Dog health, keeping an eye on your dog's health is so important as there may be issues (however small) that you have not noticed, that may become very serious and can always be a surprise to the unsuspecting dog owner.
Needless to say, that if not caught early, your dog's vet bill can be very costly, even with insurance, depending on the age of your dog. All insurers have an excess clause in their policy, some may be as little as £50, ranging up to £180/£200, which you pay as part of your bill. Furthermore, most insurers have a clause stating if your dog is over 9 years old, you would need to pay the excess as well as 20% of the bill on top of that.
Imagine your dog goes into Vet Hospital for a serious operation; if that bill is £5000, you would end up paying the excess as written in your policy plus 20% - £1000 (plus the excess) out of your pocket towards the bill, all because your dog is over nine years old.
This is why it is important to understand dog health and, really get to know your dog from a very young age. Know their habits, always check their poop (yes it sounds awful) but you may see signs of something wrong there early.
If your dog is being sick, you may think that it's only eaten something that has disagreed with him or her, or conclude "Poppy or Alfie" has just been eating grass again. Eating grass is usually a sign (not in every case) that the dog has a tummy problem. You need to think about this: Is there anything else in the vomit besides grass or food? Are you looking for blood (even blood spots) or organic tissue (probably your dog's)?
Has a cat or fox dropped some food in your garden or on the routes you walk your dog?
Be mindful that there are some very misguided or nasty people out there who put out poisoned food to get rid of foxes and noisy dogs near their house. The result can be disastrous for your pet.
A friend of mine noticed that his dog was eating grass, and she sometimes does this if she has had rich food as a treat. She was vomiting a clear yellow/green coloured foam (associated with the ingestion of the grass). Luckily, "dog health" is always one of their concerns, and with their constant vigilance and checking the vomit every time (the dog went off in the garden to do this), they noticed that the vomit was now white with streaks of red liquid and also some red fleshy tissue.
Whilst getting ready to take their pet to the vet, they noticed drops of blood on the floor behind their dog (a bitch) and first thought that she had come into season. On further inspection, it was obvious that there was quite a lot of blood coming from the dog's back passage and that again, there was a lot of body tissue stuck to her fur.
Needless to say, the dog was rushed to the Vet's where she was put into their hospital unit. It was serious as the dog had become extremely dehydrated due to the vomiting, together with the loss of blood. NB: Dehydration in animals and, indeed humans, will lead to death if not treated. The dog was on a drip all the time to replace fluids as it would not drink normally.
The vets are unsure (not totally definitive) as to the cause of the problem, "a virus, burst ulcer, pancreas, rat poison etc" were considered possible causes.
The bottom line is this, the dog had severe bleeding from both ends, the cause of the problem led to "Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis", which was also one of the causes of the severe dehydration - critical if not treated.
Luckily, because it was dealt with quickly, the dog is now home, on lots of different medication, still very much under the weather but far better than the potential outcome. It is important to remember, this came on suddenly and developed very rapidly, within minutes! Always keep an eye on your dog.
I dread to think what would have been the outcome had the owner been out at work as the dog would have been alone most of the day suffering from this illness. Generally, your pet could be in the hospital for at least two nights and home on the third day if all goes well. Your dog must drink and eat before they can come home.
It was a task to get this dog to eat or drink, if she didn't, it would mean another stay in the hospital to get fluids into the dog intravenously (on a drip).
Dog Health is it worth it, the trouble and cost? The Vet bill so far is over £900 even though the issue was dealt with in its early stages. Treatment and care are ongoing. Oh, and yes, it's worth every penny to keep what most would consider an important family member healthy. The love you get from your dog is invaluable, they give it freely and unconditionally.