Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. They are adorable animals that help lift one’s spirit when one is down. Any pet owner loves it when their pets are well. There are times when the pets get really sick to even the point of death. During such times, there is little that the pet owner can do other than taking the pet to a vet and hoping for the best. One can, however, avoid all this by keeping a keen eye on the pet and detecting the illness before it becomes serious.
Different pets are susceptible to different kinds of illnesses. It is, therefore, important to learn about the common illnesses that will afflict your pet from time to time. Doing so will ensure that you understand the best way to combat them before they can cause much harm to your pet. It is quite easy to identify when your pet is ill. Usually, the behavior pattern will be expected to change drastically. For instance, a pet that was lively may become really dull. This is a big red flag that all is not well.
Below are several steps that may help you identify common pet illnesses:
Vomiting and diarrhea
Both cats and dogs may vomit from time to time. When they are out there eating junk, leaves and grass. They will, however, vomit for a while and everything will be back to normal. This is no cause for alarm. The problem arises when the vomiting does not stop. If a pet vomits several times a day and the vomit is not caused by leaves and grass. If in addition it starts acting lethargic and lacks appetite, you may want to have it checked by a vet.
Another problem is when the vomit has blood in it, or when your pet throws up digested food which looks like coffee grounds. This may be an indication of gastric ulcers. Apart from this, the pet could have swallowed foreign objects that may be irritating the stomach causing internal bleeding. It is not uncommon to find pets that have swallowed sharp bones, socks, towels, knives, small pieces of metal, combs, fish hooks, toy soldiers among other household items.
These are not the only causes of diarrhea and vomiting. Other sources may include gastrointestinal illness or even parasite infestations, for instance, hookworms, whipworms, roundworms or giardia. Blood in stool could mean serious trouble for your pet. When this happens, you should take it to a vet for a medical examination.
It is important to note that roundworms and hookworms in pets could be easily transferred to human beings. To avoid this, regular de-worming for both pets and humans is necessary. This is especially important in households where there are people with weak immune systems like cancer and HIV/AIDS patients or small children that play where the pets defecate.
Lack of appetite and decreased activity
These two symptoms are quite vague but any change that you notice should be reported to a vet so that the pet can be checked. A pet may stop eating or have a decreased appetite due to a myriad of reasons. This may include fever, stress or even pain. A decreased or absent appetite is enough reason to take your dog to a veterinarian.
Unlike dogs which may be picky with what eat as they look forward to human food, cats suffer more severe consequences when they don’t eat properly or eat at all. One has to be really careful with cats when they fail to eat because they tend to develop fatty liver, especially for the overweight ones. This results from an accumulation of fat in the liver. This fat accumulation is particularly fatal as it may lead to liver failure. Therefore, decreased or lack of appetite in cats should be reported to a veterinarian immediately.
Urinating more or less
The frequency of urination is another pointer that your pet might have a problem. For instance, excessive thirst and increased urination may be an indicator of diabetes. When a dog that never had the urge to urinate at night starts doing it every night, that might be an indication of kidney or urinary tract problems. In other cases, a pet that strains to urinate may indicate that the pet has blockages in the urinary tract.
Cats are known to easily accumulate crystals or stones in the bladder. This may cause inflammation of the bladder leading to the presence of blood in urine. Change of urinating behavior may be another indication. If for instance your pet cat stops urinating in the litter box and starts doing it on furniture, you may want to have it checked.
A persistent in a pet is one of the symptoms in a pet that may want to be evaluated. Coughs may be related to heart or respiratory disease. It may at times range from a simple fever to more serious diseases like lung problems.
A kennel cough-an infectious tracheobronchitis is a common and mild problem that causes your pet to make harsh wheezing sounds. The good thing is that it clears in about two weeks. It is however quite serious in puppies as it can progress to fatal pneumonia. It is, therefore, good to take your pet to a vet to be checked. That it is infectious makes it absolutely necessary to take your pet for checkup and treatment.
In case a puppy develops a lasting cough accompanied by other symptoms like nasal discharge, diarrhea, and loss of appetite or decreased activity. It is advisable to take it for an examination immediately as these are the symptoms of pneumonia.
The above are some of the symptoms that any pet owner should be on the lookout for. Any sudden change of behavior in your pet should be checked to see if there is cause for alarm. It is always best to treat a disease once it is discovered else it may later be impossible to treat. Regular checkups for the pet are crucial for early diagnosis. It is, therefore, important to ensure that your pet is checked every now and then by a veterinarian.