8 Reasons to Contact Your Vet

Photo: Cheryl G.

Pet parents often struggle with the decision to take their pet to the vet. Not every pet ailment requires a doctor’s attention. But how do you know which problems require the attention of a veterinarian and which issues can be treated at home.  The following tips will help you to prioritize and treat your pets as needed.

  • Odd Eating Habits

           Although it is not unusual for your pet to skip a meal or two, especially when it is hot, two days without eating is a concern.

  • Excessive Thirst

           Dogs naturally drink and urinate; however, if you notice that your dog is drinking more frequently and urinating more frequently or having     accidents in the house, it is time to visit the vet.       

  • Change in Coat

           Pet owners know their pet’s coat. It should be shiny, thick, and soft. If that changes or bald spots appear, a veterinarian should be consulted.

  • Fatigue and Tiredness

          All animals have days when they are just tired, but when this fatigue and sluggishness lasts more than two days, it is time to see a vet.

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea

          From time to time all animals get sick and vomit or have diarrhea, but when your pet vomits frequently or several times in a row, vomits blood,    or has a fever, you should call the vet immediately.

  • Sudden Weight Loss

          Sudden loss of weight should prompt you to take him to the vet. Losing weight quickly and unexpectedly could indicate a serious health condition. If your dog drops in weight by 10 percent, bring this to your vet’s attention. In small dogs, this may be as little as a 1-pound weight loss.

  • Cloudy or Red Eyes

          Cloudy or red eyes, squinting, or excessive discharge from your dog’s eyes could indicate an infection. Make sure you bring your dog for a checkup right away.

  • Limping

         If you pet is limping but still able to put weight on it, the likelihood of a break is low. If there is swelling and the animal is not able to bear weight, contact your veterinarian.

According to Edward Cooper, VMD, associate professor of small animal emergency and critical care at The Ohio State University, there are 

3 times to call the vet ASAP 

Your pet got hit by a car: Even if your pet can walk away, it should be seen immediately. Call the nearest emergency clinic and give a heads-up that you’re coming. 

Your animal ate something suspicious: If your vet isn’t familiar with the toxin, he may suggest calling the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

The fur was flying: Warning: Trying to break up an animal fight puts you at risk of getting bitten. Once the fight is over and you’re able to get your pet away, bring it in to be checked out. 

Although serious injuries are scary, knowing the phone number and address of your local emergency veterinary clinic ahead of time can save you precious seconds.

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