You’ve heard it before: Pets can’t tell us when something is wrong. Trust your instincts as a pet owner: if you notice something is different with your dog or cat, pay close attention — it could be a sign of a serious medical condition.
Here are five signs to never ignore in pets.
1. Heavy Panting
It's normal for pets to pant, especially after chasing toys, running around the house, or after being outside on a warm day.
What's not normal is heavy panting. So what's the difference? Heavy panting usually means deeper, more labored breathing and may last longer than normal panting associated with excitement, play, or cooling down.
Heavy panting can mean that your dog or cat is in pain and may be suffering from heatstroke, poisoning, heart failure, Cushing's disease, pneumonia, or lung tumors.
Those of you with dogs like boxers, bloodhounds, mastiffs, or Saint Bernards know that drooling is a package deal. However, excessive drooling can be a sign that something is wrong with your dog or cat.
Sudden, excessive drooling can indicate heatstroke, dental problems such as periodontitis or an abscessed tooth - or your pet may have chewed something that irritated or burned the mouth, eaten a poisonous plant, or suffered from a neurological problem.
3. Excessive Consumption of Water
You've probably seen your pet slurping at the water bowl - maybe even lying down and straddling the bowl after playing, especially if you're outdoors on a warm day.
Watching your pet return to the water bowl over and over again is not normal. Drinking too much water may be a sign of renal failure, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's disease, pyometra in unspayed female dogs, or, less commonly, psychogenic polydipsia when associated with a behavioral problem not due to illness.
Some medications can cause increased water consumption, and excessive panting can also lead to heavy drinking.
4. Change in Behavior
Have you noticed your dog or cat acting differently lately? A change in your pet's behavior, such as unprovoked aggression, moodiness, erratic temperament, hyperactivity, fearfulness, anxiety, submissiveness, sudden onset of seizures, or inactivity - no longer playing with toys, choosing to be alone in another room, not being able to lie down comfortably, even a lack of appetite - can be a strong indicator that something is wrong.
Pain and discomfort are the most common reasons for a change in your pet's behavior. Behavioral changes can be related to thyroid dysfunction in dogs, hyperthyroidism in cats, and other medical conditions such as pancreatitis, cancer, arthritis, parasites, skin allergies, heart disease, or injury.
5. Change in Odor
Don't mistake your pet's smelly breath for a sign of aging. Remember, healthy pets don't smell. If your pet has started to smell different - bad breath, smelly ears and skin, foul-smelling gas - there may be a problem.
Bad breath can be a sure sign of dental disease, oral melanoma, and diabetes or kidney failure. Musky ears are usually a sign of an ear infection.
Stinky skin, sometimes accompanied by itchy, scaly skin or skin lesions, can indicate allergies, seborrhea, or bacterial or yeast infections.
While you may be used to your pet producing foul-smelling gases on a regular basis, a change in the intensity of the odor may be a sign of gastrointestinal disease.
If your pet shows any of these signs, don't wait: take your dog to the vet for an examination. Of crouse, daily pet care is also important for maintaining pet health and prevent some pet heath problems. At HICC PET™, we believe all pets deserve the best, which is why we invest in their health. Subscribe to our online community for more pet wellness tips and healing skin care products. With the right treatment and prevention plan, you can help keep your pets healthy and comfortable.