symptoms of a sick dog

Dog Illnesses Symptoms: Common Signs of a Sick Dog

There are many possible reasons why a dog may be experiencing difficulty in breathing such as:

  • Fever.
  • Virus or bacterial infection.
  • Allergies.
  • Bleeding.
  • Asthma.
  • Tumor.
  • A drop in the level of oxygen in the blood.
  • Pain or reaction to a particular medication.

Frequent passing of liquid stool is the most common sign of a dog suffering from diarrhea; other signs of diarrhea in dogs include difficulty in defecating, stool contains mucus or blood and flatulence.

There are a number of possible causes of diarrhea in dogs, most of which indicate some form of dog illnesses such as a viral or bacterial infection, food intolerance or a change in diet, allergy or parasites such as ringworm, reaction to a medication; more serious causes of diarrhea are liver, cancer or kidney disease.

The onset of diarrhea in dogs may be accompanied by dehydration, weight loss, a drop in appetite and fever.

Excessive sleeping

In most cases it is not unusual for a puppy to sleep a lot more than an older dog and this may be quite fine and the same applies to adult dogs which also tend to sleep more. In most other cases except when your dog is transiting into adulthood then you should be interested in finding out why your dog is suddenly spending more and more time in bed than usual.

If your dog is sleeping more than normal after you started giving her a new medication then you should visit the vet however there are other possible causes of excessive sleeping which may be indicative of dog illnesses symptoms.

When the thyroid gland of a dog becomes less active this will result in a drop in the dog’s metabolism which makes the dog become sluggish and ultimately result in the dog sleeping more than usual.

Dogs suffering from diabetes may also tend to sleep more than usual since diabetic dogs will usually pass out glucose in her urine which is meant to be use for energy.


As it is with humans, fever is also an indication that your dog is sick and it is not that difficult to detect if a dog has fever. Usually a dog with fever becomes less playful, the nose and the back of the ears feel warmer than normal.

A dog with fever simply means the dog is experiencing an increase in body temperature which is usually caused by inflammation, consumption of toxin or an infection. When it is as a result of an increase in external temperature or excessive activity, it is referred to as heat stroke or hyperthermia.

The most accurate way of determining if your dog has a fever is to use a rectal thermometer and once you can ascertain that your dog has fever you should visit the vet.

READ ALSO:  Build a Dog House:How I Built Mine in 14 Easy Steps

Dog illnesses symptoms checker

While the foregoing has listed some of the very common dog illnesses symptoms that are readily seen in most sick dogs, this section will identify dog illnesses symptoms by bodily parts. This dog illnesses symptoms checker makes it very easy to narrow down the symptom of a sick dog to a specific part(s) of the dog’s body.


Common dog illnesses symptoms that are related to the mouth:

  • Bleeding: a gum disease called gingivitis is a likely cause of bleeding from the mouth and it may also make the gum become red and swollen. Abnormal growth in the dog’s mouth (oral growth) could also cause bleeding from the mouth, while the growth may be harmless like a benign tumor it could just as well be a malignant cancerous growth. Look into your dog’s mouth and if you notice an unusual growth you should visit the vet for proper diagnoses.

    drooling of a sick dog
    Sudden increase in drooling may be indicative of an underlying health problem.
  • Excessive drooling: drooling can be pretty normal for dogs particularly for some breeds however when there is a sudden increase in drooling that is unusual of the dog then there is a likelihood of an underlying health problem that may be mouth related. Possible causes of excessive drooling include dental problem like tooth abscess, oral inflammation or infection, periodontal disease, oral tumor, oral injury like a wound in the mouth.
  • Oral pain: pain that involves the entire mouth i.e. cheeks, the lips and tongue are usually caused by inflammation, infection, tumor and ulcer on the gums. When the dog’s teeth accumulate plaque and tartar it may result in gum inflammation (gingivitis) and periodontal disease; these are some of the most common causes of oral pain in dogs. Of course an abnormal cancerous growth will ultimately lead to oral pain.

Common dog illnesses symptoms that are related to the eyes:

  • Excessive tearing: abnormal tear production or poor tear drainage are the most common causes of tearing; over production of tears is the dog’s natural way of protecting the eyes from foreign materials that may irritate the eyes which is pretty normal but if it becomes chronic it may result in wetness around the eyes causing irritation. The same situation can occur when the small holes in the dog’s eye that drain tears away become blocked. Other possible causes of tearing include glaucoma or eye infection.
  • Redness of the eyes: common causes of red eyes include inflamed eyelid, glaucoma, bleeding at the front or within the eyes and insufficient production of tears which may result in dry eyes.

