Dogs can have some of the same clinical signs that humans can have when they’re unwell, and these signs can be subtle or obvious. Vomiting and diarrhea are the two most common clinical signs that are easily detected and can indicate mild to severe illness.
When dogs eat things that they don’t normally eat, such as food from our plates or scraps from the garbage, their bodies can respond in a few different ways. Some dogs have no problems eating things outside of their regular diet. Other dogs can develop soft stools and maybe vomit once or twice. The rest of this group can have severe watery diarrhea and can have excessive vomiting. It is difficult to predict what kind of a response your dog might have, and so it is important to limit foods outside of their regular diets when possible.
Vomiting and diarrhea can be indicators of many other underlying problems. Toxin ingestion, pancreatitis, intestinal parasites, food sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, and liver disease are a few of the potential issues. Many of these illnesses can be detected by diagnostics and a good physical examination from your veterinarian.
Sometimes, your dog may not have obvious clinical signs to show that he isn’t feeling well. Some dogs can seem a little slow or lethargic, or maybe they ate only a small portion of their food where they would normally eat all of it. Dogs can feel warm to the touch when they have a fever. If they are nauseous but haven’t vomited yet, then you might see your dog lip-smacking very frequently. More subtle yet severe signs of illness include a painful belly, faster breathing, and pale white gums.
If you’re unsure about what you are seeing, make sure to give your vet’s office a call. Many offices are more than happy to discuss what you’re seeing and let you know if you should come in for an exam or go to an emergency clinic.