Pets cannot tell us when something is wrong because they cannot communicate with us. As a pet owner, trust your instincts. If you notice something different with your dog or cat, pay close attention—it could be a sign of a serious medical condition.
Here are five warning signs that you should never ignore in your pet.
Knowing what warning signs to look for indicating that you should take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible is an important part of keeping your pet healthy.
1. Excessive Panting
Pets pant naturally, especially after chasing toys, running around the house, or spending time outside on a warm day.
Heavy panting, on the other hand, is not normal. What is the distinction? Heavy panting is typically associated with deeper, labored breathing and may last longer than normal panting related to excitement, play, or cooling down.
The cause of excessive panting in your dog or cat are heatstroke, poisoning, heart failure, Cushing’s disease, pneumonia, or lung tumors.
Those who own boxers, bloodhounds, mastiffs, or Saint Bernards are familiar with drool. On the other hand, excessive drooling could indicate something wrong with your dog or cat.
Sudden, excessive drooling may indicate heat stroke, dental problems such as periodontitis or a tooth abscess—or your pet has chewed on something that has irritated or burned the mouth, eaten a toxic plant, or is suffering from a neurological problem.
Many facilities have a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. However, it is critical to find a reputable one to accurately diagnose your pet’s medical issue.
3. Excessive Water Consumption
You have probably seen your pet slurp away at the water—perhaps even lie down and straddle the water bowl after playtime, especially if it is a warm day outside.
It is not normal to repeatedly see your pet return to the water bowl over time. Drinking too much water can signify:
- Kidney failure
- Diabetes mellitus
- Cushing’s disease
- Untreated pyometra in female dogs
- Extreme thirst
Some medications may increase water consumption, and excessive panting can lead to excessive drinking.
Certain situations are considered emergencies. Trust your instincts and contact your local veterinarian if you believe your pet requires emergency care. You can find more information about what is viewed as an emergency here.
4. Change in Behavior
Have you noticed any changes in your dog or cat’s behavior recently? Unprovoked aggression, moodiness, unstable temperament, hyperactivity, fearfulness, anxiety, compliance, sudden onset of seizures, or inactivity in your pet. The most prevalent causes of your pet’s behavior change are pain and discomfort.
All-encompassing cause of behavioral changes:
- Thyroid dysfunction in dogs
- cat hyperthyroidism
- Skin allergies
- Heart disease
If your pet displays any of these behaviors, you should take it to a veterinarian. In this case, you can search for “vet specialist near me” to find the nearest clinic in your area.
5. Change in Odor
Do not dismiss your pet’s stinky breath as a normal part of aging. Keep in mind that healthy pets do not stink. If your pet’s smell has changed, there could be a problem —bad breath, stinky ears, skin, and noxious-smelling gas.
Bad breath can indicate:
- dental disease
- oral melanoma
- kidney failure
Musky-smelling ears are typically indicative of an ear infection. Stinky skin, accompanied by itchy, flaking, or lesions, can indicate allergies, seborrhea, or bacterial or yeast infections.
While you may be accustomed to your pet emitting foul-smelling gas regularly, a change in the intensity of the odor can indicate gastrointestinal disease.
If your dog develops any of these, do not put it off: take him to the vet right away.