Unusual Dog Behavior? 7 Signs You Should Bring Your Dog to the Vet ASAP

It’s natural for a pet owner to worry when their dog starts acting strange.

However, you should first understand what symptoms indicate that you need to bring your canine to a 24-hour emergency vet hospital. This way, you can avoid drowning in endless worries every time your pooch starts acting a bit differently.

So what are the telltale clues that something isn’t right with your dog?

If you notice any of these warning signs from your pet, don’t ignore them and get your dog medical attention ASAP:


1. Breathing difficulties

Open-mouthed breathing, wheezing, and choking signs

are medical emergencies, both for animals and humans.

Difficulty in breathing or dyspnea can be due to a foreign particle lodged in the throat of your pet, lung condition, heart disease, or a severe allergic reaction.

Assess if your pet has adequate oxygenation. Press his gums slightly and evaluate if he has any of these reactions:

  • Moist and pink gums – this indicates that blood circulation is normal throughout your pet’s body.
  • Pale or white gums – this indicates that there’s something wrong with your pet’s blood circulation. Pale gum color usually comes with anemia which is often caused by blood loss.
  • Blue or gray gums – this indicates that your pet is in a low oxygen state. Dogs who have breathing problems or heart failure will sometimes have blue or gray gums.

Gums are a great place to examine your dog’s condition as they’re packed with capillaries.

Capillaries are small vessels which carry oxygenated blood all throughout the different tissues of your pet’s body. If your dog’s gums are far from being moist or pink, it’s wise to play it safe and have a vet check on your pet’s condition.


2. Ocular problems

Dog eye problems deteriorate faster than other canine health conditions. These can escalate quickly into blindness or loss of an eye if not treated right away. Ocular disease signs include excessive tearing, swelling, redness of the eye, discharge, constant pawing, and squinting.

Even if it’s just a superficial scratch or a foreign body stuck in the eye, prompt treatment can prevent a minor ocular problem from becoming worse.


3. Lack of appetite

Your pet refusing to eat for 24 hours may not be something you need to stress over right away.

However, if your dog continues to lack appetite after the 24-hour period, consider bringing him to the vet. Lack of appetite may indicate a debilitating illness and possibly lead to serious dehydration and lethargy in your dog.


4. Urinary problems

If you notice that your pet can’t urinate, see your veterinarian immediately.

This can be a sign of a urinary blockage which is a life-threatening condition. Blood present in the urine and difficulty in urinating may also indicate urinary stones or infection that can lead to blockage if your pooch is not given treatment at once.


5. Vomiting

A dog that vomits occasionally is not always considered a candidate for a medical emergency.

Your pooch may have only consumed something that temporarily upset his gastrointestinal tract. However, if you notice your canine vomiting many times, immediate veterinary attention is a must.

Vomiting can mean any of the following:

  • Foreign body blockage
  • Reaction to medication or toxins
  • Irritation of the esophagus lining, stomach or gastrointestinal tract
  • Kidneys, liver or Pancreas problems


6. Diarrhea

Prolonged changes in your dog’s stool may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Deviations, inconsistency or color can be a cause for alarm. Blood present in the stool may mean that your pooch is suffering from any of the following:

  • Infection
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Hemorrhage in the intestines or stomach


7. Seizures

A single seizure may not be life-threatening, but if it has the potential to lead to multiple seizures, it’s best to seek medical attention fast.

Seizures are a neurological condition common in dogs, and the signs associated with this condition include:

  • Uncontrollable tremors or shaking
  • Paddling with the legs
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Possible loss of urinary or bowel control

If your dog suffers several seizures within a 24-hour period or if it persists more than a few minutes, go to the vet immediately. Consult with your veterinarian about how you can manage your dog’s seizures and what warning signs you should watch out for.



Don’t put your pet’s life at risk by ignoring the seven warning signs above. As a pet owner, it’s your duty to relieve your dog from any pain or illness and ensure the quick delivery of the right treatment.

Even with the signs above, it’s still impossible to anticipate every likely scenario.

When in doubt about your dog’s health condition, go to the vet for answers. Don’t wait for your dog’s health condition to spiral out of control to increase the chances of saving his life.


Dr. Max Spicer is the Managing Partner and Senior Veterinary Surgeon at The Veterinary Hospital in Dubai. He has taken strides towards providing comprehensive service by hiring veterinarians that are flexible, approachable, and highly specialized in their respective fields.

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