Cats and dogs age quicker than we humans. Due to genetics and other physical factors, our beloved pets share their lives with us for just a short time. Long-time fur parents understand the love that grows between human and pet and fears the pain of losing pets in the end.
Hence, we do whatever we can to lengthen the lives of these devoted animals so we can love them a little bit longer.
Keep an Eye Out for Indicators
The scariest thing to realize is that your pet is sick, and you are helpless. Visit Caring Hands Veterinary Hospital to learn more. You must be vigilant and keep an extra eye to see if there are physical and behavioral changes in our furry buddies.
Specific indicators that tell there is something wrong with pets may include a change in temperament. Sometimes it can be subtle, but it can tell that the animal is experiencing discomfort or pain. Some things to watch out for are:
- Sudden aggressiveness
- Not wanting to be touched
- Reluctance to sit or sitting on one hip
- Less or much more vocal
- Aversion to eat or drink
- Moving while urinating or defecating; also unintentional urinating and defecating
Physical Changes and Conditions
An indicator that pets require assistance is physical issues. Some may be concealed under their coats. However, these signs can be seen quickly by keeping them as well-groomed as they need to be. Give time to carefully wash and groom your pets, or try to find professional groomers who can deal with senior pets. Things to check for are:
- Pale or bright red gums
- Crusty or seeping ears, usually accompanied by a nasty smell
- Skin issues like rashes, flaking, sores, or pus
- Injuries and swelling
- Hair loss
- An obvious weight gain or loss
In many cases, heart, kidney, liver, and oral diseases will trigger emergency problems. Call your vet and rush to the emergency clinic if they are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Repeat vomiting or diarrhea
- Trouble breathing
- Failure to urinate
- Extreme pain
- Bloated or inflamed abdomen
Make sure that you have your vet’s number on hand. Calling before going to the emergency clinic alerts the team so they can prepare for your arrival.
What do the signs tell you?
The symptoms and signs tell us what they are experiencing and give us an idea of what we are looking at.
Pain manifesting in behavioral issues normally indicates that pets might be experiencing bone and joint pains. You can even see a vet oncology specialist for a diagnosis. Conditions such as arthritis, advanced osteoporosis, or bone cancer might be the culprit. Skin problems expose allergic reactions, hypothyroidism, liver disease, or diabetes.
Emergency symptoms like the failure to urinate might indicate bladder problems or kidney stones. They might be causing congestion as waste can not exit the body. Difficulty breathing might be the most major emergency scenario, and you need to hurry to the veterinarian. Low oxygen levels, also called hypoxia, can cause respiratory arrest and death if not resolved at once.
What can you do?
See that senior pets visit their veterinarian a minimum of twice a year. Let the veterinarian know of any problems you observe so that tests and lab work can be done immediately. Treatment or preventive medication can be recommended if needed. Proper grooming is likewise a must to enable you to see physical changes. Click here for more info about grooming.
Prevention will be much easier than being shocked by these symptoms and signs. As responsible pet owners, give more time and attention to your senior pets to enhance their quality of life. This will provide us a sense of peace that we have loved them well before they cross over the rainbow bridge.