Diseases are a fact of life. People, plants and pets are all susceptible to an infinite number of germs, pathogens, infections and viruses that attack the immune system and if left untreated can cause a severe and even life-threatening condition. While people tend to recognize symptoms of an illness quickly pets don’t have the ability to tell their owners that they are not feeling well. Pet owners need to be proactive when treating their pets and know when their furry friend is experiencing difficulty.
Nature is always evolving and the fleas and ticks that infected pets last year are not the same annoying critters that will be roaming fur and hides this year. Diseases also mutate and the bladder condition that hampered a dog ten years ago can be completely different than the infection that will attack canines today. Being aware of the variety of diseases that pets are at risk for and knowing how to recognize the symptoms of such diseases is essential to providing long-term quality healthcare for your dog, cat or horse.
Though pets can’t talk they can communicate. Pet owners who form a special bond with their furry friend swear they know when their little buddy is happy, sad, uncomfortable or anxious. Dogs, cats and horses all have ways of letting their owners know that something isn’t right. If you notice general lethargy in a pet, a lack of energy or appetite that is your first clue that an illness may be present. Just like people pets are going to have their “off days” but prolonged inactivity and listlessness can be the indication that a virus or bug has infected your pet. Other signs of a possible infection may include warm noses, liquid discharges from ears and mouths, irregular bowel movements and discolored stools and vomiting. Your pet can try to hide a gimpy paw or itchy ear to avoid the dreaded visit to the doggy doctor but when a serious disease has entered the system symptoms will begin to appear.
Pet owners have the responsibility to monitor the health of their dog, cat or horse by being vigilant in their routine checks. Running a hand through the animal’s coat, feeling along the stomach for unusual bumps and rashes and inspecting the inside of a pet’s mouth and ears are all good ways to inspect a pet for any irregularities that can be a sign of a more serious illness or virus.