Studies have shown that people who have pets cope better with stress and visit the doctor less than people who don’t. Without a doubt, our cats and dogs help us a ton, but, as many of you know, our furry friends need our support too, especially when they aren’t feeling their best. To be the best pet parent you can be, pay attention to 8 types of changes in the behavior and appearance that require an urgent visit to the veterinarian.
Dogs and cats can suffer from coughing for a period of two weeks due to a disease called kennel cough, which usually passes by itself and does not require treatment. Usually, kennel cough attacks puppies and kittens, dogs with short noses, such as boxers, bulldogs, pugs, pekingese, and short-haired British cats whose anatomy of their head causes additional breathing difficulties. If the cough lasts for more than two weeks, this is not a normal case, and could indicate heart or lung disease, dirofilariasis, bronchitis, or other serious problems.
Cats and dogs vomit from time to time, even if they are in excellent health, but vomiting can also be caused by diseases related to the digestive system, pancreatitis, kidney disease or parasitic infection.
In spite of all this, you should always pay attention to whether there is blood in your pet's poop or vomit, as this may be a warning sign that your pet has swallowed a sharp object that is scratching its stomach.
Although a bloated stomach can simply be a sign that your dog or cat has eaten too much, it may also indicate that they have gastrointestinal problems, a hormonal imbalance, peritonitis, or even internal bleeding. If such a problem isn't diagnosed in time, the pet may be at risk of losing its life due to pressure on the chest that makes it difficult to breathe.
If your pet is active most of the time and suddenly is not enthusiastic about its favorite ball, it may have a serious problem that requires a visit to the vet. Weakness or fatigue in dogs and cats are usually associated with infection or serious illnesses such as diabetes or anemia.
If your pet is usually calm and quiet but suddenly gets an inexplicable burst of energy, this too can indicate a medical problem that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian. If the dog or cat, for example, seems anxious or frightened for no apparent reason and does not stop pacing, trembling or barking, it may indicate rabies, a virus, Cushing's syndrome or heart problems.
If you suddenly notice that your dog or cat has found a corner of the house where it presses its head against the wall, it could well be that this is a disorder called “head pressing.” Such a problem can result from a disease or brain tumor, liver toxicity, or a nervous system infection.
Slight weight loss shouldn’t worry you, especially if your pet has not changed its eating habits, but if it loses more than 10% of its normal body weight, this may be a problem. The conditions that can cause such weight loss are metabolic syndrome, kidney or liver problems, and even cancer.
There are several health problems that can cause a dog or cat to lick themselves nonstop, with the most common problem being pain or itching caused by fleas or allergies. Also, note the following situations in dogs and cats: