When to Visit a Vet

Your rottweiler is feeling under the weather. Perhaps he's not playing or has thrown up his food. Should you take him to the vet, or will he get over it? After all, you don't want to go when there's no need.

Most ailments such as a bout of diarrhea or vomiting may be nothing more than a stomach bug, or perhaps your rottie has eaten something that disagreed with him. But there's really no way to know if there is something more serious happening unless you do take him to a vet.

The following are problems for which you do need to take your dog to the vet:

  • He has a temperature over 102.5°F.

  • Rottie doesn't eat for more than one day; sudden change in eating habits, either becoming voracious or not willing to eat at all; excessive thirst; or sudden gain or loss in weight.

  • Rottie has diarrhea or vomiting for more than twelve hours; has diarrhea or vomiting with fever or projectile vomits; diarrhea is bloody, black, or mucus-filled; vomit is black or contains blood; rottie starts showing signs of dehydration; straining to urinate or defecate; or dark or bloody urine.

  • Rottie is bleeding or has unusual discharge from mouth, anus, or genitals.

  • Unexplained lump.

  • Excessive itching, scratching, or biting; or hair loss or bald patches.

  • Limping; lethargy, stumbling, or inability to move properly; or broken bones.

  • Puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other wounds that will require suturing; or weeping wounds or wounds with pus.

  • Sudden unexplained behavior: becomes aggressive or reticent if touched; whimpers or looks distressed; or incontinence, sudden loss of housetraining.

  • Seizures; or coughing, choking, or gagging.

  • Broken or cracked tooth.

  • Many of these problems are serious or even deadly. The main thing to remember is that if your rottie shows a sudden change in his behavior, or if there is a sudden change in weight, eating, or drinking, it is time for a trip to the veterinarian. Many problems are biological in nature and should not be summarily dismissed as behavioral.

    For example, if your rottweiler growls or snaps when you touch him on his hindquarters, it might not mean he's ill tempered. It might mean he has arthritis or hip dysplasia and the pain is causing him to behave aggressively. Some problems aren't quite as obvious. Your rottie might sneak off to urinate in an unused room. You might think he's marking or forgotten his housetraining, but it could also be a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or another potentially dangerous medical condition.

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