Symptoms At A Glance

The following correlates to an alphabetical list of the common signs and symptoms of illness with the troubling conditions that each may indicate. This will help you identify what’s troubling your dog and learn whether immediate veterinary care is necessary or a home remedy may suffice.

Signs and Symptoms
Disease or Condition

abortion, still-birth


aggression, toward people/pets

dominance, fear, hyperthyroidism, rabies, rage syndrome

appetite, increased

Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, megaesophagus

appetite, loss of (anorexia)

abscess, Addison’s disease, anemia, babesiosis, cancer, canine coronavirus, canine distemper virus, canine influenza, dehydration, diabetes, coccidiosis, copper poisoning, ehrlichiosis, enteritis, blastomycosis (fungus), valley fever (fungus), fever, grape toxicity, hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, infectious canine hepatitis, insect bites, kennel cough, kidney disease, lead poisoning, leptospirosis, liver disease, lungworms, mastitis, parvovirus, pain, pancreatitis, periodontal disease, peritonitis, prostatitis, pyometra, rabies, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salmon poisoning, salmonella, stomatitis, swallowed objects

barking, voice changes

laryngeal paralysis, laryngitis, tick paralysis, tumor, water on the brain

blackheads/pimples, on the chin and mouth



aspirin toxicity, cancer, ehrlichiosis, hemophilia, infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, poison, trauma, heat stroke, blood disorder, Von Willebrand’s disease

blood, coughing up

cancer, heartworms, infectious canine hepatitis, poison, tuberculosis

blood, in bitch’s milk


blood, in stool

aspirin toxicity, cancer, canine parvovirus, coccidiosis, colitis, copper poisoning, histoplasmosis (fungus), hookworms, infectious canine hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salmon poisoning, salmonella, threadworms, blood disorder, whipworms, kidney disease

blood, in urine

babesiosis, bladder stones, cancer, copper poisoning, cystitis, ehrlichiosis, infectious canine hepatitis, liver disease, poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever

blood, in vomit

aspirin toxicity, cancer, canine parvovirus, kidney disease, ulcer, NSAIDs poisoning (Tylenol), other poison

bloody nose

cancer, ehrlichiosis, head trauma, hyperthermia, infectious canine hepatitis, poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, hemophilia, Von Willebrand’s disease


cataract, epilepsy, glaucoma, poison, progressive retinal atrophy, proptosis of eyeball, PRA, diabetes, liver disease, water on the brain

breathing, choking/gagging

cancer, anaphylaxis, bloat, insect bites, poison, swallowed/inhaled objects, tuberculosis

breathing, gasping, wheezing

anaphylaxis, asthma, collapsed trachea, heartworms, insect bites, laryngeal paralysis, laryngitis, pneumonia, poison, tetanus, heart disease, kennel cough

breathing, labored

anaphylaxis, anemia, asthma, bloat, cancer, canine distemper virus, canine influenza, collapsed trachea, electrical shock, blastomycosis (fungus), heart disease, heartworms, hernia, insect bites, internal bleeding, trauma, lungworms, pneumonia, poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tuberculosis, vaccine or drug reaction

breathing, excessive panting

antifreeze poisoning, asthma, bloat, hyperthermia, hypoparathyroidism, laryngeal paralysis, pain, poison, snake bite

breathing, rapid

anemia, bloat, eclampsia, electrical shock, pneumonia, poison, shock, snake bite

breathing, shallow

bloat, electrical shock, hernia, pain

breathing, stopped

anaphylaxis, drowning, electrical shock, hypothermia, poison, tick paralysis, trauma


hematoma, hemophilia, poisoning


abscess, atopy, insect bite, cancer, cuterebra, cyst, warts, papillomatosis, vaccination reaction

chewing, of coat or skin

allergy, canine scabies, insect bite, lice

chewing, grinding teeth

babesiosis, canine distemper virus, epilepsy, lead poisoning, poison, rabies


bloat, collapsed trachea, flukes, swallowed objects


bloat, Cushing’s disease, cryptococcosis (fungus), head trauma, otitis

coat condition, dry

giardiasis, malabsorption syndrome, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms

