It is important that pet parents be able to interpret changes in an animal’s appearance, bodily functions, and behavior in order to quickly note signs of illness. A pet parent must always be attentive, familiarizing themselves with the animal’s habits so unusual changes in behavior can be recognized. Like people, animals sometimes have symptoms so severe it is obvious they require quick professional treatment.
Here is a short list of some symptoms that require immediate attention:
- General Labored breathing, excessive panting, or incessant coughing
- Vomiting of blood or bile
- Severe diarrhea, especially if accompanied by vomiting
- Pronounced limping or paralysis
- Unconsciousness, seizures, or fainting
Keep your pet animals’ eyes clean of any discharge. Large, daily discharge can indicate infection of the eye or illness in the animal.
It is best to have the veterinarian check the ears for infection prior to bringing the animal home. Mites, bacteria, or plain old dirt can accumulate in the ears of animals that have been stray or unkempt; each of these requires a different treatment therapy.
Be aware of signs of ear problems: a foul odor, persistent shaking his/her head, rubbing it against the floor, holding it tilted to one side, or scratching his/her ears. Infections can settle deep into the ear canal, so don’t be misled if you can’t see any dirt or inflammation inside the ear. If signs are neglected, it can be painful and lead to long, involved treatment. See your pet care veterinarian.
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