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Should I take my pet to the Vet ?
As pet owners it is our responsibility to keep our babies healthy. We all know to take them to the vet when they are in obvious distress or injured in any way. Apart from that, if you are like me you are never sure if now is the time for a visit to the vet clinic.
Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Change in Eating Habits:
It is not uncommon for pets to skip a meal, especially if it is hot outside. If your pet skips more than 2 meals there might be an underlying issue. Some diseases cause changes in eating habits i.e. your usually well behaved baby starts eating garbage or is raiding the pantry , it is time for a check-up.
2. Excessively Thirsty:
Dogs produce a lot of saliva and don’t need to drink as much as we do. If your puppy drinks water by the gallon it could be a sign of Kidney disease or diabetes. You can tell if your puppy is drinking too much if they have to go out more often and/or have accidents in the house.
3. Rough or dry coat:
A dog’s or cat’s coat should be thick, shiny and soft. A dull , rough coat or a coat with dry or bald patches is a sign that something isn’t right. It could be as simple as the wrong food, allergies or a skin disease.
A lethargic pet is a sign that something might be troubling them. A lethargic dog may not want to go for the usual walk, play or participate in an activity he/she usually loves. Normal fatigue or sore muscles can sometimes be due to summer heat, if the symptoms persist it is time for a visit to the vet.
Occasional vomiting is not unusual in pets. Animals vomit more often than humans to get rid of something that doesn’t agree with them or for cats it might be a hairball. If your pet vomits often or several times in a row, vomits blood and/or has a fever call your vet immediately. Severe vomiting leads to dehydration or even diarrhea. Seek treatment early.
6. Unusual Stool:
A pets’ stool is a good indicator of overall health. A healthy pet will have small, firm, moist stools. Dry, hard stools may be a sign of dietary issues or dehydration. Diarrhea, straining, blood or mucus in the stool lasting more than 2 days warrants a visit to the vet.
7. Sudden Weight Loss:
Even in an overweight pet sudden loss of weight should prompt a visit to the vet. Losing weight quickly and unexpectedly could indicate a serious health issue. If your pet drops in weight by 10 % bring it to your vets’ attention. In a small pet this may be as little as 1 pound.
8. Cloudy/Red Eyes:
Your pets’ eyes are the gateway to their body. Cloudy or red eyes , squinting or excessive discharge from the eyes could indicate an infection. Take your pet to the vet immediately. Medication can easily cure an infection.
9. Scooting or Dragging Rear:
If your dog is scooting or dragging his/her rear on the floor , he/she may have worms., blocked anal glands, kidney disease or diabetes.
Our pets’ survival instinct is strong and they will work to look healthy on the outside. It is important as a pet owner to be observant and aware of even small changes. You know your pet the best…if something seems wrong it is better to err on the side of caution and take them to the vet.