Routine Health Checks for Our Dogs
Simple daily and weekly checks will help you quickly identify when your dog may have a problem. Changes to their normal routines are a good indicator that something may be wrong. At all times we recommend that veterinary advice should be taken if you are at all worried about your dog.
The insides of your dogs ears should be clear with no odour. Redness or brown discharge, head tilting, ear scratching and general discomfort on touching ear or running his ear along the carpet, could be sign of an infection which can be either bacterial or yeast. If on cleaning ear you see flecks like grains of coffee this could be an indication of ear mites. Orange dots especially around the base of the ear could be Harvest Mites (also see our Ear cleaning in cockapoo care).
These should be clear without any discharge or redness as this could be a sign of infection. Sleep in the eyes is common and can be wiped away with a moistened cotton wool pad but green discharge for example could be a bacterial infection like conjunctivitis . This is easily treated by your vet with drops or cream. Check that the eyes have no cloudiness or bluish tinge. Check there are no inward growing eyelashes and trim hair that obstructs vision
The nose should be free of discharge, bleeding and have no hard crusty bits. Excessive sneezing could indicate an allergy such as hayfever. Dog's noses can be different in moisture and also as some can moisten more when they are scent sniffing. A warm dry nose does not necessarily mean your dog is ill.
Teeth and Gums
Gently lift your dogs lips and examine the gums and teeth. The gums should be pink or a healthy black depending on the pigmentation of the dogs skin, but should not be inflamed or red and sore. Teeth should be clean and white with no yellow plaque or brown tartar. Check that gums are not bleeding as this could be a sign of gum disease. Check teeth for any damage, looseness and to see if any food is lodged between them. If your dogs breath is foul this could indicate a problem with the teeth, gums or a digestive problem. Look out for dropping of food, reluctance to eat, excess salivation or clawing at the mouth as this could also indicate teeth or mouth problems.
Coat and Skin
The coat should be free from tangles and matts. There should be no evidence of flaking skin. A regular groom will help stimulate the skin and keep knots and matts at bay. Part the hair to look for signs of fleas or ticks (see our Grooming Article).
Run your hands through the coat to check for any lumps of wounds, cuts and scratches or hot spots. Check your dog's testicles that are entire (not castrated) and bitches mammary glands for any unusual swelling. Check that your dog is not wheezy or struggling to breathe and generally is happy to be touched and not showing signs of pain or discomfort.
Monitor your dogs weight and keep him at a healthy weight (your vet will usually do this for you on any visits usually free of charge). You can also weigh them yourselves by weighing yourself on scale first, then with your dog and then subtract that figure from that of your weight to get your dogs weight. If you can feel the ribcage without too much padding then that's it's a good indicator that weight is about right.
Check the pads for open cuts, splinters or seeds, especially if you take your dogs on wooded walks or through long grass. Seeds can easily get trapped in the fur between your cockapoo toes and can cause an infection if they get embedded. Orange dots between the toes could be a sign of Harvest mites. If you dog excessively bites or licks at it's paws and there is no sign of anything stuck it could be an indicator that they have an allergy (diet or environmental related), have a yeast infection between the toes or in some case it is a sign of boredom or a habit bit like child thumb sucking. However too much licking can cause sores to develop, so check feet regularly to ensure this doesn't happen. Nails should be short and healthy looking without any splitting.
Under the Tail
Hold up the tail and check for any signs of discharge or soreness. The anal glands might occasionally need emptying a job for your vet or groomer, although some owners learn how to do this themselves but not a job for the faint hearted!! Common signs that anal glands may need emptying are a strong smell,( fishy) scooting bottom along floor, biting tail and behind, and struggling to poo.
Get to know your dogs bowel movements so that you can tell when they are not looking like they normally do. Dogs should defecate without too much struggle and poos should be firm and not sloppy. Any chronic or acute diarrhoea or constipation may require veterinary attention, as does the presence of blood or mucus. If the urine appears dark, cloudy, or blood tinged, or the dog is urinating excessively or has difficulty in passing urine, again, consult your veterinarian.
Sometimes dogs can go off their food from time to time, especially if going through teething or having a season. However if this persists then it maybe worthwhile checking with the vet, any changes to way dog eats and or increase/decrease of water from their normal routine intake may indicate a problem.
Joints and Movement
Any changes to his movements such as lameness, inability to jump into car or upstairs, discomfort on touching and not wanting to run and play or stiffness. Keep a close eye and seek veterinary help if the problem persist or you are concerned.
If your dog suddenly becomes very quiet and listless and not willing to play could mean he is under the weather. Taking himself off somewhere quiet and not responding to the things that usually bring him joy and/or tail down could be signs of feeling ill. If at all worried seek vet advice.
© Cockapoo Owners Club 2015 All rights reserved
The adverts shown below are provided by Google and not the Cockapoo Owners Club and therefore we do not necessarily endorse the services offered nor liability for what is offered etc....