5 signs of a sick pet you shouldn't ignore - Hindustan Times
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5 signs of a sick pet you shouldn't ignore

By, New Delhi
Jan 26, 2023 06:34 PM IST

It's usually tough to identify signs of unwellness among pets mainly because pets can’t speak or express themselves and survival instinct makes them hide their uneasiness. Here's how to know if your pet is unwell.

It is not always easy to determine whether your pet is unwell or not as your furry friends may not be able to communicate what they are feeling. Pets also tend to hide their illnesses as survival mechanism as being sick can make them feel vulnerable. In the wild, animals that appear weak or injured are often targeted by predators, so hiding an illness or injury can help them avoid becoming prey. However, certain behavioural changes can be noticed in dogs like lethargy, decreased activity, decreased appetite, hair shedding, weight gain or weight loss. If you have been with your pet long enough, you may notice immediately there is something wrong with them. (Also read: 7 things to remember before bringing home a new pet)

5 signs of a sick pet you shouldn't ignore(Pixabay)
5 signs of a sick pet you shouldn't ignore(Pixabay)

"Our furry companions bring immense joy and love to our lives. However, when it comes to their health and well-being, it usually brings a lot of stress to pet parents, as they are unable to identify early signs of unwellness in their pets, leading to delays in treatment. It's usually tough to identify signs of unwellness among pets majorly because pets can’t speak or express themselves and survival instinct makes them hide their uneasiness," says Gaurav Ajmera, Founder, Vetic.

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Here are top 5 symptoms explained by Ajmera for puppies, senior pets (more than 8 years), and for all the pets.

Puppies or kitten

Pets early in their lifecycle (less than 12 months) need extensive health care because the risk of infections in them is high. It is strongly advised to get the young buddies fully vaccinated and dewormed as per vet-prescribed schedule.

With pet adoption on the rise and an increase in young pet parents adopting puppies, it's important to be aware of potential health hazards, and early signs where medical care needs to be initiated. Key symptoms to look out for are:

- Constipation

- Decreased Appetite

- Rapid and unexplained Weight Loss

- Diarrhoea

- Vomiting

If you observe any of the above signs, do not experiment. Consult your vet for first aid/treatment.

Senior pets

With an average life expectancy of 12-14 Years, pets aged above 8 years, need more focused healthcare attention. Senior pets run the risks of picking up lifestyle and acquired ailments around joint issues, hormonal imbalance, kidney-related issues, tumours and diabetes

Key symptoms to look out for are:

Weight gain or loss

Difficulty playing and getting around

Bad breath, bloody gums, and other oral problems

Lumps, bumps, and other skin problems

Increased/strained urination

Given the nature of medical issues that senior pets can pick up, they are varied and can get very complicated. It's important to remain vigilant with them for any symptoms, and follow preventive care including regular health check-ups.

Summers/monsoon Specific

Extreme heat and rains are breeding grounds for different ailments for pets. Specifically, monsoons increase chances of parasite infestation leading to multiple skin and other issues. It's important to ensure the pets are kept hydrated, regularly groomed and kept away from moisture on skin (specifically hairy breeds).

Key symptoms to look out for are:

Excessive scratching and licking

Hair shedding

Head-shaking and ear scratching

Blood in stool

Pot belly

Excessive panting

While the above is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, it gives pet parents a good idea of different kinds of issues they should look out for in their pets. As a thumb rule, never assume and ignore, be cautious whenever the furry buddy is showing a change in routine/behaviour, and look to consult a vet.

Finally, follow the instructions and prescriptions of the vet for a full schedule and do not discontinue the same, as sometimes symptoms subside without the pet fully recovering.

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