You must have observed sudden appetite or energy level changes if you own a dog. So many unusual behaviors can confuse anyone into thinking if these are common dog health problems or if the dog is going through an existential crisis!

And well, it can be the latter. But if the changes exhibit severe alterations in your dog’s appetite, coat or skin, weight, or energy levels, you may need to look a bit deeper.

Here we have a list of Common dog issues and their symptoms that will guide you to understand the red flags.

Common Dog Issues and Symptoms

As living beings, it’s only natural for us to fall sick or ill. And wouldn’t a man’s best friend have the same problems we do?

Well.. dogs do display certain symptoms and issues that can resonate with us. But at times, these can differ depending on their breed, gender, age, or even diet! Let’s check out some of the typical ones you need to look out for:

1. Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs affects metabolism, and the pancreas may not put enough insulin to balance the blood glucose. 

It can happen if the dog’s pancreas is not producing insulin, and the blood sugar level increases, a chronic illness the dogs predominantly suffer from. Another way of diabetes is when the body produces insulin, but the dog’s body is not accumulating or utilizing it as it should. 

Diabetes can be no less than a nightmare, as it can create a lot of damage to your dog’s health.

Here are the symptoms of diabetes in dogs:  

  • Loss in Appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Frequent urination

2. Rabies

Rabies is an infection that can be transmitted through the saliva containing viral bacteria. It directly hits the central nervous system and is fatal to dogs and humans. But this does not happen within hours in usual cases, but Rabies has stages in which it reacts to dogs.

There is the prodromal stage, the furious stage, and the paralytic stage. In all three phases, dogs show a different range of symptoms.

Here are the symptoms of Rabies in dogs:

  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Barking voice changes
  • Sudden shyness or fearfulness
  • Increase in aggression
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Paralysis

3. Obesity

When the fat content increases in a dog’s body, it increases weight, causing obesity. It is a severe condition that surpasses the idea of dogs getting overweight, but obesity can lead to multiple risks in dogs.

Obesity can shorten a dog’s life span by six months- 2 years. In addition, dogs can also be exposed to the risk of cancer, urinary bladder stones, hypertension, diabetes, etc.

Here are the symptoms of a dog suffering from obesity:

  • Rib coverage; you cannot feel the ribs but only the fat
  • Excessive panting
  • Waistline is not visible
  • Reduced mobility

4. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are common in dogs of any age or breed. Bacterias cause these infections in the urinary system as they attack the dog’s immune system. However, females are more prone to UTIs than males, as females have shorter urethra.

While one of the significant causes includes frequent urination and burning sensations while peeing, dogs can catch UTIs with several causes like poor hygiene, weak immune systems, or if the dog already has an underlying health condition that can trigger Urinary Tract Infections.

If your dog has any of the symptoms mentioned below, seek veterinary attention immediately, as treatment should be started to prevent complications like kidney infections, bladder stones, and even diabetes.

Here are the symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in dogs:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Discomfort while urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Sudden behavior changes
  • Excessive humping 
  • Licking the groin excessively

5. Parasites

The list would only be complete by mentioning how awfully common it is for dogs to catch parasites in their growing years. There are multiple parasites, including— Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms. They all cause severe gastrointestinal and digestive issues that impact a dog’s growth.

These parasites attach themselves to the lining of the intestines and can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Some parasites can be transferred from food items, while others need an immediate host, like mosquitos, fleas, and ticks.

If you suspect internal parasites in your dog, you should get it diagnosed and treated, as it can disrupt the immune system of dogs, leading to a poor lifestyle.

Here are the symptoms of Parasites in dogs:

  • Weight loss
  • Worms in feces or vomits
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Severe diarrhea

6. Arthritis

Arthritis is caused by the degeneration of joint cartilage in dogs. It can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for a dog that hinders its daily life. There are several visible signs of Arthritis that, if recognized, should be diagnosed by a veterinarian immediately.

Factors like age, body type, genetics, injuries, etc can cause it. Obesity is one of the common causes. It adds too much pressure on the joints and makes them weak. 

Here are the symptoms of Arthritis or joint inflammation in dogs:

  • Redness
  • Swelling in joints
  • Walking stiffly
  • A sudden decrease in stamina
  • Unable to go up, down, jump
  • Unable to walk or slight lameness

7. Dental problems

When it comes to our canine companions, their sweet tooth can become a nightmare for you and them. Dental problems or oral hygiene is an essential area of grooming in dogs. Besides keeping their fur clean, poor oral health can lead to cavities, weak canines, and teeth, foul odor, etc.

To keep dental problems away from your dog, you should brush their teeth every day using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure not to use human dental products as they can make their teeth more crusty and weak.

If your dog has dental problems, you might see them pawing at their mouth frequently due to discomfort. Apart from this, here are some symptoms your dog can show as a sign of bad oral health:

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty in chewing food or toys
  • Excessive drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Plaque or tartar

8. Ear and eye infection

Infections in dogs are yet another common issue that can lead to big problems that you and your pooch DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH!

Ear and eye infections can be caused due to several reasons, such as bacterial invasion, allergies, hormonal imbalances, injuries, or direct contact with foreign dust particles.

In addition, dogs will floppy ears are more likely to get infections due to moisture and the breeding of bacteria, so it is essential to keep them clean regularly. 

If you suspect symptoms mentioned in your dog, it is essential to consult veterinary advice immediately, as early diagnosis can prevent the spreading of the infection. 

Here are the signs of ear or eyes infection in dogs:

  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Excessively scratching their ears
  • Smelly discharge from ears
  • Eye boogers
  • Behavioral issues like humping, rubbing their head on objects, etc.
  • Light sensitive
  • Crusty ears
  • Head shaking or tilting

9. Pancreatitis

The inflammation of the organ pancreas causes pancreatitis in dogs. This disease is often caused by giving a high-fat diet to your dog. Dog’s bodies are different from that of humans and may or may not digest fat well. Especially in dogs with obesity, pancreatitis can easily get triggered. 

This is why it is advised to avoid serving food items with high-fat content, as dogs may need to digest it properly without causing harm. Moreover, dogs, who often steal food from trash cans, can be more susceptible to pancreatitis.

It is essential to keep your dog in check if they have consumed high-fat content. You can observe them from time to time for these symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • A sudden decrease in appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • High fever

While it’s easy for dogs to fall prey to these health issues, you don’t need to fret. With proper grooming, nutrition, and exercise, it’s easy to keep your dog fit and healthy as a puppy again.

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