Unfortunately, our pets cannot tell us when they feel sick and, therefore, most pets reach the vet’s office once they are very sick. It is important to pay close attention to our pet’s normal behavior and to be aware of any abnormality on how they behave or look. st cases, dog owners realize that something is not right because they see their pet “sad”. Lethargy or weakness is one common sign of disease. However, it is important that we take our pets to the veterinarian regularly in order to detect diseases that often go unnoticed until it is too late for a treatment. Here are some common signs of illness in dogs and cats.
Signs Of Disease In Dogs and Cats
• Lack of appetite and weight loss. One of the first signs that you will observe if your Poodle is sick is a decreased appetite and a subsequent weight loss.
• Behavioral changes and depression. Sick pets will exhibit changes in their behavior. Most commonly they will loose interest in playing and other activities that they used to enjoy.
• Increased frequency of urination. Also known as polyuria, an increased in the frequency of urination is one of the signs observed in dogs and cats who suffer from diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome and kidney disease.
• Vomit and diarrhea. These are common signs of illness and you should pay close attention to a pet who is vomiting or has diarrhea. If possible take a picture of your dog’s vomit or feces and bring it with you when you visit your veterinarian, this will be a great help in the diagnostic process.
• Skin changes. Dry or patchy skin is a common indicator of skin diseases, as well as, systemic diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome.
• Pain. An animal who is in pain will vocalize when the painful area is touched and, in some cases, he/she may try to bite you. Never give pain medicine unless it was specifically prescribed for your dog. This includes over-the counter-human painkillers, which can be very toxic to dogs.
• Lameness or stiffness. Reluctance to move, jump or walk is a common sign of osteoarthritis and other diseases of the skeletal and muscular systems.
• Fever. This common sign of disease is most often associated with infectious diseases, often of bacterial or viral origin. It is a good idea to have a thermometer at home to take your pet’s temperature in case you suspect some kind of illness.
How to take your pet’s temperature:
The most accurate way of knowing your pet’s temperature is by taking his/her rectal temperature. Use a conventional digital thermometer (never a mercury thermometer). The normal rectal temperature for dogs and cats is 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Lubricate the thermometer tip with Vaseline or lubricant jelly.
• Place your pet in a standing position.
• Have someone hold your dog in this position while you insert the thermometer in your pet’s rectum.
• Rotate it gently to ease it in.
• Gradually guide the thermometer to a depth of approximately one inch.
• Wait until a beeping noise indicates the temperature has registered.
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