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When Do You Need to Bring Your Dog to the Vet?

Written by: Yvonne Chung

Reading Time: 3 minutes

On, 4 October it was World Animal Day. Especially on this day spend a few minutes and care for your dog or puppy. Dogs are like us. When we are sick or have emergencies, we might need to go to doctors or hospitals. They too need visits to the doctors (vets or animal clinics) for various reasons. We have outlined a few situations wherein you need to bring your dog to the vet as your beloved furry friend needs medical attention.

1. Vaccinations

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:

  • Parvovirus
  • Canine Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus)
  • Canine Distemper
  • Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis

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.

2. Check-ups

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
  • diarrhea
  • straining
  • 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.

  • seizures
  • 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!

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Yvonne Chung

Yvonne was a Market Research Analyst before embarking upon the motherhood journey. She had freelance stints while mostly taking care of her offsprings full-time. She has always been a traveller, settling in several countries in different phases of her life. One of her many passions is writing. Last year, she fulfilled her dream of being one of the published short story authors.

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