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  • How Knowing Your Pet's Patterns Can Save Their Life

    How Knowing Your Pet's Patterns Can Save Their Life

    How knowing your pet’s patterns can save their life

    You know your pet better than anyone else, and this means that you are more likely to recognize that something isn’t quite right with her. In some instances, the problem that you identify could be a medical problem that requires immediate medical attention and as such, your prompt intervention could potentially save her life.

    Here are some of the key changes to your pet’s behavior or body functions that could indicate that she needs the attention of a trained and experienced veterinarian.          

    Appetite changes

    You probably have a fairly good idea of how much your pet eats each day and when she eats it. However, appetite can be one of the first things to change if an animal becomes in pain or starts to suffer from illness. Since you inevitably feed her at least once each day and are responsible for emptying out her food bowl, it should be fairly simple to notice if she suddenly stops eating as much as she once did, or if she is clearing her bowl very quickly and then demanding more food again. Both can be a sign of an underlying problem

    A loss of appetite could indicate issues such as:

    • Dental Pain

    • Liver problems

    • Kidney problems

    • Infection

    • Cancer

    Increased appetite could indicate health problems including:Diabetes

    • Inflammatory bowel disease

    • Intestinal cancer

    • Hyperthyroidism

    • A tumor somewhere in her body

    Another thing to look out for is blood in your pet’s food bowl. This could be an indication that your pet is suffering from dental disease – an inflammatory condition that affects the gums and teeth. Left untreated, dental disease can lead to widespread infection and chronic health problems that could put your pet’s life on the line.

    Changes in thirst

    Similar to your pet’s eating patterns, you also almost certainly have a good idea how much she drinks each day. If this changes suddenly, and she either suddenly stops drinking or guzzling water like it’s going out of fashion, and it is not a particularly hot day which could be making her thirsty, it is time to get her checked by your veterinarian. Increased thirst could indicate underlying diseases and problems including dehydration, kidney failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and pyometra (an infection of the uterus). Not drinking enough is a serious concern as your pet could quickly become dehydrated and unwell, so if you suspect your furbaby isn’t consuming as much water as she should, seek help right away.

    Changes in her bathroom habits

    Another important change to look out for is anything unusual in her bathroom habits. This could include:

    • Suddenly peeing or pooping indoors when previously toilet trained

    • Urinating or passing bowel movements significantly more or less often

    • Changes in her urine or bowel movements, such as semll, color, or consistency

    • Blood in her urine or feces

    • Starting to pass urine or bowel movements

    Sudden changes in her bathroom habits could indicate a wide range of different problems and determining the cause is essential, particularly as some – such as a twisted bowel or blocked bladder - can be life-threatening. Any changes in your pet’s ability, frequency or urgency to ‘go’ should always ben investigated. If you still aren’t sure – contact your vet for advice anyway.

    Sudden change in energy levels

    If your pet is getting older, you may find that her energy levels are gradually decreasing with age. This is normal and to be expected. However, if your furbaby is still fairly young and has previously been very active and then suddenly seems sluggish, lethargic and has low energy, it could be that she has an underlying illness. Heartworm disease, kennel cough and problems with the heart or liver can all cause sudden loss of energy.         

    If you have any concerns about changes in your pet’s behavior, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a professional even if only to put your mind at rest. And, in some circumstances, knowing your pet’s patterns could potentially save her life. Schedule an appointemtn at Animal Emergency Clinic in San Diego, CA today. Call 858-842-5600