When Should You Take Your Pet to the Vet?
June 13, 2017
Anyone with pets knows that they are truly a part of the family. They greet us in the morning, they eagerly await our return at the end of the day, and every minute we spend at home is a minute spent with our pets. Just as with any loved one, we can be concerned when something is off, or when they are not acting themselves. Since our pets can’t verbalize what’s going on, it’s important to be knowledgeable of the signs indicating something is wrong with our animals. Take a look at these signs to know if your pet is in need of a trip to see the vet.
Ensuring your animal is vaccinated is vital to maintaining their health, as is keeping their vaccinations up to date. According to Web MD for pets, kittens and puppies need need to come in for vaccines every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Veterinarians give dogs shots for rabies, distemper-parvo, as well as protecting against Lyme disease and other maladies. Cats are tested for feline leukemia, along with protection for several other diseases. Just as a newborn baby needs to see a doctor more frequently for check-ups in their first few years, the same goes for cats and dogs.
If you adopted your pet or are planning to adopt, check with the shelter or rescue center to see what vaccinations your animal has already received. Most shelters have a vaccination program, but it’s a good idea to double check. Talk with a veterinarian if your animal’s medical history remains unknown.
Everyone has their off days, including pets. The important thing to remember as a guideline for your animals is the “rule of two.” As Healthline explains, if a pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms for two days or more, it’s time to take them to the vet.
- Not Eating
It’s not uncommon for an animal to have a lack of appetite, especially in hot weather. If you start to notice your animal is hardly eating after two or more days, it’s a good idea to take them in. Lack of appetite can signify some underlying health issues.
- Excessive Thirst
It can be easy to see a pet drinking a lot of water and think it’s normal, especially in hot weather. However, pay attention if your animal doesn’t seem to slow down in their water intake. Dogs in particular actually produce more saliva than humans, and do not need to drink as much water. If their excessive drinking continues for two days or more, it could be an indicator of kidney disease or diabetes.
- Lack of Energy
A sudden lack of energy in an usually active animal is a pretty significant change in behavior. This, however, is also not an automatic sign of a health problem with your pet. Refer back to the rule of two to see if your animal needs to go in. If your pet is usually lower energy, you might have to look a little closer to see if their lethargy is indicating an issue.
Sudden Weight Loss
Even if your cat or dog is overweight and they lose weight suddenly, it is a good idea to get them into a veterinarian clinic. Losing rapid amounts of weight is a pretty serious indication that something is going on. This can be harder to determine in smaller animals, however, because even a one-pound loss can be considered sudden and dangerous. Try to remember or keep track of your pet’s weight as you take them to the vet over the years to get an idea of what their normal weight is or should be.
An unusual stool or occasional vomiting is not typically cause for concern on its own. However, an animal who vomits blood or multiple times in a row is reason to contact the vet right away. If your pet’s stool is unusual and remains so for two or more days, this is also a good sign to take your pet in. Seeing some blood or mucus in the stool means to keep closer watch for the next two days. Take your pet in to see a veterinarian if this pattern continues.
In Case of Emergency…
The AAHA has an excellent list of when your pet’s condition is classified as an emergency, and the vet should be called right away.Some of these emergencies are fairly similar to human emergencies, such as:
- Not breathing/no heartbeat
- Pet is unconscious and won’t wake
- Trouble breathing
- Having a seizure
- Collapsing and can’t stand up
- You think your pet ingested something toxic
- Possible broken bones
Ultimately, you love your pet and know if something is going on. It never hurts to call a vet clinic and consult with them further. Contact Royal Pets Market Veterinary Center to answer any and all of your pet health questions. We love your animals as much as you do, and will do everything to make sure they are cared for and healthy. A healthy pet is a happy pet, and knowing the signs of when to take your animal to the vet can only help.