coat condition, oily

malabsorption syndrome, seborrhea

coat condition, ricelike debris


coat condition, dandruff

seborrhea, cheyletiellosis


Addison’s disease, anaphylaxis, antifreeze poisoning, babesiosis, bloat, cancer, eclampsia, epilepsy, parvovirus, disk disease, heart disease, heartworms, insect bites, poison, snake bite, xylitol poisoning, water on the brain


bloat, cancer, lead poisoning, diabetes, kidney disease, swallowed objects


bronchitis, canine influenza, collapsed trachea, flukes, blastomycosis (fungus), valley fever (fungus), histoplasmosis (fungus), heart disease, heartworms, kennel cough, laryngeal paralysis, laryngitis, lungworms, pneumonia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, threadworms, tuberculosis

crying, whining, yelping

bladder stones, bloat, car sickness, disk disease, dominance display, fear, fractures, hip dysplasia, pain, insect sting, water on the brain


anemia, canine coronavirus, dehydration, ehrlichiosis, fever, histoplasmosis (fungus), hemophilia, kidney disease, lead poisoning, peritonitis, rabies, salmon poisoning, salmonella, shock, snake bite, stress, Addison’s disease, canine parvovirus, abscess, pneumonia, pyometra, cancer, hypothyroidism, liver disease, prostatitis

defecation, strained or unproductive

colitis, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, prostatitis, swallowed object

defecation, large volume

malabsorption syndrome


Addison’s disease, changing diet, food allergy, antifreeze poisoning, canine coronavirus, canine distemper virus, canine herpesvirus, canine parvovirus, chocolate poisoning, coccidiosis, colitis, copper poisoning, enteritis, feeding milk, flukes, food allergy, grape/raisin toxicity, histoplasmosis (fungus), giardiasis, hookworms, hyperthermia, infectious canine hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, lead poisoning, leptospirosis, liver disease, pancreatitis, poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, roundworms, salmon poisoning, salmonella, snake bite, swallowed objects, threadworms, whipworms

discharge, from penis

balanoposthitis, candidiasis (fungus), cystitis, prostatitis

discharge, from vagina

candidiasis (fungus), cystitis, imminent birth, pyometra

drinking, difficulty or refusal

cancer, rabies, oral burns, foreign object in mouth, canine parvovirus, tetanus

drinking, increased thirst

antifreeze poisoning, chocolate poisoning, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, infectious canine hepatitis, kidney disease, leptospirosis, pyometra


car sickness, chocolate poisoning, eclampsia, foreign body, hyperthermia, insect bites, pain, periodontal disease, poison, rabies, snake bite, toad poisoning, insecticide toxicity, oral burns, stomatitis

drunk, incoordination

antifreeze poisoning, babesiosis, canine distemper virus, carbon monoxide poisoning, Cushing’s disease, disk disease, eclampsia, epilepsy, head trauma, hypoparathyroidism, insect bites, otitis, poison, tick paralysis, xylitol poisoning

ears, dark crumbly debris

ear mites, insect bites

ears, discharge and/or odor


ears, red or raw

otitis, allergy

eyes, change of color

uveitis, corneal ulcer, infectious canine hepatitis

eyes, crossed

water on the brain

eyes, cloudy

cataract, glaucoma, infectious canine hepatitis, keratitis, uveitis

eyes, dilated/non-responsive pupil


eyes, discharge/runny

canine distemper virus, canine influenza, cherry eye, dry eye, ectropion/entropion, ehrlichiosis, glaucoma, infectious canine hepatitis,  Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salmon poisoning, uveitis, ulcer

eyes, glazed/staring

epilepsy, hyperthermia, rabies

eyes, hard

glaucoma, tumor

eyes, out of socket

proptosis of eyeball

eyes, pawing at

cherry eye, dry eye, glaucoma, pain, uveitis, foreign object, ulcer

eyes, rough surface


eyes, soft


eyes, sores/ulcers

dry eye, ectropion/entropion, keratitis

eyes, squinting

dry eye, ectropion/entropion, glaucoma, infectious canine hepatitis, keratitis, leptospirosis, otitis, pain, ulcer, uveitis, allergies

