Daily exams for dog health problems can help you detect symptoms in your dog, while giving you a point of reference for establishing if something is normal or not.
It's still important for a professional check-up at least once a year from your veterinary clinic,
but a daily home check is a proactive preventative way for us to tell if
something isn't quite normal between veterinary visits.
It will also help desensitize and get the dog accustomed to exams before seeing the vet.
Daily symptoms check
Begin in a quiet area of the home to put our pet at ease if this is your first time for the daily check. Generally, start from the nose to the tail to check for any symptoms of dog health problems.
Start with the nose, see if it's wet or dry. A dog with a wet nose doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy, as it changes during the day due to activity level and hydration. If you perform the daily check at the same time each day it should give you a rough idea if all is well.
Check the eyes for discoloration or redness as it may be a sign of inflammation. Excessive discharge may also be a sign of a problem requiring treatment.
Look inside the mouth to check the gum's, teeth, and tongue. Teeth should be tartar free, gum's and the tongue should be a clear pink color void of any lesions or swelling. Check the roof of the mouth to be clear, and your dog should have a clean breath.
Check ears for debris, redness, inflammation and odor. The ears should not smell, as this can be a
symptom of ear infections. See dog ear inflammation and infections treatment and preventative measures.
Brush back the coat and examine for any redness, inflamed patches or excessive flakiness on the skin. Look for any foreign materials like burrs in the coat and any matting.
Get a general idea of the dogs muscle tone as well. If your dog is putting on the pounds,
increased exercise and/or diet change maybe in order. Look for any abnormal lumps and bumps, and feel around the legs for proper joint movement and range of motion.
Verify the paw pads are in good shape, with not cuts or foreign objects embedded. Nails should be free of cracks, and properly trimmed.
Check the anal area for cleanliness, signs of bleeding or inflammation, and look at your dogs poop when outside for signs of excess mucus and or blood. Dog health problems in the digestive tract are often found through stool examination. Also see dealing with dog diarrhea.
Of course, proper health includes proper nutrition. Garbage in equates to garbage out, and this is particularly important during the early life stages.
Please be informed, and educate yourself on proper diet with Dog Nutrition Advice and get your puppy on the right path to a healthy life.
The entire daily symptoms exam should take less than 5 minutes, and is an excellent preventative way to avoid major dog health problems.
The more you learn what is normal for your dog's health, the sooner you can get proper treatment, and/or veterinary care.
Although all mange infections are treatable, it often imitates other skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, bacterial infections due to flea allergies and autoimmune diseases making diagnose difficult.