One of the challenges of being a pet owner is knowing when your dog or cat needs medical care. Like all pet owners, you are always after ensuring your pet is in its best shape and healthy. But unfortunately, you cannot read their minds to know when they are unhappy or suffering.
Taking care to inform yourself of the various signs to watch out for in your pets can help you make a timely decision to take them to the vet and prevent your pets from suffering untreated for a long time.
on the next page, you’ll discover the 7 warning signs your pet needs veterinary care.
1. Tearing eyes
Infrequent teary eyes are, in some cases, not a problem. But if it is accompanied by continuous blinking, then you have a reason to be alarmed. Tearing eyes and unusual winking with red eyes in pets can signify viral or bacterial infections, allergies, and other health conditions.
If you notice your cat has frequent tearing eyes and blinks excessively, then it might have allergies, conjunctivitis, or a foreign particle has entered its eyes. Another sign you should pay attention to is red marks on its pupils.
If it’s a dog, a tearing eye can indicate the same eye conditions as a cat, including tumors, corneal injury, or tear duct obstruction. These can lead to severe vision problems if left untreated or not attended to on time.
2. Overgrooming its paws
There are several reasons dogs or cats groom themselves, including keeping their coat clean and regulating their body temperature. When they overdo that, however, it can be a sign of a health issue. If your pet constantly licks or bites its paws, it could be due to itching or pains in and around the claws.
If you find your cat constantly licking or biting its paws every day, it must be experiencing allergies, intolerances, parasite infestation, or other health problems. You will notice these when the area around the paws becomes red and starts showing signs of hair loss.
3. Excessive drooling
It’s considered normal for dogs to drool as it is a natural part of the canine digestive process. Even dog breeds such as Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Saint Bernard, and Great Danes are well-known for their excessive drools. However, there are some cases where irregular or excessive can be a sign of a health issue. When it comes to cats, drools are a clear indication that there is a problem.
If you find your dog producing a waterfall of drools, it may be experiencing high levels of stress, intoxicated, or have infections or foreign objects stuck in its mouth.
Mouth disease and tooth decay, stress, salivary gland disorder, or infections can be some of the reasons why your cat is drooling excessively.
It’s essential you visit the vet when you notice your pet hyper salivating to prevent the situation from escalating.
4. Low or seemingly sad mood
Believe it or not, cats and dogs, like humans, can suffer from mental issues. These may include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is not something that the pet can quickly shake off, and it will take proper treatment and attention from the owner to restore the pet to its usual self. Mental health problems in pets can eventually lead to the development of compulsive or destructive behaviors.
If you find your dog regularly depressed with no sign of its mood changing, it may be due to a multitude of issues, including changes to its schedule, trauma, fever, hypothyroidism, or cataracts.
A depressed cat can be because of emotional issues, especially if it ceases doing things it enjoys, such as grooming, playing with its favorite toys, or sharpening its claws. Like dogs, depression in cats may be due to changes in their schedule, disruption in their everyday life, stress, anxiety, or traumatic events.
There are treatments available for dealing with depressed pets, and a vet can advise you on the right one for your pet.
5. Sudden weight loss
Weight loss occurs in pets when the number of calories they consume is less than their body requires.
The underlying cause of weight loss can either be psychological or due to several diseases. To know the exact cause of weight loss in your pet, it needs to be taken to a veterinarian for them to thoroughly examine it and offer the right diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the causes of weight loss in pets include anorexia, compulsive disorder, hyperthyroidism, swallowing and maldigestion disorders, cancer, internal parasites, and heart, liver, or kidney disease.
6. Constant scratching
Itching in dogs and cats can cause them to be hyperactive, running around nervously and refusing to stay still. Insistent itching can also lead to hair loss since pets will constantly scratch themselves to get comfortable. If you notice your pet being unnecessarily hyperactive or excessively scratching itself, it might be experiencing discomfort.
Dogs that constantly scratch themselves may be suffering from food or environmental allergies, contact dermatitis, fungus, boredom, or anxiety.
The causes of excessive scratching in cats are broader. It can be anything from stress, compulsive disorders, and mental disorders to infections, allergies, and parasites.
7. Lack of hair around the eyes
Hair loss is another cause of worry and a sign you need to take your pet to the vet. It especially becomes a problem if it occurs around the eyes and can indicate that your pet is suffering from a severe health condition.
Infestation of fleas, mites and ticks, allergies, fungi, and poor immune systems are common causes of hair loss in dogs. This kind of hair loss is noticeable as reddened areas around the eyes accompany it.
Fleas and mites are also the major culprits when it comes to hair loss around the eyes in cats. Other causes include hormonal imbalance, allergies, nervous disorder, discomfort (due to conjunctivitis or foreign objects in the eye), and in rare cases, cancer.