eyes, swelling

cherry eye, glaucoma, allergic, tumor

eyes, sunken


face rubbing

inhalant allergy, hypoparathyroidism, porcupine quills, insect sting, periodontal disease

fading puppies

brucellosis, canine herpesvirus, hypoglycemia

fainting, esp. during exercise

anemia, asthma, bloat, histoplasmosis (fungus), heart disease


arthritis, disk disease, fear, fractures, hip dysplasia, pain

footpads, thickened/cracked/bleeding/swollen

canine distemper virus, canine demodicosis, hookworms, lupus erythematosus complex, threadworms, zinc-responsive dermatosis

growling, snarling

aggression, dominance, epilepsy, fear, pain, stress

hair loss

allergy, fleas, Cushing’s disease, hot spots, hypothyroidism, mange, ringworm, seborrhea, shedding, stress, sun burn, zinc-responsive dermatosis

head tilt

disk disease, cryptococcosis (fungus), head trauma, otitis, tumor


fear, pain, stress, rabies

hunching (painful abdomen/back)

bloat, botulism, brucellosis, cystitis, disk disease, grape/raisin toxicity, infectious canine hepatitis, kidney disease, lead poisoning, leptospirosis, pancreatitis, peritonitis, poison, prostatitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salmonella, swallowed object, trauma, bladder stones/obstruction

hyperactivity, agitation

chocolate poisoning, hyperthyroidism, lead poisoning, other poison, snake bite, insecticide poisoning

itching, all over

flea allergy, food allergy, mange, insect sting, vaccination reaction

itching, of back and tail


itching, of chest, armpits and feet

inhalant allergy

itching, of chin and face

inhalant allergy, demodicosis

itching, of ears

ear mites, otitis, sun burn, ticks, fly bites

itching, localized

demodicosis, hot spots, insect bites, sun burn

itching, self-mutilation

canine scabies, demodicosis, hot spots, lick dermatitis, obsessive/compulsive disorders

mouth, blue-tinged tongue/gums

asthma, heart disease, pneumonia, respiratory distress, poison

mouth, bright red gums

carbon monoxide poisoning, gingivitis, hyperthermia, leptospirosis, poison, stomatitis

mouth, brown tongue

kidney disease, leptospirosis

mouth, burns

caustic poison, electrical shock

mouth, difficulty chewing/swallowing

botulism, burns, insect bites, porcupine quills, poison, rabies, tick paralysis, cancer, tetanus, foreign body

mouth, dry/tacky gums

dehydration, kidney disease

mouth, jaw paralysis

abscess, fracture, rabies, tetanus

mouth, loose/broken teeth

gingivitis, periodontal disease, trauma

mouth, pale

anemia, canine coronavirus, coccidiosis, dehydration, eclampsia, fleas, hookworms, hemophilia, shock, trauma, canine parvovirus, hemangiosarcoma

mouth, pawing at

caustic poison, periodontal disease, porcupine quills, swallowed objects, abscess, cancer

mouth, sores/ulcers

kidney disease, poison (caustic)

mouth, stringy saliva


mouth, swollen/bleeding

gingivitis, insect bites, periodontal disease, salivary mucoceles, trauma, snake bite

mouth, yellow/brown tooth debris

periodontal disease

odor, anal area

anal glands, flatulence, poor grooming

odor, ammonia breath

kidney disease, dehydration

odor, ammonia urine

bladder stones, cystitis

odor, bad breath

cancer, periodontal disease

odor, of body

cancer, demodicosis, skunk, abscess, dermatitis

odor, from ears

otitis, cancer

odor, mousy

acanthosis nigrans, demodicosis, seborrhea

lethargy or listlessness

anemia, fever, dehydration, grape/raisin toxicity, shock, hypoglycemia

licking, anal region

anal gland problem, constipation, swallowed object

licking, coat or skin

abscess, allergy, fleas, hookworms, insect bites, lice, lick sores, mange

licking, feet

inhalant allergy

licking, genitals

balanoposthitis, bladder stones, brucellosis, estrus, pyometra, trauma, cystitis, labor, mating

