16 Symptoms Of Illness In Dogs

16 symptoms of illness in dogs

There are many symptoms of illness in dogs, some more succinct than others. We show them in the following lines.

Any guardian will know that their dog is equal parts energetic, affectionate, dedicated, and lovable. In any case, when a disease afflicts the canine, his behavior changes, even becoming aggressive with the people he loves the most at certain times. He knows with us 16 symptoms of disease in dogs to detect any condition before it becomes chronic.

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As much as we love animals, it is necessary to recognize that they are not indestructible and that, just like us, they get sick and die. Even so, there are always treatments for all conditions (even if they are palliative) and the desire to fight is the last thing that is lost. The sooner a pathology is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. Let’s see the signs that indicate that something is wrong with your dog.

16 Symptoms Of Illness In Dogs

Does a sick dog always have a white tongue?

If our pet has a white tongue and it is dull, it could indicate a decrease in red blood cells. Therefore, and especially in sick dogs, they are symptoms that should not be overlooked. 

Healthy dogs usually have a pink tongue. If it is pale it could be due to a disease such as anemia or leukemia, or internal bleeding. Ticks or poisoning can also make our pet’s tongue appear whiter than normal.

My sick dog hides

Canines frequently stow away when they are in torment or uneasiness. They do it because they are looking for a quiet place, where they can stop being exposed and not be disturbed. However, not always when the hide is because they are sick.

If your animal looks for a lonely corner, it may be upset or have some cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, when they have this behavior, it is best to observe their reactions and check for the possible presence of other symptoms that can give us clues about their state of health. Furthermore, if all else fails, counsel the vet.

Constant head shaking, grogginess, or blinking

When the dog feels uncomfortable, it usually shakes its head, which can indicate a problem with its ears, usually a foreign body that has entered or an infection. Similarly, legañas can be a symptom of conjunctivitis that must be treated to avoid major complications. Continuous blinking, however, suggests that a foreign body has entered the eye.

My dog ​​is sick: he vomits and does not want to eat

My dog ​​is sick and doesn’t eat”: This phrase is often heard by veterinary professionals because the loss of appetite is one of the clearest symptoms that your pet is sick. If it is accompanied by vomiting, it will be indicating that something is happening in your digestive system.

If the animal vomits but is happy, we should remove its food for a few hours, spice up its water intake and monitor it. If the vomiting recurs, it is best to seek the advice of a veterinarian to establish a diagnosis.

Fast breathing

The respiratory pace of canines is somewhere in the range of 15 and 30 cycles each moment. It is normal for the animal to breathe much more than normal when excited and after exercise, but if this continues during rest and sleep, it most likely has a lung or heart condition. Rapid breathing is known at the veterinary level as tachypnea.

Cough and chronic cough

Like the dried truffle, coughing is a sign of a cold. The same thing happens with mucus and its continued secretion. Assuming they are plentiful, not straightforward, and joined by sniffling, the canine might be blocked up.

It is not the same if the cough is chronic. In that case, the problem may be greater. “If it is a small Maltese-type dog, it could be due to a collapse of the trachea,” says the specialist from the Official College of Veterinarians. “Or it can be indicative of heart disease [this in general terms],” she adds.

Too thirsty and too much urine

If a dog drinks a lot and therefore urinates a lot, it may mean that it has developed diabetes. It is easily detected because the frequency with which he drinks (and urinates) and the amount of water he consumes (and urinates) are striking.

It is also common in these cases for the dog to pee inside the house even though it is educated to wait to go outside. If it happens frequently you have to worry.

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In the same way, diabetes manifests itself with an increase in appetite accompanied by a striking weight loss. The answer is easily found at the vet. A basic glucose test recognizes regardless of whether the creature is diabetic.

Blood in the urine or scanty urination

If the dog urinates many times but the urinations are very scarce, it is also saying something. “It usually happens when they have cystitis. Anyone who has had it knows what it is like the urge to urinate is constant but then two droplets come out, ”says Fernández de Miguel.

The specialist indicates that another detail to look at is whether the urine has blood because it could be Cushing’s Syndrome or prostatitis in males, or ovarian or uterine problems in females.

Decay or lack of encouragement

The mood of a dog says many things, or rather says it all. If it drops, something is going on. It can be due to a simple cold but it can also indicate that the dog is suffering from depression or some type of respiratory or heart problem, explains Lázaro. At the slightest alteration, he recommends going to the vet.

Excessive activity

Neither a little is good nor is too much activity. In a puppy nothing would happen, he is at the age to move, but if an adult dog moves a lot and even does not rest at night, he should be watched.

