Take your dog to the vet for vaccinations. Vaccinations for puppies that are under 16 weeks of age are a series of at least 3 vaccinations. They are to be vaccinated once every 4 weeks from the time they are 6 – 8 weeks old until they are 16 weeks old. Thereafter, the vaccinations are usually yearly. These vaccinations are:
- Canine Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus)
- Canine Distemper
In July 2016, the Singapore AVA reported a spike in Leptospirosis. It received two reports of the suspected bacterial infection between September and December in 2015 and 18 in 2016.
Besides vaccinations and check-ups, there are times when we need to pay extra attention that our dogs might need to see the vet. For example:
- Excessive thirst
- Rough or dry coat
- Normal dog’s coat is usually thick, soft and shiny. If it’s dull, rough, dry or patchy, you might need to check with the vet if there is a reason causing it.
3. Unusual stool
If your dog’s stools have these symptoms, you might need to bring your dog to the vet:
- worms in the stool
- blood or mucus in the stool
- Sudden weight loss
- Scooting or dragging rear
4. Emergency visits
There are also emergency situations that a vet visit is pertinent as they can be life-threatening:
- trauma from for example fall or fight with another dog
- has difficulty breathing
- neurological conditions
The symptoms are disorientation, un-coordination, severe lethargy, unresponsiveness and coma.
- suspected or known toxic exposure
There was once when we had left groceries on the kitchen floor. In the morning, I noticed that one block of my baking chocolate bar had been half eaten. After calling our vet, we were advised to bring our dog in as baking chocolates are the most toxic among chocolates. The clinic had to induce vomiting. Then she ended up being sent to a hospital for an overnight stay for observation. We really thanked our lucky star, that we had just bought our pet insurance! We only had to pay a small amount of excess.
5. Dog vomiting and dog diarrhoea
The common causes of vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs include other viral infections like parvovirus, bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, organ dysfunction, exposure to toxins, inflammatory disorders, cancer, anatomic abnormalities, and dietary indiscretion.
6. Dog distended abdomen or abdominal pain
Abdominal distension can be caused by air trapped in the stomach. This can cause the dog’s stomach to be twisted and tangled. It is, unfortunately, a life-threatening situation. A situation in which you definitely want to take your dog to the vet.
7. Dog ocular problems
Dogs’ eye problems deteriorate much faster than ours. So the decision to visit the vet needs to be made quickly. Some of the symptoms of an ocular disease are redness of the eye, discharge, excessive tearing swelling, squinting and constant pawing at the eye.
8. Dog urinary problems
A visit to your vet would be necessary if your dog is not urinating. Urinary blockages can be life-threatening. One of the symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs includes the failure to produce urine.
The financial side of taking your dog to the vet
Medical costs for pets become higher every year. Depending on the type of Pet Insurance that you have, check-ups and vaccinations may not be covered. It would most likely cover most of the other situations. However, if you have not purchased Pet Insurance, please do consider doping so. As you can see from the above list of situations that your dog’s visits the vet can be as frequent as ours and it will avoid you having to take difficult decisions in difficult situations. Better safe than sorry!