Dog Articles, Symptoms

Panting in Dogs

Panting is very common in dogs. In most cases, panting is not a sign of a medical problem. Dogs pant in lieu of sweating. Anything that might cause a person to sweat can cause dogs to pant.

Dog owners frequently note and become concerned about episodes of increased panting in their pet that seem abnormal. In some cases, such episodes or trends are a sign of medical problems. However, this is rare. Most panting is not indicative of a serious underlying problem.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Changes in Thirst or Urine Output in Cats and Dogs

Marked changes in an animal’s water consumption or urine output have many causes. Chronic or long-term changes in thirst or urinary habits may be indicative of serious disease.

Causes of Increased Water Consumption or Urine Output

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Scratching or Licking the Skin (Itching) in Cats and Dogs

Scratching and licking the skin generally have similar causes. Excessively licking the skin is a way of scratching the skin. Skin irritation leading to itching is responsible for most instances of excessive licking and scratching.

A certain level of scratching or licking is considered normal in all animals. Also, both cats and dogs groom themselves with their tongues. Therefore, it is important to determine whether your pet is scratching or licking excessively, or whether he or she is engaging in normal behavior.

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Vomiting in Cats and Dogs

Vomiting is very common in both cats and dogs. Mild, isolated incidents of vomiting usually does not represent a major concern. Protracted, severe, or chronic vomiting may be caused by serious illness. As well, severe vomiting can be dangerous in its own right.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later. There are thousands of causes for vomiting, but they can be loosely grouped as follows.

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Hair Loss, Shedding, Balding, and Unkempt Hair in Cats and Dogs

Shedding, unkempt hair, and hair loss in pets are extremely common complaints among owners.   In many cases, shedding is normal and harmless for the pet.  However, hair loss leading to baldness, or hair loss accompanied by itchy, red, scabby, moist, or malodorous skin usually is linked to a medical problem.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.  Less common causes are listed later.

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Low Appetite, Decreased Enthusiasm for Food, or Finicky Eating Behavior in Cats and Dogs

Finicky eating behavior and decreased appetite are often related in cats and dogs.  Food preferences and minor behavioral issues are responsible for many instances of finicky eating behavior.

However, a very large number of diseases suppress appetite in pets.   Pets with suppressed appetites may eat less, or may become more selective (finicky) about what they eat.

Common Non-medical Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Bad Smelling Cat or Dog

A wide variety of problems may cause a pet to smell bad.  They range from simple grooming-related issues to serious medical conditions.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.   Less common causes are listed later.

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Spots of Blood in the House

Owners of cats and dogs often find drops or traces of blood on the floors or other surfaces of their home and suspect that their pet is the source of the blood.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.   Less common causes are listed later.

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Coughing in Dogs

Healthy dogs occasionally cough due to transient irritation from environmental contaminants such as dust or fumes.  However, persistent coughing at a higher than normal frequency has many potential causes.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.  Less common causes are listed later.

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Urinating Inside the House: Dogs

Urinating in the house, also known as house soiling, is a common problem.   In dogs, house soiling often is triggered by a medical condition.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.   Less common causes are listed later.

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