If your dog is lethargic, vomiting repeatedly, or coughing repeatedly, then it's fairly obvious that you need to take them to the vet. But not all signs of illness in dogs are quite as in-your-face. Sometimes, the signs that something is amiss are more subtle. If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, for example, you should contact your veterinarian.
Does your dog walk over to the wall, and then stand with his or her head pressed against the wall? Owners often brush off this behavior or even laugh at it, finding it silly. But actually, this behavior — which is known as head pressing — can be an early indication of a neurological condition. Your dog may have suffered head trauma, or they could have a brain tumor. It's also possible that they have an infection of the spinal cord or of the meninges. All of these ailments require a vet's care, which means you should never ignore head pressing.
Growling at Your Touch
If your dog does not usually growl at your touch but has recently started to respond in this way, it is probably not because they are just grumpy or getting old. Your dog is probably in pain, and your touch is likely aggravating that pain. This is common in dogs suffering from arthritis, and also in those with various muscular conditions. A vet can look your dog over, determine where the pain is coming from, and likely prescribe some pain relievers or other medications to help them become comfortable again.
Getting Up and Down a Lot
Does your dog lay down to go to sleep, then immediately get up again? If they do this again and again, several times in a row, it could be because they are in some sort of pain that is making it hard for them to sleep. They could also be suffering from a sleep disturbance, such as insomnia or narcolepsy. Your vet will likely want to do a physical exam to look for arthritis and joint injuries, and they may also want to observe your dog during sleeping hours to look for possible sleep disturbances. Your dog deserves good rest, which they can get after receiving proper vet care.
If your dog is displaying any of the above behaviors, they may be quietly trying to indicate that they need vet attention. Get them the care they need, and they will thank you in their own way. Contact a veterinary service such as Angel Pet Hospital for more information.