Our pets are very important to us, they bring companionship, joy and love into our lives. They are our family members, and in many cases, our only significant other. The majority of pet owners seek to provide everything their beloved fur-kids need to keep them comfortable and healthy, ensuring they live long and happy lives.
Pets cannot speak our language so it is up to us to watch for signs of discomfort, pain and illness. The most obvious are those abnormal actions we can easily identify, such as a limp indicating pain in a limb, or vomiting/diarrhea when a pet is ill. We might hear them crying, whining or yelping if they are distressed.
There are some more subtle changes that we may not recognize in our pet’s daily behavior which should be followed up with a Veterinarian to prevent potential serious health issues developing.
This is the first in a series of blogs to help owners recognize the signs and what they might mean.
Loss of appetite:
Most of our pets love their food and if they suddenly stop eating the chances are there is something causing the pet to feel unwell.
Perhaps they have an upset stomach, digestion problem or intestinal issue such as constipation or a urinary tract infection. They may be experiencing a reaction to a vaccination or medication. If in pain they may feel too distressed to want food or have difficulty getting out of bed to eat.
There could be a dental problem such as inflamed gums (Gingivitis), plaque build-up, a broken tooth or an object stuck in the mouth making it painful for the pet to eat. Bad smelling breath can be a sign of dental issues or other more serious internal health problems.
There may have been a change in the environment such as a family member leaving the home or another pet passed away? Have you added a new pet to the family? These changes can be stressful and a loss of appetite could result.
If you have been feeding your pet excessive amounts of treats it may have just over eaten. Or, if you have made sudden changes to the diet your pet may not like the new food.
Knowing your pet and recognizing changes means that you can get your Vet to assist with early diagnosis and treatment of any health issue. This may incorporate complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and Bowen Therapy and natural anti-inflammatory products.
Our best mates need our help. We rely on them and they on us to watch, listen and take heed of their signals and respond with love and care.