Petcover what are some common dog illnesses and when to call a vet blog

What are some common dog illnesses and when to call a vet?

Nothing causes pet parents to panic like a sick dog, especially when you aren’t completely sure what’s wrong.

We all know how dogs are – they like to take chances, dive headfirst into trash cans or roll into anything stinky. So how do we know when that illness is serious or when it’s simply a reaction to their last meal?

Here are some common dog illnesses and how to know when you need a vet.

1. Diarrhea

An upset tummy can happen for many reasons – stress, eating something they shouldn’t, or parasites. In most cases, it’s something treatable and nothing to worry about. Occasionally, infections, metabolic diseases, or toxins can cause diarrhea. Make sure your sick dog gets enough water to avoid dehydration, which can be an emergency itself.

Call A Vet When:

• Your dog’s stool is black or red.
• They display any other signs of discomfort (bloating, fast panting, or moaning).
• Your dog shows signs of dehydration.

2. Ear Infections

Head shaking, pawing at their ears, discharge and bad smell are the signs of an ear infection. Ear problems are one of the most common reasons for vet’s visits. It’s a good idea to treat it early to prevent the infection from spreading deeper into the ear. Also, your dog could be in pain, and no pet parent wants that!

Call A Vet When:

• You notice the signs of an ear infection.

3. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is the equivalent of a bad cold with a nasty cough and is usually picked up from other ill dogs. It may sound terrifying, but it’s not usually a serious condition. Keep an eye on your dog, though – these symptoms can escalate quickly.

Call A Vet When:

• Your dog becomes lethargic.
• They have trouble breathing.
• Your dog stops eating.

4. Parvovirus

Parvo is a dangerous, contagious disease that causes diarrhea, lethargy, fever, and weight loss. Parvo is more common in pups between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. It needs immediate veterinary attention as it can be fatal.

Call A Vet When:

• Your dog has bloody diarrhea.
• Your dog is vomiting.
• Your dog is losing weight inexplicably.
• There are signs of dehydration and weakness.

5. Cancer

Cancer is common in older dogs. If you notice any of the signs, get your dog checked immediately. Your vet will be able to suggest a course of action that will be most effective and comfortable for your dog.

Call A Vet When:

• You find unexplained lumps or bumps.
• Any kind of swelling or enlarged lymph nodes.
• Wounds don’t heal.
• Inexplicable weight loss.


Pet parents know that having a sick dog is not fun. None of us want our beloved pets to be in pain or discomfort, but it happens. What matters is knowing when medical action needs to be taken. This is why pet insurance is so important. Nobody ever wants to have to use it, but we can’t put a price on the life and comfort of our pets, can we?

Here’s to good health and happiness for you and your dog!

How Petcover can help your pet

Petcover specialises in offering quality, straightforward pet insurance with a range of policy options that suit your needs. Whether your pet is big or small, our range of options are packed with added benefits. Accidents can happen at any time and the reality of veterinary costs can come a quite a shock. With our range of cover levels for dogscats, and horses why not get a quote today.