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How to Care for a Sick Dog

Updated on June 21, 2014

First Determine whether your dog is Sick or in Pain

The first thing you want to do before treating your dog is find out whether or not your dog is really sick or in pain. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself...

  1. Does your dog act differently?
  2. Has his appetite changed?
  3. Has his activity level changed suddenly?
  4. Does he keep scratching his ears?
  5. Is his tail down?
  6. Does he have a bad odor?

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Signs of health Problems in Dogs or Puppies

There are many different signs that could indicate whether you have a sick dog or puppy. Below are a list of possibilities of a sick dog...

  • Pale Gums
  • Loose or bloody Stools
  • Eyes are red and or swelling
  • Lethargic
  • Not Eating or Drinking
  • Shortness of breath or constantly panting
  • Crying Repetitiously
  • Itchy or bleeding Ears

How to Treat a Sick Dog or Puppy

Sometimes you can treat your dog right at home depending on what the problem is. In some cases you need to take your pet in to the vet immediately to get professional care. Not doing so could mean that your dog may die without intervention from a professional.

If you have a dog with itchy ears he may have ear-mites or an ear infection. You can ask your vet to prescribe a medicine for his ears or order some from an online pet store. There are many ear medications that work well for cleaning dog ears. Zymox Otic is one that works well and that can be purchased through Revival Animal. Floppy eared dogs such as Maltese, Maltipoos, Poodles, Labs and Yorkies are more likely to get ear mites or ear infections. To prevent any other kind of ear infections keep the hair out of there ears and clean them daily with a dog ear cleaner. Keep the ears clean and dry. To keep the hairs out of the ear use ear powder because it helps you get a good grip of there hair and gently pull the hair out. It sounds painful but they usually do not mind having hair pulled out of their ears. If you touch the ear and they cry there may be an ear infection and you should let the vet treat the infection as soon as possible to prevent any damage to the ear.

If your dog is not eating well I always recommend cooking chicken and rice and keep it plain and simple with no added spices, butter or salt. If you normally feed a dry kibble try to offer a high quality wet canned dog food because that can be appealing. If you have a toy dog that acts like it is not interested in eating you should also give some nutrical to help keep its blood sugar from dropping. Hypoglycemia is more common in small breeds. It is a scary thing for both you and the dog and you don't want that to happen.

Itchy Skin can be a problem with many different types of breeds. If your dog has itchy skin it could be many different things causing it. Your vet can help you determine what is causing the dry, itchy, flaky skin problems. Sometimes it is an easy fix such as changing there food or bathing them in a shampoo or conditioner that helps relieve itchy skin. Eqyss Micro-Tek is a great shampoo to use for dogs with skin problems.

If your dog lacks energy because of being outside too long on a hot day immediately take them inside to a cool area to rest and give him lots of water. Dehydration can be dangerous if left untreated. You should never leave a dog outside for longer than necessary especially on very hot or cold days. On very cold day when there is snow on the ground your dog could get frostbite or hypothermia. Dogs can get frostbite on there feet if they are walking in snow or ice for an extended period of time. That could lead to damaged tissue. Booties on there feet could help prevent frostbite. Dogs more prone to hypothermia or frostbite are small, short haired, and wet. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, weakness, dilated pupils, breathing and heart rate decreased. To help your dog take them to a warm room or put them in a very warm bath. You can try using a hair dryer or heat pad as well to warm them up to normal temperatures.

If none of these suggestions seem to help you then you should take your dog to the vet to be checked out. The problem may be more than you can handle.

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    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      Very nice information is given regarding caring for a sick dog.I like it.