Pet owners are the best advocates for their companion animals. They are the most qualified individuals to recognize when their pet is feeling a bit off. Because we see our patients for such a small window of time, a strong veterinary-client-patient relationship is key to ensuring the prevention of common health problems and picking up early clinical signs of disease. Preventative care is always best. Early intervention can redirect the course of disease, mitigate secondary problems and prolong a happy and high quality life.
To achieve these goals, here are a few things your veterinarian would like you to know:
- Monitor your pet for the development of abnormal lumps, bumps, swellings or non-healing or slow to heal wounds. Grooming is a wonderful way to further cement the human-animal bond, ensure proper circulation and distribution of coat oils, and to detect early any dermatologic issues.
- Any changes in exercise tolerance or any incidents of sudden collapse should immediately be reported to your pets health professional as this can be a sign of serious underlying disease.
- Rapid and unexpected gains or loss of weight should be evaluated. Numerous, and often manageable metabolic diseases, if caught in the early stages, can be responsible for such clinical signs.
- Report any changes in appetite, difficulty eating or vomiting within a few hours of eating. Often times a simple cause can be detected with a conversation and a physical exam. In instances where a ready answer is not forth coming, a diagnostic work up may be recommended before other problems related to this symptom develop: dehydration, tooth loss, fatty liver syndrome, et cetera.
- Bleeding or unexplained bruising could indicate intoxication with an anti-coagulant, be symptomatic of an underlying auto immune disease or signify liver failure. Any bleeding episodes should be reported to your veterinary team as soon as possible so that a diagnosis and treatment plan can be implemented.
- Ever get a nagging cough that no matter what you try, it never seems to go away? Persistent coughing should always be evaluated, especially if persistent as it could be related to heart disease, heartworms, or lung disease.
- Changes in appetite, eating more or less than usual, or excessive water consumption and urination should also be reported. Feline patients with hyperthyroidism often become ravenous with associated weight loss. The same symptom is common in puppies with huge intestinal parasite loads. Animals experiencing increases in water intake could be suffering from acute or chronic kidney disease for which early intervention is critical.
The point is, at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, we see veterinary medicine as a team approach: Owner-Patient-Veterinarian and Veterinary Staff. We cannot help what we do not know or see. Ask us. You only want the best for your pet; so do we.