limping, lameness

arthritis, demodicosis, cancer, ehrlichiosis, fractures, valley fever (fungus), hemophilia, hip dysplasia, slipping kneecap, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever

loss of consciousness

asthma, antifreeze poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, chocolate poisoning, drowning, electrical shock, hyperthermia, hypothermia, shock, snake bite, trauma, heart disease, dehydration, hypoglycemia


abscess, allergy, cancer, cuterebra, vaccination reaction

milk, yellow/blood streaked


muscle tremors, twitches

chocolate poisoning, dehydration, eclampsia, ehrlichiosis, hyperthermia, hypoparathyroidism, poison, tetanus, insecticide toxicity, epilepsy, brain tumor

nose, bloody

cancer, ehrlichiosis, infectious canine hepatitis, poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, shock, trauma, Von Willebrand’s disease, hemophilia

nose, discharge/runny

canine distemper virus, canine herpesvirus, canine influenza, ehrlichiosis, infectious canine hepatitis, kennel cough, rhinitis, sinusitis, foreign object, cancer

nose, eroding

lupus erythematosus complex


bloat, car sickness, Cushing’s disease, eclampsia, poison, pain, fear, chocolate toxicity

paddling, with feet

dreaming, seizure (epilepsy), xylitol poisoning

pale: lips, tongue, gums

anemia, babesiosis, eclampsia, electrical shock, fleas, histoplasmosis (fungus), hemophilia, hookworms, poison, shock, snake bite, trauma


botulism, disc disease, cancer, trauma, tick paralysis

pulse, too fast

anemia, hyperthermia, shock, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, dehydration

pulse, too slow

hypothermia, poison, heart disease, Addison’s disease, dehydration


submission display, pain, play, poison, head trauma, otitis


anaphylaxis, car sickness, insect bites, poison, chocolate poisoning, eclampsia, foreign body, hyperthermia, insect bites, pain, periodontal disease, rabies, snake bite, toad poisoning

scooting (on bottom)

allergies, anal gland problems, tapeworms


antifreeze poisoning, brain tumor, canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, chocolate poisoning, Cushing’s disease, grape/raisin toxicity, electrical shock, epilepsy, low blood sugar, cryptococcosis (fungus), hypoparathyroidism, kidney disease, lead poisoning, liver disease, poison, snake bite, toad poisoning, head trauma


car sickness,disk disease, electrical shock, fear, fractures, hypothermia, pain, poison, shock, snake bite, eclampsia, insecticide toxicity

skin, blisters/charred

caustic poison, frostbite, sunburn

skin, black (or color change)

chronic dermatitis, acanthosis nigrans, lupus erythematosus complex, mange

skin, greasy

acanthosis nigrans, seborrhea

skin, lumpy/bumpy

cancer, insect bites, vaccination reaction, papillomatosis (warts)

skin, moist sores

candidiasis (fungus), frostbite, hot spots, seborrhea, sunburn

skin, painful

abscess, burns, frostbite, ulcers

skin, pepperlike debris esp. at tail root


skin, red and peeling

burns, frostbite, lupus erythematosus complex, sunburn

skin, sores/ulcers

burns, candidiasis (fungus), valley fever (fungus), lick sores, lupus erythematosus complex, mange, sunburn, tumor

skin, scabby/crusty

fleas, lice, mange, ringworm, sunburn

skin, scaly/dandruff

lice, mange, seborrhea, zinc-responsive dermatosis

skin, swelling

abscess, anal glands, balanoposthitis, burns, cancer, frostbite, hypothyroidism, tumor

skin, thickened

acanthosis nigrans, canine scabies, hypothyroidism, sunburn, chronic dermatitis

skin, waxy debris


skin, yellow tinge (jaundice)

babesiosis, copper poisoning, leptospirosis, liver disease, hemolytic anemia

sleeping too much

anemia, carbon monoxide poisoning, disk disease, obesity, fever, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, pain, stress, water on the brain


rhinitis, sinusitis, foreign body, abscessed tooth, lungworms

sores, draining

abscess, anal glands, cancer, cysts, ulcers

sores, slow healing

abscess, cancer, ulcer, lick granuloma

stiffness, of joints

arthritis, cancer, disk disease, fractures, hip dysplasia, Lyme disease

stiffness, paralysis

botulism, disk disease, fractures, cryptococcosis (fungus), poison, snake bite, tick paralysis, tetanus

