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Dog Care/Signs and symptoms

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Healthy dog facts[edit | edit source]

  • Mucous membranes should be pink
    • Exact shade varies from dog to dog. Check when you know your dog is healthy to establish a normal baseline
    • Mucous membranes include gums, cheeks, and eyelids
  • Normal heart rate is 100 to 150 beats per minute, but should be lower in large and giant breeds.
    • Take the pulse where the rear legs meet the body, in a shallow groove between muscles on the inside of the thigh. Press gently with two fingers. (Practice on the carotid artery to the side of your own trachea.)
  • Normal respiratory rate is 15 to 20 breaths a minute
  • Normal body temperature is 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Check to see if the dog's nose is wet and cold as it should be. The nose may become dry during sleep or exercise.
    • Use a digital rectal thermometer (a glass thermometer might break, causing mercury poisoning and trauma from glass shards). Put K-Y Jelly on the thermometer for lubrication and gently insert just the tip into the anus. Hold the thermometer so it won't slip out. Clean the tip with soap and thoroughly rinse it after use.

Activity[edit | edit source]

  • Convulsions- call the vet and go immediately
    • Epilepsy
    • Hypoglycemia
    • Poison
  • Lethargy- call the vet immediately
    • Nervous system disorder
    • Liver disease
    • Poison
  • Moving across the floor on haunches- call the vet
    • Blocked anal glands
    • Feces trapped in hair
    • Diarrhea irritating the anus
  • Nervousness/ Skittishness
    • fear- Try to figure out what the dog is afraid of; remove the cause if possible. You may need to call a vet or a behaviorist for advice on training.

Breathing[edit | edit source]

  • Heavy breathing or Labored breathing - call a vet
    • Poison
    • Shock
    • Respiratory disease
  • Panting
    • Heat - cool the dog off by bringing inside, giving plenty of water
    • Endocrine disease - if dog pants even when cool, call a vet

Ears[edit | edit source]

  • Bright pink or red interior
    • Ear mites
    • Ear infection
  • Excess production of earwax
    • Ear infection
  • Hot ears
    • Fever
    • Ear infection
    • Ear mites
  • Itchy or painful ears
    • Ear mites
    • Ear infection
  • Stinky earwax
    • Ear mites
    • Ear infection

For any of the above, call a vet.

Excretion[edit | edit source]

  • Diarrhea
    • Parasites
    • Infection
    • Metabolic disorder
  • Inability to defecate
    • Bowel obstruction
    • Constipation
  • Inability to urinate (or dribbling urine)
    • Bladder infection
    • Kidney infection
    • Neural disease

For any of the above, call a vet.

Mouth/Throat[edit | edit source]

  • Drooling more than normal - call a vet
    • Foreign item in throat or mouth
    • Poison
  • Gagging - call a vet
    • Foreign item in throat or mouth
    • Nausea
    • Esophageal disease
  • Pawing at the mouth - call a vet
    • Foreign item in throat or mouth
    • Bee-sting, porcupine quill, etc. in muzzle
    • Ear infection

Nose[edit | edit source]

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

Both of these indicate a respiratory disease. Call a vet.

Skin[edit | edit source]

  • Hair loss - call a vet
    • Mange
    • Ringworm
    • Fleas
    • Endocrine disease
  • Itchy, red skin - call a vet
    • Fleas
    • Topical infection
    • Food allergy