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How do I know if my pet needs to go to the vet?

Our pets are members of our family, but when it comes to being sick, they’re like children who cannot talk yet. They know that something is wrong with them but can’t tell us. Even a small change in behavior or character can be a sign that something is wrong.

Some symptoms may be serious, while others may be temporary hiccups that disappear in a day or two.

You can easily tell if your pet needs to see a vet by using the below checklist:

  • General appearance:

     If your dog seems pale and if there are other marked changes in the way they look, if he/she refuses to eat or drink anything for many hours together, it’s time to take them to your vet. Dogs and cats tend to get dehydrated very quickly, so if they are not drinking water, there is a problem.
  • Physical changes:

     If your dog/cat seems lethargic and less active than usual, if he/she limps around or shows any signs of pain, if they seem disoriented and are clumsier than usual, or if they show signs of restlessness and discomfort they should be seen by your veterinarian.
  • Body temperature:

     The normal body temperature of canines and felines is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If a rectal reading shows a temperature outside of this range they should be seen by a veterinarian.
  • Vomiting:

     Your dog/cat may throw up a little if it has eaten something unpalatable and it may not be a cause for concern. But if your pet seems to exhibit lethargic, dull and lifeless behavior and also vomits, it’s best to check with your vet to rule out the possibility of a serious illness.  Also if your dog/cat throws up more than once this is concerning.
  • Color of gums:

     If your pet seems listless and dull, check his/her gums. Pink gums are a sign of a healthy dog while white, yellow or bluish gums signal that they may be anemic and require the care of a vet immediately.
  • Unusual urination:

     If your pet is urinating more frequently than usual, or if he/she is not able to produce any urine in spite of straining to do so, it’s time to rush your pet to the vet. Your dog or cat could be suffering from a serious illness and it’s best to get him/her checked out immediately.
  • Changed food habits:

     If your pet is suddenly not eating well or eating too much this is often a warning sign that something is wrong and your pet should be seen by his/her vet as soon as possible.
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