Dog Symptoms of Illness

4 Vital Signs

There are many different dog symptoms of illness that can indicate your beloved canine companion isn't feeling great.

You may think your dog can't talk, but he can! If you really know your dog, his character and habits, then he CAN tell you when he's not well. He does this by changing his patterns.

Some dog symptoms of illness are physical, some emotional and others are behavioral.
dog symptoms of illness- dog with water bottle
It's important for you to be able to recognize these changes as soon as possible. Early treatment can be the key to keeping a simple problem from snowballing into a serious illness.

You should keep an accurate and detailed account of your dog's symptoms of illness to help the veterinarian correctly diagnose and effectively treat your dog.

Most canine illnesses are detected through a combination of various signs and symptoms:

A newborn puppy will have a temperature of 94-97º F. This will reach the normal adult body temperature of 101ºF at about 4 weeks old. Anything between 100ºF and 102ºF is normal.

Like all dogs, a Schnauzer's temperature has to be taken anally. Be careful when doing it as the thermometer can easily break off in their rectum. It's easier to get someone to hold the dog still whilst you do this.

Remember - exercise or excitement can cause the temperature to rise by 2 or 3º when the dog is actually in good health.

If your dog’s temperature is above or below the norms, get him to the vet's.

Respiratory Rate
Another dog symptom of illness is a change in breathing patterns. This varies a lot depending on the size and weight of the dog.

An adult dog will have a respiratory rate of 15-25 breaths per minute when resting. You can easily check this by counting your dog's breaths for a minute with a stopwatch handy. Don't do this if the dog is panting - it doesn't count.

Heart Rate
You can feel for your dog’s heartbeat by placing your hand on his lower ribcage - just behind the elbow. Don’t be alarmed if the heartbeat seems irregular compared to a human! It IS irregular in many dogs.

Have your vet show you how and get used to your dog's normal heartbeat.

  • Big dogs like Giant Schnauzers have a normal rate of 70 to 120 beats per minute.

  • Medium dogs like Standard Schnauzers have a normal rate of 80 to 120 beats per minute.

  • Small dogs like Miniature Schnauzers have a normal rate of 90 to 140 beats per minute.

Behavior Changes
Classic dog symptoms of illness are any inexplicable behavior changes.

If there's NOT been a change in the household atmosphere, such as another new pet, a new baby, moving home or the absence of a family member, then the following symptoms may well be a sign that all is not well with your dog:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Tiredness

  • Trembling

  • Falling or stumbling

If your dog shows any of these signs, he needs to be kept under close watch for a few hours or even days. Quite often he will return to normal of his own accord. Like humans, dogs have off-days too!

If he is showing any of the above symptoms, then don't over- exercise him and try to avoid stressful situations for the dog.

There are many other dog symptoms of illness, but these are four of the most important.

If your dog does need professional medical attention, Most veterinarians will want to know -
WHEN the symptoms first appeared
WHETHER they are getting better or worse, and
HOW FREQUENT the symptoms are. Are they intermittent, continuous or increasing in frequency?

Remember - keep a record for your vet.

You may be interested in these other pages on your dog's health -

Schnauzer Health

Top Ten Guide Signs of a Healthy Dog

Canine Separation Anxiety - the Symptoms

Techniques for Dealing with Canine Separation Anxiety

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DISCLAIMER: Please note, these articles are intended to give a broad outline of various Schnauzer health issues. If you think your dog may have a serious health problem, please consult your veterinarian.

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