Posted On 14 Nov 2020
Did you know pets often hide illness or pain? This is an age-old survival tactic to protect themselves against predators in the wild. But there are 7 signs of trouble with your pet you cannot ignore!
Although our dogs are now domesticated, signs of sickness, injury or pain are often still hidden. But as their guardian, you must know which signs should never be ignored when it comes to your pet’s health and well-being. Even subtle signs may indicate potential health issues, injury or pain.
Keep reading to learn the 7 signs of trouble with your pet that should never be ignored!
When in pain, pets often decrease their normal activities. This could present in a few ways including decreased:
- Appetite (due to illness, pain or even mouth/tooth pain).
- Grooming (or excessive grooming too).
- Play or other normal behaviors.
Exercise, warmer temperatures and excitement can cause normal panting. Panting becomes an issue when it is excessive and labored breathing lasting. Heavy panting could mean:
- Heart Failure
- Cushing’s Disease (excessive cortisol, a stress hormone)
- Pneumonia or even lung tumors
Excessive (and Unusual) Drooling
With some K9 breeds, drooling is just a fact of life! Canines like boxers, bloodhounds, mastiffs, Great Danes and Saint Bernards drool even when there is no issue.
But sudden, excessive (and unusual) drooling may indicate some health issues requiring immediate attention like:
- Dental issues/pain
- Ingestion of a toxic plant
- Potential neurological issue
Excessive Water Drinking
On warmer days or after a lot of activity, pets can drink a lot of water. But when your pet does not seem to be able to quench their thirst, it is time to visit your vet! Drinking too much water could mean:
- Kidney failure
- Diabetes or Cushing’s disease
- Excessive panting
- Another health issue
If your pet starts showing limb lameness or difficulty in standing or laying down, this could indicate arthritis/joint pain or an injury. Thorns, splinters, grass awns and even rock salt, can become embedded in tender toes and paws and lead to limping. Other issues could signal a pulled muscle, sprained ligament or even a broken bone. Injured dogs will often still try to move with serious injuries so do not overlook subtle signs.
When pets begin to display unusual changes in behavior, it may mean sickness or pain. You could see:
- Head tilting or hanging
- Unusual posture or stance
- Inactivity or hyperactivity
- Fear, anxiety or hiding
- Collapse or profound lethargy
- Excessive diarrhea or vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Erratic or disoriented behaviors
Changes in Normal Pet Odors
Healthy pets do not stink! The following odors may require your vet’s immediate attention and intervention.
- Bad breath (dental disease, oral cancer, diabetes or kidney failure)
- Foul-smelling ears (ear infections)
- Smelly skin (allergies, bacterial or yeast infections)
- Stinky and frequent gas or flatulence (gastrointestinal issues)
Remember, you know your pet best!
If something seems “off,” do not wait to contact your regular vet for their professional help. In many cases, time could be of the essence!
Known to many of her clients as the “Fur Therapist,” Taria has been featured as a pet grooming expert for over 25 media outlets (TV, radio and print), including the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Tribune and Magazine, Grooming Business magazine and others. Click here to learn more about Taria on LinkedIn.
Servicing: Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Philadelphia and Bucks counties, Southern New Jersey and parts of Delaware.
Avery’s Mobile Pet Spa offers full spa and styling experiences to express touch-up grooming. Click here to learn more about our services, call 877-528-3797 or email for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment.
Additional Reading and Resources:
Grand Valley Animal Hospital: Pet Pain – Why Animals Hide It and What You Cando to Help
Nationwide Pet Insurance: 5 Signs to Never Ignore in Pets
Bentley & Friends: Signs of Illness to Never Ignore in Your Pet
PetCareRX.com: 10 Symptoms in Older Dogs You Shouldn’t Ignore