stiffness, odd gait

arthritis, cancer, disk disease, eclampsia, hip dysplasia, poison, tetanus

sterility, loss of libido

brucellosis, prostatitis

swelling, of abdomen (no pain)

copper poisoning, Cushing’s disease, heart disease, heartworms, obesity, pregnancy, roundworms

swelling, of abdomen (painful)

bloat, cancer, canine herpesvirus, infectious canine hepatitis, constipation, liver disease, peritonitis, pyometra, swallowed objects, pancreatitis, hemangiosarcoma, urethral obstruction

swelling, of breast

cancer, false pregnancy, mastitis, pregnancy

swelling, of ear flap


swelling, of ear tips, nose, tail, toes


swelling, of face/head

abscess, anaphylaxis, hypothyroidism, infectious canine hepatitis, insect bites, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salivary mucoceles, snake bite, water on the brain

swelling, of joints

arthritis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme’s disease

swelling, of legs

ehrlichiosis, heart disease, heartworms, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, liver disease, cancer

swelling, of lymph nodes

brucellosis, plague, tuberculosis, cancer

swelling, of penis

balanoposthitis, foreign object

swelling, of scrotum

brucellosis, post-neutering

swelling, of skin

abscess, cancer, cuterebra, fracture, hernia, insect bites, hematoma, trauma

temperature, too cold

anemia, dehydration, hypothermia, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, salmon poisoning, shock, snake bite

temperature, fever

abscess, babesiosis, canine coronavirus, eclampsia, ehrlichiosis, valley fever (fungus), histoplasmosis (fungus), heat stroke, canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, prostatitis, pyometra, seizures, infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, mastitis, metritis, pancreatitis, peritonitis, plague, pneumonia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salmonella, tick paralysis, tuberculosis

urination, blocked

bladder stones, cancer, grape/raisin toxicity

urination, excessive

antifreeze poisoning, chocolate poisoning, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, leptospirosis, pyometra

urination, frequent/small amounts

bladder stones, cystitis

urination, in odd places

bladder stones, cystitis, diabetes mellitus, kidney disease

urination, straining, splattery stream

bladder stones, cystitis, cancer

urination, with blood

bladder stones, cystitis, cancer, poison, hemophilia, prostatitis, hemolytic anemia, Von Willebrand’s disease


Addison’s disease, eclampsia, kidney disease, inner ear infection, food allergy, anaphylaxis, antifreeze poisoning, botulism, canine coronavirus, canine parvovirus, carbon monoxide poisoning, car sickness, chocolate poisoning, copper poisoning, grape/raisin toxicity, enteritis, hookworms, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthermia, NSAIDs poisoning (Tylenol), insect bites, lead poisoning, leptospirosis, liver disease, megaesophagus, overeating, pancreatitis, other poison, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, salmon poisoning, salmonella, snake bite, swallowed objects, tick paralysis, whipworms

vomiting, unproductive (or prolonged)

bloat, poison


Addison’s disease, anemia, aspirin toxicity, babesiosis, botulism, cancer, canine distemper virus, heart disease, hemophilia, hookworms, hyperthermia, hypoparathyroidism, kidney disease, poison, shock, snake bite, tick paralysis, liver disease, insulin reaction, hypoglycemia, disk disease

weight, unable to maintain

cancer, giardiasis, malabsorption syndrome, megaesophagus, poor nutrition

weight, gain

diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, obesity

weight, loss

anemia, aspirin toxicity, babesiosis, brucellosis, cancer, coccidiosis, copper poisoning, diabetes mellitus,ehrlichiosis, blastomycosis (fungus), valley fever (fungus), histoplasmosis (fungus), heartworms, hookworms, hyperthyroidism, NSAIDs poisoning (Tylenol), kidney disease, liver disease, lungworms, malabsorption syndrome, megaesophagus, malnutrition, pancreatitis, salmon poisoning, tuberculosis, whip worms, heart disease, pain, arthritis, diarrhea, anorexia, roundworms