A couple of things about illness: There are two things; signs and symptoms. Symptoms are things the patient feels but no one else can see. There are signs, things that others can see. Some aspects of illness are a combination...something the dog can feel and you can see. There are illnesses which present themselves as chronic, meaning the signs and/or symptoms come on slowly, gradually, over various lengths of time. And there is acute, meaning they come on suddenly. If your puppy or adult dog is showing any acute signs of illness, sudden pain that you can determine, sudden or excessive coughing, discharge, panting, shivering when it's not cold, rash, difficulty breathing (there are many more, but those are examples) it is not something that the Internet should be depended on for answers. It is time to take your dog to the veterinarian. Even some chronic signs and symptoms can indicate a serious problem. And some may be so mild that you feel that it is not an emergency and might make sense to discuss it here first before deciding to take the dog to the vet. I see so many threads where people come on here and there is a group of signs or symptoms that are extreme, acute and people are asking what to do? When this happens, many of us scream, "TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VET NOW!" I think for people who do not seem to have a good sense or gut feeling about certain signs and symptoms and what should be done with the dog, we need to make a bigger list of examples of what would require immediate veterinary care, what would need vet care in the next few days or what might not need vet care at all. Can you all think of some examples of each of those scenarios and list them? We've had a rash of people coming on here with horrendous signs of illness in their dogs. Why one earth would someone come on the Internet when their dog is almost dying? Is it really possible that someone can be that off track? I guess we need to make a list. So....see what you can come up with and add as much as you can. Situations or signs/symptoms of apparent acute illness which need veterinary care ASAP and the Internet/Chazz advice should be avoided, time not wasted. Situations/examples which are chronic, but serious which need veterinary care ASAP...which perhaps have gone on too long already: Situations, signs/symptoms, either chronic or acute that do not appear urgent, which warrent some discussion, that aren't likely to create an emergency if discussed here first.