Recommendations for Dog Owners
Pet ownership carries with it the responsibility of being proactive in health care. There are certain steps that you should take to prevent health problems. We recommend the following:
- Keep vaccinations current
- Brush frequently to keep hair coat from matting.
- Clip toenails as needed to prevent overgrowth.
- Keep plenty of fresh water available and monitor its consumption.
- Keep other pets from preventing this one from free access to food and water.
- Weigh your dog on the same scale and record results at least every 60 days.
- Give heartworm prevention year-round.
Early Signs of Disease
There are many early signs of disease that can easily be interpreted as insignificant or even normal. We recommend that you present your dog for an examination for any of the following:
- Sustained, significant increase in water consumption. (Abnormal is intake greater than 50 ml/#/day or approximately 1.5 cups (8 oz cups)/day or 12 oz total per 10 pounds of body weight.)
- Sustained, significant increase in urination.
- Weight loss.
- Significant decrease in appetite or failure to eat for more than two consecutive days.
- Significant increase in appetite.
- Repeated vomiting.
- Diarrhea that lasts over 3 days.
- Difficulty in passing stool or urine.
- A break in housetraining habits.
- Lameness that lasts more than 5 days, or lameness in more than one leg.
- Noticeable decrease in vision, especially if sudden in onset or pupils that do not constrict in bright light.
- Masses, ulcerations (open sores), or multiple scabs on the skin that persist more than 1 week.
- Foul mouth odor or drooling that lasts over 2 days.
- Increasing size of the abdomen.
- Increasing inactivity or amount of time spent sleeping.
- Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching or if in specific areas (as opposed to generalized).
- Breathing heavily or rapid at rest.
- Inability to chew or eat dry food.