Our dogs aren’t just pets – they’re family. Your loyal Labrador or feisty French Bulldog is an integral part of everyday life, providing comfort, companionship, and sometimes a good laugh. But while we can train our dogs to respond to commands, they have a hard time communicating when something goes wrong – which is why you should always be on the lookout for warning signs. According to experts, if your dog exhibits a certain behavior while walking, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately. Read on for symptoms to watch out for.
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Part of the fun of owning a dog is getting used to their personalities. Dogs can be shy and nervous, or prefer to be pampered by every passerby. Your puppy may also have a few different habits that seem odd — including spinning in circles before lying down or kicking after business. These trends may seem odd, but they are common and nothing to worry about.
Abnormal behavior, on the other hand, is something you want to address head-on, and veterinarians warn that it’s especially concerning.
Aside from exercise, taking your dog for a walk has one (or two) main goals—getting them to the bathroom. However, if your puppy is struggling to urinate, this can be a real cause for concern.
“A dog should not have difficulty urinating regardless of age, breed or gender,” Linda SimonMVB, MRCVS, FiveBarks’ veterinarian and veterinary consultant, said.
Some intact male dogs (those not spayed) may continue to raise their legs to urinate, even if they don’t have to, but that’s part of “normal smelling behavior,” Simon said. However, if your dog has been trying to urinate and has little or no urination, there may be a more serious problem. In these cases, your dog may also show signs of distress and breathe more heavily.
“Anytime a dog is trying to urinate it should be a wake-up call,” Simon added. “An urgent visit to the veterinarian is needed so we can examine the dogs, assess their bladders, and analyze their urine.”
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According to Simon, the inability to urinate while walking may indicate different medical conditions, such as bladder stones, an enlarged prostate, or a bladder mass.
“All of these things can physically block urine,” she said. “The danger here is that urine builds up in the bladder, and the dog can develop bladder rupture and kidney failure.”
Also, your dog may have an inflammation of the bladder, officially known as cystitis or a urinary tract infection (yes, dogs can get a urinary tract infection too). Symptoms associated with these medical problems include cloudy or bloody urine, decreased appetite, abdominal pain or swelling, body aches or discomfort, and lethargy, experts say.
These problems are unlikely to go away on their own and require professional treatment after diagnosis. “Please don’t ‘wait and see if it goes through’ and don’t take medication without a veterinary prescription,” Paula Cuevas, MVZ, Hepper.com Behaviorist, Warning. “Follow your veterinarian’s advice and monitor your dog closely during and after treatment.”
according to David Littlejohn, DVM, chief veterinarian at Pawscessories, and possibly another reason your dog has trouble urinating on less serious walks. “It’s also possible that it’s psychological and related to anxiety, which makes it difficult for them to urinate normally,” Littlejohn said.
However, a veterinarian still recommends that your dog be checked when experiencing such problems, as not urinating is not normal and your puppy may experience severe pain.
“Anytime you notice any difference in your dog’s ability to urinate, frequency, or any change in the appearance of urine, please see your veterinarian,” Cher Bunker, Hepper.com’s Veterinary DVM emphasizes. “If your dog is unable to urinate within 4 to 6 hours, is struggling to urinate, or shows any other signs of discomfort, see your veterinarian immediately.”
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