We all love our pets and hope that no illness ever befalls them. Let’s face it, that’s pretty unlikely. Whether it’s a large or minor health issue, we can expect our little loved ones to experience a few hurdles on the way in life. It’s easy to be concerned too much or too little. So the team at VetMed has come up with a brief discussion of common types of symptoms and illnesses, so you know how to check your pet for illness properly.
Dogs and cats often vomit, even when they’re not sick – it simply comes with the territory of being a dog or a cat. Especially if your pet is out and about and eating grass or poking its head into strange places. The occasional mess is nothing to be overly concerned about. What pet owners should be concerned with is the frequency and type of vomit. If your pet is demonstrating signs of lethargy or inability to eat, in addition to frequent vomiting, this indicates that your pet needs veterinary assistance.
If there is blood in the vomit, particularly darker blood that appears older or digested then this indicates that your pet may have a stomach ulcer, some kind of parasite infection (worms or giardia, for instance) or that your pet has swallowed something strange. Take your pet immediately to the vet to ascertain the cause of the problem.
Always inspect your pet’s vomit to see what it can tell you about your pet’s health. Much of the same considerations go for inspecting your pet’s stool.
Be sure to monitor your pet’s general energy levels. Drop offs in energy will be more obvious with high-energy pets, so be sure to monitor your pet’s energy with respect to their usual amount of energy. While a temporary drop in energy is common in pets as it is in humans, if it lasts for more than 24 hours then owners should take note and seek assistance. Also, note whether the drop in energy can be attributed to any recent event (having eaten a new food, or having done an unusually large amount of exercise, etc.).
Cat owners must take particular note if their feline friend stops eating for an extended period of time. Cats that don’t eat for days can develop fat deposit around the liver which can in turn lead to liver failure – so cat owners need to be aware of their cat’s energy and appetite.
Lumps and Bumps
Lumps and bumps on your pet’s skin can be many things – skin tags, cysts, inflammation or irritation – and not necessarily cancerous. But it does pay to check your pet thoroughly every so often (once a week would be good) so that any lumps can be taken care of and assessed early.
Feel for lumps by slowly running your hands over the surface of your pet’s body, feeling through the skin to the surface to see if there are any abnormalities. Be sure to feel all over the pet, including under the arms and around the neck. If you do find a lump, be sure to fix its location and to get a rough feel for its size – so you can locate it effectively for the vet.
The more frequently you check, the better your odds are of catching an illness early – so check often and thoroughly. In any event, it’s just like giving your pet a thorough pat!