How can i tell if my pet is sick?

Vomiting or diarrhea can also be due to many other causes, such as gastrointestinal diseases or parasitic infections that include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, or giardia, Stickney says. These two symptoms in pets are vague, but if they persist, a vet should check the causes. Dogs and cats stop eating for a variety of reasons, such as fever, pain, or stress. Lack of appetite or lack of appetite, especially if it lasts longer than 24 hours, is a reason to take the animal to the vet, says John Randolph, DVM, a graduate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and professor of medicine at the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine.

If you notice that your dog is vomiting, this is a clear sign that your dog is sick or at least has an upset stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are often the most common first signs of the disease. If your dog vomits once, but otherwise acts normally, the problem may not be as serious. However, vomiting can also be a sign of a more serious illness.

Keep an eye on your dog and call the vet if he vomits several times in a day, vomits blood, or if he has any of the following symptoms. Your pet may need diagnostic tests that include blood tests, urine tests, heartworm tests or tests for tick-borne diseases, an electrocardiogram to check the heart rate, and other diagnoses. To help you know what to look for, WebMD asked several experts to provide you with six warning signs that should prompt a call or a visit to the vet to learn about your pet's health. Once your pet receives treatment, be sure to finish all medications that have been prescribed and report any new or worsening symptoms to your pet's vet immediately.

But what should diligent pet parents do between vet visits to protect the health of their pets? To prevent human exposure to parasites, such as hookworms and roundworms, Meadows suggests regularly deworming pets. When you pet your dog, feel everywhere and look for anything out of the ordinary, such as rashes or bumps. And oftentimes, even the best-intentioned pet owners attribute these subtle changes to the normal aging process. However, according to experts, a pet that vomits, especially several times in a day, acts lethargically and lacks appetite needs the attention of a veterinarian.

A pet whose lethargy is not due to an obvious reason, such as running for a long time in the dog park, may need to visit the vet, especially if other symptoms occur, such as changes in exercise tolerance, weakness, collapse, or loss of consciousness. Sometimes pet owners don't know that their dog has lost weight until the vet weighs it. Pets that suffer from stiffness, lameness, inability to bear weight on one leg, or problems getting off the floor may have hip or spinal arthritis, disc disease, torn ligaments, or hip dysplasia. This is especially important if a family member has a weakened immune system, such as because of cancer or AIDS, or if young children play in areas where pets defecate.

The best way to know for sure if your cat or dog is having an emergency with a pet is to contact your pet's doctor.

Chandra Vangompel
Chandra Vangompel

Subtly charming pizza junkie. Hardcore travel maven. Proud pop culture nerd. Extreme food evangelist. Total pop culture guru.