Gina Kang, DVM
Special to the Sun

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February 8, 2013
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Vet Care Plus | Recognizing when your pet is sick

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - Cats and dogs sometimes have a hard time telling us they are not feeling well. In some cases, our furry loved ones won't let us know until they are really sick. However, there are some signs owners may notice at home before things get more serious.

Decreased energy and appetite. Some pets can be picky eaters, but if your pet has not eaten in more than 24 hours, please consult your veterinarian.

Vomiting and/or diarrhea. Please consult your veterinarian if your pet has been vomiting or has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours. Patients can get dehydrated very quickly from fluid loss from diarrhea and or vomiting.

Increased drinking and urination. If you notice you have been filling up your pet's water bowl more often, you may want to have him/her checked by a veterinarian. There are many different types of conditions that can cause increased drinking and urination, and they may be an early indicator of one of the more serious of these diseases, such as kidney disease and diabetes mellitus.

Behavior. Abnormal behaviors such as hiding or a change in vocalization can be subtle signs your pet is sick.

Weight loss or weight gain. Patients that are eating the same amount of food every day should not be losing or gaining weight quickly. Please consult your veterinarian promptly if you notice an unexplained change in your pet's weight.

Limping. Pets do not necessarily vocalize when they are in pain. If your pet is limping, he or she is most likely in pain as part of whatever is causing the limp.

Excessive scratching, licking, biting, or chewing. Most dogs exhibit allergies by licking their feet or scratching. These patients can also get secondary skin infections. Maintaining healthy skin is also important in maintaining healthy lives for our pets.

Difficulty chewing or bad breath. Dental disease is a common medical problem in our pets. If you notice your pet has bad breath or difficulty chewing, he or she may benefit from having a dental prophylaxis.

- Gina Kang, DVM is with The Doctor's Office for Pets, Animal Outpatient Care Center of Truckee-Tahoe, 10939A Industrial Way, Truckee, 530-587-5144. If you have any questions or topics you would like us to write about please contact us at docsofficeforpets@sbcglobal.net.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Feb 8, 2013 07:27PM Published Feb 8, 2013 07:25PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.