Because our pets can not raise their paws and tell us when something is wrong, we as owners need to know what to watch for to know when our pet is ill.
The Dog Scoot Boogie
A dog dragging his hind end across the floor is his way of telling you his anal glands are full and need emptying. Anal glands consist of two small pea-sized sacs on the inside of a dog's anus. Some dogs naturally excrete their anal glands when defecating, however some dogs retain the excretion in the sacs. A quick trip to our office can alleviate the retained excretion in a simple routine office exam.
Eating Out of One Side of the Mouth
While it might look like your pet is trying their best Elvis impersonation, eating out of only one side of the mouth and/or curling their lip may indicate an abscess in the gums, tooth decay, or gingivitis. Another signal that something is wrong in your pet's mouth is excessive rubbing of the face. They are probably trying to sooth the irritation in their mouth. Excessive chewing on toys and rawhide is another sign of your pet attempting to alleviate problems in the mouth.
Frequent and Small Amounts of Urine
If your pet seems to urinate more frequently than before, check the amount of urine each time they go. Small amounts of frequent urine could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Cats, especially males, may become blocked because of their small urethra. Because of this blockage, a male cat will lick himself excessively, another clue that something is awry.
Odd colored urine, (such as dark orange or even red) may also mean a UTI. A trip to our office is important. If possible, try and catch a urine sample from your pet to bring in with you to be analyzed. For cats it is okay to remove their litter from the pan, clean out the box thoroughly and use that as a sample. Most cats will still use the litter box if they are well trained.
Sudden Weight Changes
Overweight pets may start to lose weight when their body is damaged due to the excess weight. For example, an overweight pet cannot support the extra weight and may tear a ligament or have the start of arthritis. This pet may not be able to comfortably reach their food bowl and will stop eating.
Likewise, a pet who suddenly gains a tremendous amount of weight could have one of a few problems. If your pet was recently put on a medication by your veterinarian, weight gain might be a side effect. Another cause for sudden weight gain is simply a loving owner offering too many treats to their pet. Cutting back on the amount of treats given is preferable to changing to diet food. Increased exercise will also help shed some pounds.
These are just a few signs that trouble is lurking for your pet. Always keep an eye out for abnormal behavior and give us a call is you suspect something is wrong.