Common dog illnesses symptoms that are related to the ears:

  • Ear discharges: the most likely causes of ear discharges in dogs are ear infection and/or mites; this may be accompanied by pain which could be easily noticed when contact is made with the affected ear which may cause the dog to twitch in pain. Ear infection may result in reddish brown/yellowish discharges which may be caused by mites, excessive ear wax, allergies or moisture in the ears due to water getting into the ears from bathing or swimming.
  • Ear odor: common causes of a dog’s ears giving off bad odor are yeast and bacterial infection. It is common in dog with pendulous ears and dogs with food allergies and as a result of water getting into the dog’s ears from bathing or swimming.
  • Swollen ear: a swollen ear is a sign of a dog ear problem which are commonly caused by ear infection and ear mites and serious infestation could lead to the rupturing of the blood vessels inside the dog’s ear (hematomas).
Head, neck and nose

Common dog illnesses symptoms that has to do with the dog’s head, neck and nose:

  • Neck pain: dogs may develop neck pain as a result of muscle strain, injury, disk problems in the spine or a dislocation, swollen vein in the neck as a result of infection/fever or cancer in the soft tissues of the spine. Meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spine) may also result in stiffness and neck pain in dogs.
  • Nose discharges: greenish, yellowish or smelly nasal discharges will require a vet’s attention. Common causes include nasal blockage, allergies such as spores and pollen, nose bleeding and awful nasal odor are indications of viral, fungal or bacterial infection, sticky yellowish discharges caused by distemper (serious viral disease) or nasal tumor.
  • Head pressing: compulsive pressing of the head against a solid object like the wall for a period of time; it is a serious neurological condition that suggest that the nervous system may be damaged. Causes include head tumor, encephalitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain), nervous system infection (rabies, bacterial, parasites, fungal or viral infection), stroke, liver shunt or head trauma.
Back part

Common dog illnesses symptoms that has to do with the dog’s back

  • Dog back pain: a number of things may be responsible for back pain in dogs such as spinal disc shift which occurs when there is a shift in the spinal disc that keeps the vertebrae from having bone to bone contact, genetics which is common in some breeds such as Pekingese, over exertion of the muscles of the back which may result in spasm (usually in older dogs), infection or inflammation of the meninges or cancerous growth in the soft tissues of the spine or nerve root.

Common dog illnesses symptoms that has to do with the dog’s shoulder

dog illnesses symptoms checker
Dog illnesses symptoms checker
  • Shoulder injury/lameness: excessive jumping and running can cause injury to the shoulder joint which may also result in lameness. Other causes of shoulder injury include trauma, excessive and continuous strain, fatigue and /or extreme exertion. Shoulder lameness can cause arthritis and pain.

Common dog illnesses symptoms that has to do with the dog’s chest

  • Chest fluid: accumulation of chest fluid which is caused by the leakage of digestive fluid from the small intestine into the dog’s chest cavity. Common symptoms associated with chest fluid include rapid and/or irregular breathing, loss of weight, coughing, noisy lungs etc. Some causes of chest fluid include chest tumor, heart disease, blood clotting in the vein and heartworm disease.

Common dog illnesses symptoms that has to do with the dog’s abdomen

  • Swollen stomach: if it is not as a result of over eating, swollen stomach is an emergency situation that can be life threatening caused by bloat/ gastric dilation volvulus (GDV). Bloat is a dangerous condition in which the stomach is filled with fluid, gas or food resulting in the expansion of the stomach which may then result in extra pressure on other organs. GDV occurs as a result of the rotation of the distended stomach, trapping gas in the stomach and cutting off blood supply to the stomach. Peritonitis is another cause of swollen stomach in dogs which is as a result of an intestinal rupture due to bone, tumor or ulcer.

Common dog illnesses symptoms that has to do with the dog’s hips

  • Hip dysplasia: is the result of poorly formed hip socket and a severe form of it can result in arthritis of the joint and lameness. Causes of hip dysplasia include genetics, environmental condition such as in dogs that neutered before full maturity, torn ligament at young age, nutrition, injury sustained or over exertion on hip joint at young age.

Dog illnesses symptoms are helpful indications that your dog may be unwell and you should swiftly take the appropriate steps necessary for the improvement of your dog’s health.

243 x 336

One thought on “Dog Illnesses Symptoms: Common Signs of a Sick Dog”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.