Answering this question would be so much easier if our pets could speak to us and complain when something was bothering them. Until they learn to speak our language or we learn to speak theirs, we are left with using our powers of observation to know when to take our pets to the vet. One of the most important things to observe is any change in your pet’s behavior. If your pet is usually very social with people or other pets and then suddenly prefers isolation, this should be a red flag for you to bring in your pet. The opposite is also true. If your pet doesn’t usually need alot of attention and suddenly doesn’t want to leave you alone or leave your lap, this should also be a warning sign to have your pet checked out.
Changes in your pet’s patterns of eating or drinking can also indicate problems. This includes eating and drinking too much or too little. Also important is noticing any changes in weight gain or loss.
Though it’s a topic that most people don’t like to discuss, changes in your pet’s elimination patterns can also indicate a developing or emergent problem. This includes increased or decreased urination or defecation, blood in the urine or feces, constipation, or changes in the consistency of the feces, such as diarrhea. Many people will say, “I don’t know. I don’t look, and I don’t want to look.” It’s often said ignorance is bliss, but in this case, they are missing vital information which can help them detect a problem with their pet.
Other areas of concern are new lumps or swellings, abnormal discharge, vomiting, persistent cough, sneezing, chewing at a limb, or a limp when walking. These are just a few of the signs to notice in your pet. You know your pet better than anyone else. If you feel something is not right, the best thing to do is bring your pet in for a visit. If any of these changes have taken place, be sure to tell us. It may be something simple or it may be something severe, but the only way to know for sure is to have your pet evaluated.