Even if you’ve read all the information contained at this web site, or perused any number of books on dog health, you will still need to call your veterinarian at the first sign of any illness in your dog. Catching an illness early increases the chances for a successful treatment.

Knowing When to Call

Call the veterinarian immediately whenever your dog is in pain, injured, bleeding, unconscious, unable to urinate or pass feces, or if she stares at her water bowl without drinking. If there is a noticeable change in your dog’s appearance or behavior, contact your veterinarian.

Your dog may need to go to the veterinarian’s office if she:

  • Drinks more water than usual at unusual time (not after a rigorous play session)
  • Urinates more frequently than is normal
  • Sleeps more than usual — is lethargic
  • Appears weak
  • Loses her appetite
  • Appears to be losing weight
  • Refuses to play or exercise
  • Cries when you touch her or pick her up
  • Exhibits obvious physical signs of illness (puncture wound, gash, etc.)

If you haven’t already done so, learn the procedure for calling your veterinarian’s office when you need to report any unusual symptoms in your dog.

Questions you should ask include:

  • “Who will answer my questions, the veterinarian or an assistant?” Assistants can give you information about common canine problems, or they may gather your information to relay to the veterinarian in case he or she is busy with another animal. This procedure is generally quick and efficient.
  • “What, if anything, does the veterinarian charge for such calls?” Most veterinarians do not charge a consultation fee, especially for regular clients. This is why it is important to establish a good working relationship with your vet.

    Posted in: Dog FAQs