Questions about dog health - What every dog owner should know
Are you a concerned dog owner? Have you been asking a lot of questions about dog health but don’t know where to find the answers? It’s normal for you to want to get the facts about your pooch to give it the best care possible. Here are the answers to your burning questions about dog health.
Question #1: How can I tell if my dog is sick?
It can be easy to tell if your pet is sick if you take the time to observe its appearance and its demeanor. As with people, it can be simple to spot if a dog is suffering from an illness. Unfortunately though, while people can say upfront how they’re feeling, dogs can’t. So it’s best for you to be extra attentive to your dog’s condition.
You should be alert to any changes your dog may be exhibiting. Take note of his appetite, his liquid consumption, urinary frequency, general appearance, sudden weight loss, and a significant in energy level. Ask yourself these questions while observing your pet: Does he refuse his food completely? Is he vomiting? Does he limp or have difficulty getting around? If you answered “yes,” then your dog may be suffering from a health problem and should be taken to the vet.
Question #2: How often should I have my dog checked at the vet?
The ideal number of checkups for dogs is once a year. Of course, this should be more frequent if your dog is very young or has a serious condition that requires monitoring and attention. Starting the age of six, you must take him twice yearly so that any health problems that may come with age may be detected and fixed straightaway, and that the right course of action may be taken to ensure good and continued health as he matures.
Question #3: Should I have my dog neutered/spayed?
Unless you’re planning on putting up a breeding facility, it is highly recommended that your dog be neutered (if it is a male) or spayed (if female) once it has reached six months of age.
This makes them less aggressive. It also boosts their health. A male’s chances of getting prostate and testicular cancer falls to almost zero, while the same rate holds true for females getting mammary cancer.
Spaying significantly cuts down their risk of contracting a form of diabetes, as well as womb infections or pyometra. On a more practical and humane note, it prevents overpopulation or the swelling in numbers of poor, unwanted puppies in rescue shelters.
Moreover, it saves you the trouble of having to deal with the horde of male dogs trooping to your house each time your female dog is in heat.
Question #4: Is excessive drooling normal?
Dogs drool. That is a given fact. But relative to his size, a good tip would be to take note of whether or not there is a sudden increase in his salivary output as this could be an indication of periodontal disease, tongue injuries, or even cysts, in which case you must take him to see the vet immediately.
Question #5: How do I deal with ear mites?
Before using your vet’s prescribed ear mite medication, first clean off the deposit of hardened debris in your dog’s ear by applying some drops of baby oil in the ear canal and letting it stand for a few hours.
Once the coating has softened, you can flush it away with vinegar and distilled water (avoid tap water) in equal parts using a rubber ear-cleaning syringe. Do this with extra care as too much pressure will cause pain.
Once clean, apply a few drops of the medication; after which, gently massage the ear’s base for a few minutes so that the medicine can be properly absorbed into the affected area.
Don’t forget to read the medicine’s instructions first before applying. When in doubt about the procedure, your vet could always do the cleaning and medicating for you, though it would be advantageous for both you and your pet if you knew how to do it yourself.
To get a handle on how this procedure is done, carefully observe the steps your vet is going through. You can take better care of your pet if you know how to do this yourself, especially if you live in a household with several dogs. If that is the case, then you will have to check them for any symptoms of ear mites.
Got more questions about dog health? You can get all the answers you need from your veterinarian.