It could be a sign of Alzheimer’s or that you are going through a time of anxiety. Changes — a move, the arrival of a new member of the family…— or external noises — rockets, fireworks… — usually alter their mood.

Weird breathing

Owners, whether or not they know how to say it, know how their canine breathes in, so it is very straightforward for them to distinguish if there is such a change,” explains Fernández de Miguel.

The specialist describes rare breathing as breathing above or below the usual rate, which is not the same in a 2.5-kilo dog (faster) than in a 60-kilo dog (slower).

“When they breathe very agitated, it is usually due to a retraction of the diaphragm,” he says. “And when it is slower it can happen due to a drop in metabolism.”

The breathing rate at rest is usually between 15 and 30 breaths per minute, says Lázaro.

Vomiting and diarrhea

The normal thing is that vomiting and diarrhea are due to gastroenteritis, but that does not necessarily have to be the reason. “It can also be due to an alteration in the intestinal flora or because the animal has eaten some unusual food,” explains Fernández de Miguel.

With a change in diet, gastroenteritis usually goes away in a day, but if it continues, you should call the vet. Especially in the cases of small or elderly dogs because it can cause dehydration. ” Moreover, in little guys, it can have lethal results,” he notes.

Excessive salivation

Extreme salivation or hypersalivation happens in both oral and fundamental pathologies. For instance, cancer in the mouth can make the canine salivate more than ordinary, yet food contamination or a hindrance in the throat additionally causes this sign. This is one of the most well-known side effects of sickness in canines at the gastrointestinal level.


It is normal for dogs to defecate inconsistent stools, because just like us, something they have ingested may make them feel bad. Nonetheless, any looseness of the bowels enduring over 48 hours ought to be assessed by a veterinarian. The picture becomes more urgent if the stools are accompanied by mucus, blood, pus, and other clinical signs.

Lack of appetite

Temporary intestinal symptoms can make your dog less hungry for a day. This is normal, but if the animal does not eat in 24 hours and shows no signs of improvement, it is time to go to the emergency room. This side effect of sickness in canines ought to never be overlooked, as it some of the time prompts a lack of hydration situations that are substantially more challenging to treat.

Excessive urination

If your dog pees indoors even though he is used to urinating alone in the street, it is time to suspect a kidney or systemic problem. Most likely, he has developed urinary incontinence, but this is also a sign of some cancers, kidney failure, and diabetic conditions.

Red gums

Red gums in canines are indications of exceptionally normal oral circumstances: gum disease and periodontitis. If the animal’s dental hygiene is not maintained, over the years the bacteria in its mouth erode the teeth and inflame the gingival tissue. Thusly, the gums drain when the canine attempts to eat at different times.

“This is one of the side effects of illness in canines that is typically joined by terrible breath.”

Mouth bleeding

Draining from a canine’s mouth is consistently proof of a health-related crisisYou have likely damaged a tooth or gum, but there is also the possibility that you are bleeding from the esophagus/stomach or have an oral melanoma. In any case, draining is dependably a terrible sign, any place it comes from.

Dry and flaky skin

The skin is an indicator of the health of the animals in all cases. Dermatitis and seborrhea manifest with a dry and scaly epidermis, but this can also be one of the symptoms of diseases in dogs such as parasites, vitamin deficiencies, psychological problems, and much more.

“Skin issues can likewise be brought about by unfortunate cleanliness and an undesirable climate.

Progressive changes in weight

This is one of the symptoms of disease in dogs that is only perceived in the long term and with exhaustive follow-up. If you manage your pet’s diet well and get enough exercise, your pet shouldn’t gain or lose weight drastically. In general, the unexplained fluctuation of the mass of the dog indicates a hormonal or digestive problem.


This symptom is quite subjective since only the guardian knows how energetic his canine was before the pathology. In any case, we can generalize that all healthy dogs want to go out for a walkabout 3 times a day. If you see that your animal is no longer enthusiastic about play and exercise, there is most likely something wrong inside.


It is normal for your dog to vomit, especially if he has been stuffed at lunchtime or if he has been consuming grass during the walk. What is not natural is that he regurgitates his food 2-3 times a day, more if the mixture is accompanied by blood. You ought to likewise be worried about dazzling yellow regurgitation, as it demonstrates the presence of bile.

Bad breath

Bad breath in pets is normal since our species does not perceive their aromas as pleasant in almost any case. In any case, there is a big difference between your dog’s mouth smelling of tuna and the aroma emitted being similar to that of a rotten animal or a sewer. Foul breath in dogs usually indicates infections in the mouth (or in another part of the body).

