Our animals are just as likely to become unwell as we are and unfortunately, there are many different things that could cause them to become sick. Some pet illnesses are fairly mild and will go away on their own or with little support from your vet. However, others are much more serious and timely diagnosis and treatment is essential if you are to prevent your pet from experiencing unpleasant symptoms and long-term consequences for their health.
Since our animals can’t actually tell us when they are feeling unwell or are in pain, they are entirely reliant on us to pick up on any signs and symptoms that they show us that indicate that they are experiencing a problem. Nevertheless, they might not display these right away either. It is the natural instinct of most pets to try and mask illness so that they don’t appear vulnerable. As a result, your pet’s condition could have progressed by the time you realize they medical veterinary intervention is necessary.
Fortunately, there are signs that indicate that your pet isn’t in perfect health and would benefit from an assessment by your veterinarian. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Significant Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
An individual episode or two of vomiting and diarrhea isn’t usually anything to worry about, particularly if your pet isn’t exhibiting any other signs of a problem. However, if there are persistent bouts of either in a 24 hour period, or it becomes an inconsistent but ongoing issue, it is important to seek veterinary advice. Dehydration is a particular risk if your pet is suffering from multiple episodes in a short time period, especially if they aren’t replenishing their fluid.
There can be a variety of reasons why your pet may be experiencing persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea including:
It is important to bring your pet in so that your vet can assess them and determine the underlying cause of the problem.
Pet poisoning is one of the most common reasons for emergency veterinary visits and unfortunately, there are lots of things that can be toxic to our animals including some human foods and medications, overdoses of pet medications, cleaning products, antifreeze, toothpaste, and even some plants and flowers. If your pet has been poisoned, they might experience a range of symptoms including:
Make sure you speak to your emergency vet as soon as you can to obtain advice on what to do next.
Being able to pass urine and feces is an essential bodily process and not being able to go could be extremely painful and debilitating for your pet. In some cases, this problem can even be life-threatening, such as if your pet has a bowel obstruction or twisted bowel. Being unable to urinate can also be fatal. As such, any issues with toileting should prompt you to speak to your vet as soon as possible.
Drinking Lots More Than Usual
Pets can become unusually thirsty, particularly during the summer months when the temperatures are much higher. However, if your pet continually seems to be drinking excessive amounts of water, it could be a sign that they have a metabolic disorder such as diabetes mellitus or kidney disease – both of which are potentially life-threatening.
Unsurprisingly, any signs of any sort of breathing problem need to be taken seriously. Whilst dogs are known for panting, excessively doing so could be indicative of a problem with their respiratory system. Cats, on the other hand, may pant after intense exercise but any continuation could be a sign that they are having problems breathing.
Poor Coat Quality
Your pet’s coat can tell your vet a great deal about their general health and condition, and any unusual dryness, coarseness, and loss of shine could indicate that your pet isn’t getting the right nutrients to be healthy or is unwell. Similarly, bald patches or tufts of loose fur can be a sign of a skin or parasite problem that needs attention. Thyroid disease is also a common cause of hair loss in canines.
Lumps and bumps may naturally develop as your pet gets older, but sometimes they can be a sign of something more serious. Animals can develop abnormal swellings, growths, and even tumors and it is essential that any new masses are properly checked by your veterinarian. They may be something as simple as a swollen bug bite or benign growth, but in some instances, they can be cancerous and require immediate removal and potentially further treatment. Don’t leave any unusual growth to chance – make an appointment with your vet.
There are occasions where your pet will find it impossible to mask the fact that they are in pain. They may show their discomfort by refusing to move, hiding, flinching, limping, yelping, or whining. They may even appear aggressive if you get too close to where they are hurting. If your pet seems in pain, don’t let them suffer a moment longer. Call your vet as soon as you can.
For more advice on when to take your sick pet to your veterinarian, please contact our knowledgeable and compassionate team in Ashburn, VA.