Regular Veterinary Care Alerts You to Changes in Your Pet’s Health

Is my dog or cat sick? It can be difficult to tell sometimes. Your dog or cat can seem a bit “off” some days. Just like us, our pets have an occasional bad day, tummy trouble, or are simply not feeling their best. Changes in your pet’s health and demeanor can be something mild, like they ate too much, or more serious, such as symptoms of an underlying disease.

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services believes that regular veterinary care is of the utmost importance. One reason is that it gives you a great baseline to help you know if something is going on with your four-legged friend’s health. We also review the subtle symptoms to look for when you ask yourself, “is my dog or cat sick?” Let’s take a closer look!

Recognizing When Your Dog or Cat Is Sick

Most pet owners know many nuances about their pet’s personality and demeanor. So, it is no surprise when a pet owner calls us just because they suspect something is going on with their fur friend. Pets cannot tell us when they are in pain or ill. This is why recognizing the signs of illness in pets is so important in keeping your bestie in good health and wellness. 

Most animals mask signs of illness, injury, or pain. In the wild, this serves a purpose to avoid falling prey to predators. So take note of differences in your pet, whether it is changes in sleep or food intake or behavior changes, like hiding more. This will help when you explain these symptoms to your veterinarian. 

Here are signs that your dog or cat may be sick or in pain.

  • Changes in appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Increased lethargy
  • Lack of interest in play or exercise
  • Blood in stool
  • Abdominal bloat
  • Straining to urinate/defecate
  • Fur loss
  • Drinking more water
  • Excessive biting or scratching at skin
  • Foul odor
  • Limping
  • Wincing or vocalizing when touched
  • Seizure
  • Collapse

Certain of these symptoms indicate an emergency. Contact your veterinarian or animal emergency services at OVRS if you believe your pet is injured or sick. OVRS has an emergency vet tech on duty 24/7 that you can speak with if you’re not sure whether your pet’s symptoms constitute an emergency.

The Case for Regular Veterinary Care

Several illnesses and diseases start out with few noticeable symptoms. That’s why annual or biannual wellness examinations focus on the prevention of disease through early detection. Your veterinarian does this through physical examinations, diagnostic testing, dental care, vaccinations, and other crucial veterinary health needs. 

Regular veterinary visits ensure that any detectable changes in your pet’s overall health will be identified and treated promptly. This helps pets avoid or postpone many age-related and chronic diseases through preventive wellness care. Not only does your pet get a thorough physical, they also receive blood tests, heartworm and other parasite screenings, and nutritional counseling. 

During these exams, you will also receive tips and recommendations on weight management, nutrition, and behavior. Regular wellness care is truly comprehensive in creating a happier, healthier life of increased longevity for your best friend.

A critical factor in having regular vet care is that your veterinary visits establish a baseline of what is “normal” for your pet. If your pet seems sick or off, your veterinarian can compare their records with your pet’s current health. It can often help you know that your dog or cat is indeed sick and needs treatment. 

Is My Dog or Cat Sick? Call OVRS!

If you are wondering if something is wrong with your dog or cat, err on the side of caution and call us or your regular veterinarian. Your quick thinking can prevent a problem from becoming a serious medical condition. Your instincts in knowing when your pet is under the weather can be a great asset.