Difficulty breathing

If the term tachypnea designates rapid breathing,  dyspnea occurs when the dog has difficulty obtaining oxygen from the environment. This picture is usually accompanied by various symptoms of disease in dogs, such as coughing, sneezing, rales, and changes in position to facilitate the entry of air into the lungs.


A well-behaved dog will never attack its guardian unless it is on a very bad physical or psychological level. If the canine is in a lot of pain and has anxiety and stress related to it, it is possible that the bites when startled or that he is defiant when a person tries to approach him. He doesn’t want to hurt you: he’s just very scared.

Excessive licking

Dogs instinctively lick damaged areas a lot, as their saliva contains some bactericidal compounds capable of preventing infections. Therefore, one of their first responses to a wound is to constantly lick themselves, whether the guardian likes it or not. Now and again an Elizabethan collar is expected to forestall this way of behaving while the injury mends.


This is another of the symptoms of disease in dogs that are usually accompanied by apathy, aggressiveness, and movement problems. Lameness in dogs always indicates that something is wrong with some of the limbs, although the severity of the underlying condition is highly variable. Bone cancers cause lameness, but so can simple muscle stiffness.

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As may be obvious, there are numerous side effects of illness in canines. Some of them are established immediately, while others require long-term monitoring. In general, as soon as you notice something strange in your canine for more than 24 hours, you should go to the vet, much more so if the clinical sign is joined by indications of desperation (blood, discharge, and retching, among others).

Canine Borreliosis or Lyme Disease

Disease caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi. It is an illness communicated through the nibble of a contaminated tick. A blood test will test if your dog has the disease. Treatment consists of the administration of antibiotics. Tick collars are profoundly viable against these parasites. It is also convenient to check your dog’s hair to check if he has any ticks and to be able to remove them.

Infectious tracheobronchitis or kennel cough

Dogs can suffer from highly contagious respiratory diseases. Kennel cough is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, most commonly canine parainfluenza virus and Bordetella Bronchiseptica bacteria. The most characteristic symptom is a dry, hacking, unproductive cough. It is usually a mild disease that goes away on its own. Now and again, it very well may be muddled by pneumonia or bronchitis. Discover in-depth everything related to kennel cough in this article.


It is a generally mild but highly contagious disease. Coronaviruses are transmitted through contact with infected oral and fecal secretions. Treatment comprises keeping away from parchedness and controlling regurgitating and the runs. Antibiotics are not usually administered, as it is a minor disease.


Diarrhea is the deposition of liquid or formless stools, usually in large volumes and with an increase in the usual number of secretions. It is generally because of adjustments in the eating regimen or the presence of gastrointestinal parasites. Contingent upon its length, it very well may be intense or constant. Chronic diarrhea requires veterinary attention, as it may be due to the presence of parasites, fungi, bacteria, or maldigestion and malabsorption syndromes.

If the diarrhea is not causing dehydration, it can be treated at home, by fasting to rest the intestinal tract and giving fluids to keep the dog hydrated. Counsel your veterinarian assuming that you feel a little skeptical.


Leishmaniasis is a no-kidding, even lethal, parasitic sickness brought about by a protozoan. This illness is sent through the nibble of a mosquito called Phlebotomus.

If the dog does not receive treatment, the disease can be fatal, so if you think you may have the disease, you should see your veterinarian immediately. Leishmaniasis can be treated but not cured, as the parasite remains in the dog’s body and symptoms will recur periodically.

The disease can be prevented by vaccination. Still, indeed if it’s infected with the sponger, it’ll be suitable to live with it without causing major complications
If your canine is well immunized. Mosquito repellent worming collars are also an effective method of prevention.

Nose or dry nose

“It can be indicative of a fever,” says Manuel Lázaro about what is considered one of the most frequent and most recognizable signs of a cold in a dog. The others would be cough, malaise, and loss of appetite.

Whitish eyes or with a lot of tears

The whitish shade of the entire eye exhibits an issue in the cornea, while the white shade of only the understudy shows the presence of falls or dimness of the focal point that’s positioned inside the eye, explains Lázaro.

If you open and close your eyes a lot, it could be due to conjunctivitis, which also manifests itself with increased tearing. “There are two types: bacterial or due to an ulcer”, explains Fernández de Miguel. It is important to know how to distinguish them because the treatment is different. The corneal ulcer is not seen and is typically perceived in counsel by giving fluorescein drops.


  • Canines can experience the ill effects of different infections all through their lives.
  • Knowing the side effects and noticing and focusing on your canine can assist with forestalling a large number of them.
  • Do not rule out any prevention method and give your dog the appropriate treatments.
  • Go to your vet. This expert is the top to assist you with having a solid canine.
  • In this article, we briefly review 20 of the most common diseases in dogs.