Here’s how to tell when all is not well with your dog’s health.
1. Your dog has bad breath
Dog breath is never minty fresh, but sometimes that stink is a signal for a life-threatening problem.
Bad dog breath is caused by the bacteria that form plaque on your pet’s teeth.
But those bacteria can travel into the nasal passages and sinuses, leading to respiratory problems.
If they make it into the blood stream, they could wreak havoc in the liver, kidneys, or heart.
Brush your dog’s teeth daily and give him treats or toys made especially for dental hygiene.
2. Your dog's ears droop
A dog’s ears may droop if he feels sad—or has an ear infection.
Dogs can develop three types of ear infections: outer, middle, and inner.
Symptoms of outer ear problems—drooping ears, redness, discharge, and a bad odor—require a trip to the vet.
If not treated, outer infections can turn into middle and inner ear infections, which may cause hearing loss.
3. Your dog has black patches on his gums
According to the Banfield Pet Hospital network, dental disease affects 93 percent of dogs over the age of three.
When food particles and bacteria aren’t cleaned off a dog’s gums, they get inflamed and plaque can form.
That plaque can turn into gingivitis and, in severe cases, tooth loss.
If your pet’s normally pink gums are inflamed or develop black patches, contact your vet.