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Cats and Dogs, Healthcare

When should your dog or cat go to the vet?

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

vet with dog

Doctor, doctor, please
Oh, the mess I’m in
UFO, Phenomenon, Strangers in the Night


Because of recent changes to pet vaccination schedules, your dog need not be immunized every year, and you might skip the annual visit to the veterinarian. This is not a good idea because regular visits support your pet’s well being and improve odds for early diagnosis and treatment of issues that could impact your dog’s health and longevity. But you should always be mindful of any warning signs signifying that your dog or cat should be seen by a veterinarian straight away.

If your dog suddenly loses interest in playing, going for a walk, joining in normal family activities or eating. Of course, excessively hot or humid weather slows us all down as do unusual situations (like company) where pets become stressed or insecure.

If your pet vomits frequently. Dogs will vomit occasionally from eating too much table food or something disgusting found in the yard or even when introducing a new pet food. Occasional vomiting happens, but continued vomiting more than 24 hours is a concern. Cats will sporadically vomit balls of fur from excessive licking.

If your pet develops diarrhea, especially with blood or mucus in the stool or shows signs of constipation for more than 24 hours. Dogs generally have regular firm, moist stools. Dry hard stools that are painful to pass may be a harbinger of a dietary problem or dehydration.

If your animal loses weight either suddenly or even gradually over a period of 2 to 3 months. There may be some changes in body weight and confirmation because of increased seasonal activities or dietary changes, but watch for any unexplained weight loss.

If your animal begins to drink excessive amounts of water, often accompanied by increased volumes of urine. You will generally notice that you are filling the water bowl more frequently than normal. This particular sign can indicate diabetes, especially in male cats, or malfunctioning kidneys. If you do take your pet to the veterinarian for this reason, bring along a urine sample.

If you’re pet scratches excessively, the coat looks dull or scruffy or the skin is irritated. There are various causes, including fleas, allergies or even dietary changes. Self-diagnosis can put off determining the true cause and may increase the severity of the condition.

If you pet begins shaking its head or rubbing its ears. Such actions often indicate an ear infection or foreign body, such as a foxtail, in the ear canal.

If your pet rubs frequently at the side of his face, tartar or gum irritation could be the culprit.

Pets’ lives generally go along smoothly as part of a normal active family. By watching for any unusual signs you can sing out Doctor,doctor before a condition you might not know about becomes serious.

a vet and his dogABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of California at Davis, a Master of Science Degree in Animal Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of California.  Following discharge from the Air Force as a Captain, he owned and operated the largest veterinary hospital on Cape Cod for almost twenty years. Brown is the past President of the Yavapai Humane Society Board of Directors, Branding Committee Chairman for National Animal Supplement Council and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He writes and lectures frequently on the benefits of natural and organic foods and supplements for animals and lives with his wife and a Golden doodle named Charlotte.

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