a pet parent to keep a lookout for the subtlest of signs and seek out help from a qualified professional. Early detection and administration of prescription dog medications can help you treat a lot of serious health conditions and diseases, which would otherwise be life threatening.
Ignoring seemingly-trivial symptoms can be dangerous because it prevents early detection. Symptoms that seem more dangerous such as fainting, vomiting, coughing blood and others only appear when the condition has progressed at which point treatment becomes more complicated.
Are Regular Vet Checkups Necessary?
It really depends on your dog’s health and age. If you have an elderly dog, then routine checkup every 6 months is a good idea. A healthy young dog, on the other hand, can be taken to the vet’s office once every year. Most veteran pet parents club the annual health checkup with vaccination dates to save time and effort. Long story short, you need to take your pet to the vet for a wellness checkup at least once every 12 months.
Vets conduct a full physical exam, which includes checking the eyes, ears, gums, teeth, stomach, anal opening, and other parts for clues of diseases and problems. Vets also check the heart for murmur and arrhythmia using a stethoscope. Vets may prescribe medical tests if he or she suspects a particular symptom or sign deserves further investigation.
What Are the Signs That Indicate the Need for Immediate Veterinary Attention?
Follow the golden rule, which is to always consult the vet when in doubt about a particular sign or symptom. With that being said, there are certain symptoms that demand immediate attention. When you spot these signs waste no time and rush your pet to the vet’s office. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it serves as a good starting point.
Dry Vomiting: Dogs vomit sometimes and it’s usually safe to ignore it if it happens once. However, dry vomiting also known as unproductive vomiting can be a sign of serious health problems such as GDV and gastric dilatation.
Gum Discoloration or Abnormality: Gum discoloration may be an indication of a lack of oxygenation, which in turn is a sign of fatal conditions such as congestive heart failure. Poor oral health and gum infection can also lead to organ failure.
Seizure: When it comes to seizures, one is one too many. Seizures can be caused by a range of different diseases right from Lyme disease to epilepsy. Even if your dog has a seizure for a few seconds, go to the vet’s office for a thorough check up.