Common illnesses and injuries

Dogs, like all other animals, can become ill or injured during their lifetime. I sincerely suggest consulting a vet about your Shar-Pei, and have him/her diagnose the ailment and prescribe proper treatment.

Even if you feed your dog properly, treat it well, make sure it is active, and demonstrate great prudence, it can still get sick or wounded. You will mostly find out about that only after you realize that your dog is behaving abnormally. Injuries could be anywhere in the body, but most often the limbs are involved.

Here is a list of questions and symptoms that should help you pinpoint the disease or injury:
•    Does the dog have fever?
•    You can see if the dog has diarrhea, in that:
•    It has frequent bowel movements
•    Its stools are soft to liquid, slimy, stinky
•    The stomach tends to growl
•    The stools may be bloody at times 
•    You can see if the dog has constipation, in that:
•    It has difficulty evacuating the bowels 
•    It passes mostly small amounts of slime that may be bloody
•    The stomach is hard
•    It may throw-up
•    Is the dog eating very little, or has no appetite at all?
•    Is it sluggish?
•    If your dog can barely urinate or only drops come out, it could be either an acute or chronic bladder infection (cystitis), or bladder or urinary stones or gravel
•    Does the dog smell normal?
•    Does it cough repeatedly?
•    Are its eyes clear and not sticky?
•    Does the dog keep its eyes closed and rub them (entropion?)
•    Does it rub its ears often with the paws, and shake its head hard (otitis?)
•    If it scratches frequently and intensively, that could indicate an inflammation mainly on the head, between the toes, in the axilla or groin. A dull coat could mean mites, lice, trichodectes canis (dog biting louse), or a fungal infection of the skin.
•    Does the dog rub its anus often? May suggest worms.
•    Does stuff ooze out of the dog’s sexual organs?
•    Are the mucous membranes moist and well-supplied with blood?
•    Does the dog tire easily?
•    Does it move with great difficulty? This could possibly involve inflamed joints, joint injuries, hip dysplasia, kneecap luxation, ruptured cruciate ligament, slipped disc, hematoma, or a bone fracture
•    Does it have bite wounds?

For the sake of a dog’s health, it is critical to make sure that it gets all necessary vaccinations and is dewormed regularly.

Hanspeter Kobold
Bremen: December 2007

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