When Should I Be Concerned About a Sick Dog?

April 30, 2021 4:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you been feeling as if something’s off with your dog? If you’re going back and forth about whether you should take your dog to your trusted veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ, here are six warning signs to look out for.

Changes in behavior

You know your dog best—only you can determine whether there’s been a change in her behavior. If you’re noticing sudden changes in your furry friend’s mood or habits, it could be a cause for concern and a good reason to visit a veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ. Be mindful of these warning signs, since they could indicate a problem with the health of your pup:

  • Increased agitation or irritability
  • Unusual lethargy or withdrawal
  • Sudden needy or clingy behavior

Breathing troubles

If you’re noticing new and unexplained breathing troubles with your dog, it’s a clear health concern that requires an expert’s opinion. Make sure to check your dog’s gums and tongue whenever you notice any breathing problems. If they aren’t a normal shade of pink, it’s a life-threatening concern. Immediately contact your vet if you notice the following breathing issues:

  • Wheezing or troubled breathing
  • Coughing, including a honking cough or persistent cough that disrupts sleep and lasts more than 24 hours
  • Persistent nasal discharge, especially with blood or mucus

Potty problems

Pay close attention to your dog’s bathroom habits. If you notice the following changes, consult a veterinarian:

  • Trouble passing urine or defecating
  • Unexpected urinary or fecal accidents
  • Increased urinary volume

Stomach issues

Dogs are like humans in that some foods just don’t agree with their stomach for whatever reason. Maybe you’ve been too generous with the treats or there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Look for these common symptoms if you suspect your pup’s dealing with tummy problems:

  • Repeated vomiting or diarrhea that lasts over 24 hours
  • Abdominal swelling or pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Repeated dry heaves, restlessness and other signs of belly bloat (see a veterinarian immediately)


Most dogs don’t vocalize when they’re in pain. They’ll give a yelp if they hurt a paw or land wrong after a jump, but dogs with internal pain usually suffer in silence. Luckily, there are some non-vocal warning signs to give you a hint that everything’s not right with your pet:

  • Reluctance to move, walk or jump
  • Bone or joint swelling that’s warm to the touch
  • Lameness or stiffness
  • Trouble chewing
  • Guarding or favoring a body part

Other concerns

There are other symptoms to look out for in addition to those listed above, including fever, changes in appearance and neurological problems. Always be on the lookout for physical changes and check your pet’s temperature whenever you feel it’s necessary. Pay close attention to twitches, disorientation, stumbling or repetitive circling, as they can be signs of nervous system trouble that should be addressed immediately.

While dogs can’t communicate in the same ways humans can, there are signs to look for if you’re concerned something might be wrong with the health of your furry friend. If you spot any of the problems listed above, take your pup to a reliable veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ as soon as possible. Contact Christown Animal Hospital to protect the health and wellbeing of your best friend.

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