We all go to the doctor when something's wrong with us. Some of us go just to check that nothing is wrong with us. What will a dog do when it's not feeling so well? Someone will have to take it to the vet instead.
We took our dog off the streets, so she was full of fleas and ticks and maybe internal parasites. Her fur was rare because of all the scratching. So, the second day after we adopted her, we took her to a nearby vet. After a general check-up, our doggie got herself a couple of drops on the back of her neck of a parasite repellent. She was also given a quarter of a pill for internal parasites. The amount of pill given is proportional to the dog's weight.
We went home and over the next couple of days, the fleas and ticks started either dying or falling off, dizzy. Soon, they weren't bothering her anymore and she was free of all of them. The little pill worked too, but only the second time she got it. She eliminated a 7cm long worm. Needless to say, we were happy she was feeling better without all the "colonists".
When we got the puppy, her tummy was pretty upset and the vet told us to feed her chicken soup with rice and vegetables. She loved it and it worked wonders. We are still feeding her the same thing today and she can't get enough of it.
I've read that dogs can get bloated if they eat too fast or drink a lot of water all at once while eating. Aschiuta's tummy was exceptionally big and the vet was also worried about bloating. We didn't really know how to cure it, but luckily it solved itself in a short time. It is however useful to know how to burp your dog, like one would a baby.
Scratching and skin problems
The external parasites were gone, but somehow, her fur came off by the handful and she kept scratching all day long (and when she woke up at night). In addition to these issues, she came up with a kind of rash on most of her skin. We were worried it could have been mange. The vet couldn't have told us what it was without some lab tests. We didn't have a lot of money, but we did the mange exam and it was negative.
More confused than before, we kept going to the vet every day and the poor dog was given a lot of shots. She ended up being terrified of the vet's examination table. The vet also suggested baths with sulfur soap and rinsing with apple vinegar. We still use the soap for her baths today, but we don't give her baths as often as then.
After a few days of no change, the vet suggested to change the dog food (we were giving her cheap kibble from Pedigree at the time). Amazingly enough, that was the problem. She got better soon and after a few more days, the rash was gone and the hair wasn't falling anymore. Also, the painful scratches were only a memory. The vet was impressed.
We never bought her that brand of kibble again and now we know that what food we give to the dog is important to its health.
After we had a healthy dog, we could finally get her vaccinated. We did the standard vaccines for a puppy and she was finally able to get out of the house without needing to get carried. It was a relief, since she was getting bigger and heavier...
More accidents and vet visits in a later post... My best advice to you is to contact your vet as soon as you sense a problem with your pet. You should also go for a check up every now and then... The most qualified person who can tell you if your pet is healthy or not is a good vet.