If only pets could talk, veterinary professionals’ jobs and pet owners’ responsibilities would be so much easier. You would know exactly when your furry pal requires veterinary care without second-guessing yourself, and you would be able to pinpoint the problem. Alas, our four-legged friends don’t have the best conversational skills, so allow our Haskell Valley Veterinary Clinic team to speak for your pet. If your furry pal exhibits any of these 10 often overlooked signs, give our team a call to schedule an exam.

#1: Itching in pets

Scratching, chewing, licking, rubbing, and head shaking are all common pet behaviors, but they become problematic when they’re excessive. Itchy, inflamed skin can make your pet miserable, and these signs can indicate myriad health issues that range from external parasites (e.g., fleas, mange mites) to allergies.

#2: Eye discharge in pets

Weepy eyes are common in pets who have seasonal allergies, but accompanying redness, irritation, squinting, and other ocular issues can mean a serious problem is in the works. If your pet’s eye discharge continues for more than a few days, or they exhibit other eye problems, immediately schedule a veterinary exam, before their condition worsens.

#3: Soft stool in pets 

An occasional loose pile of poop is not typically cause for concern. If your pet’s stool resembles soft-serve ice cream, bag it up and bring it in for a fecal exam. Keep in mind that ongoing soft stool can indicate myriad health issues such as:

  • Intestinal parasites
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stress
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Malabsorption issues
  • Dietary indiscretion

#4: Weight changes in pets

If your pet’s weight changes without your prompting, our Haskell Valley Veterinary Clinic team should perform an exam. Unexpected weight fluctuations and altered eating habits can signify multiple health concerns, including:

  • Pain
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes, Cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism)
  • Dental disease
  • Organ dysfunction (e.g., kidney failure, liver or heart disease)
  • Cancer

#5: Decreased activity in pets

Do not associate your pet’s decreased activity with normal aging changes, because if your furry pal lacks interest in their usual pursuits, something is amiss. Pets with low energy or who are unable to run, jump, and play like normal may be in pain or ill.

#6: Poor appetite in pets

Some pets are naturally picky eaters, and their appetite may change without warning. However, if your pet’s appetite decreases for no apparent reason, they are likely feeling unwell. Pain and dental disease are some of the most common culprits behind a pet’s decreased appetite, but any condition that induces nausea, digestive distress, stress, or discomfort can cause your furry pal’s appetite to plummet.

#7: Increased thirst in pets

While your pet will naturally drink more water on a hot day, an ongoing change in their drinking habits is cause for concern. Pets who drink more than usual may have a urinary tract infection (UTI), bladder inflammation, kidney or Cushing’s disease, diabetes, or a number of other issues that require veterinary attention.

#8: Excessive vocalization in pets

Some pets like to talk more than others, but if your furry pal’s chattiness kicks up a notch or several, they’re trying to tell you something. Excessive barking, meowing, whining, howling, or hissing may mean your pet is ill,  in pain, stressed or anxious, or developing cognitive dysfunction.

#9: Panting in pets

Your thick-coated husky may pant continuously during the summer, but their breathing should calm with rest and a cool environment. However, pets who pant excessively or breathe heavily while at rest may have a health condition such as heart disease, anxiety, respiratory conditions, endocrine disorders, or obesity. If your furry pal continues to pant despite relaxing in a cool, comfortable spot, our Haskell Valley Veterinary Clinic team should assess their health.

#10: Limping in pets

While an acute injury that causes obvious limping certainly requires immediate veterinary care, a subtle limp that seems to come and go also needs attention. Although pets typically get along fine on three legs, lameness that does not resolve with a few days of rest warrants an exam. Limping that seems to improve, then worsen, or even shift legs, may be caused by the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear
  • Lyme disease
  • Patellar luxation

We understand that you may be tempted to see if your pet’s condition will resolve on its own. However, if your pet exhibits illness signs for more than a few days, call our Haskell Valley Veterinary Clinic team to discuss your furry pal’s issue, so we can determine whether an exam is warranted.