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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
When your dog gets hit by a car or bitten by another dog, going to the vet is an obvious path. But, unfortunately, many dog owners have no clue about a big percentage of the issues that are mentioned in the beautifully designed book Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog by Jana Rade. For example: Do you even notice when your dog pees more than usual, or if the color of the pee is different? Do you notice small changes in behavioral patterns, e.g. a constant shaking of the head, or excessive licking of a paw? Many people attribute symptoms that could be a sign of something bad to quirky behavior. But these symptoms could very well be a sign of an ear infection or a problem with the dog's skin. If you have a very tough dog, he/she might even hide a lot of the pain and if you don't keep a good eye on them, you might end up going to the vet too late. Jana Rade's book gives dog owners a very good overview of a large number of common symptoms that can appear in a dog. The book has some lovely photos of dogs and has a layout that makes reading it a joy. The author also gives some good advice when it comes to listening or NOT listening to your vet. This is something all animal owners need to know!
I did not pick up Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog by Jana Rade because I have no clue, but because I actually do and always like to see what other people are writing. When I have the chance to review books about animals I know well (like dogs, cats, chickens, birds of prey), I tend to do so. My experience with dogs comes from working at an animal sanctuary that is connected to dog kennels with around 30 dogs of all ages. I've seen sick puppies and old dogs with various health problems (and unfortunately also saw dogs that were beyond help and had to be put down), but I also came across baffling problems with young or middle aged dogs. If I hadn't known what to look for, some of these might have turned into something too serious to mend. And this is the reason why I can wholeheartedly recommend this book after reading it.
Many symptoms are easy to miss if you have a pet dog and aren't used to looking out for changes in the dog's eating, behavior, movements and so on. There is a lot to know, a lot to keep an eye on, but you first need to KNOW that these things need watching. The author also makes a very good point of people needing to know what is normal for their dog before they can decide what is NOT. This book has two uses: first - and the best use - would be to read the book from cover to cover BEFORE you have problems with your dog. It will help you to spot some things before they get too bad. The second use is to use the book as a means to look up symptoms and what they mean. It does not replace a good vet, but it will help you to know when to go to a vet with symptoms you might otherwise have missed.