How Do You Know if Your Pet is Sick?

Prevention is the medicine. Have your pet fully vaccinated every year; supervise your pet; and provide your pet with a proper diet and adequate exercise.

Even with all of the above, your pet may still get sick. While it can be difficult to know when to call the vet, here are a few guidelines in recognizing a sick pet:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Unexplained or sudden weight loss.
  • Significant loss of appetite or increased appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Pawing at ears or shaking head.
  • Lumps on body.
  • Significant fur loss (notjust shedding, which is normal); dull, patchy coat.
  • Persistent sneezing or coughing.
  • Abnormal discharge from the eyes or nose.
  • Stiffness or weakness in any joints; pet moves with difficulty.
  • Straining to urinate or defecate. Inability to urinate is an emergency– get your cat to the vet immediately.
  • Injury.

Note:Keep the name and number of the closest emergency vet clinic (for after-hours pet care), as well as those of your regular vet, close by the telephone.