Sometimes your dog is acting not themselves but you can’t really tell where or why they are feeling off.

These are challenging situations because your vet will need clues about what made you come in. Information about changes is the most important for these types of cases.

A physical exam will likely help your vet to narrow down the causes but usually your information about what is happening at home provides more valuable clues that will allow the vet to pick the right tests to find the problem.

Tests are expensive, and unless you or your dog give us a starting point it is very hard to narrow it down in a timely and economical way.

These types of cases can be the most challenging, and frustrating but they frequently the most rewarding to veterinarians because we like to find problems early before they are so obvious that they are beyond repair.

Some things that are helpful to note or think through prior to your visit would be about your dog’s eating and bathroom habits. Are they normal for that dog, or different? Also, has their behavior around their family changed?

Some dogs become more clingy or distant when they are not feeling well. Have they been vocalizing more or hanging out in unusual spots in the house? Have they been avoiding activities like jumping or cuddling that are usually favorites?

As with all the problems that bring you for an unforeseen visit to the vet, time frames will be helpful. When did it start? Is it all the time or only sometimes? Is the problem getting worse?

These will all help decide what the next course of action may be from a testing and treatment standpoint and how aggressive treatment and diagnostics should be.

These are the types of problems that are sometimes the hardest for owners and vets to figure out. If the dog’s body, blood work, or behavior don’t fess up what is wrong then fixing the problem becomes more challenging.

Working together as a team with your veterinarian will be helpful in getting to the bottom of the problem. Keeping brief records of what medication seems to have helped or not will also be helpful.

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