pet in painMany pet owners have a creative flair for imagining what their dog or cat might say in a given situation:
Fez the Siamese at mealtime: “Hmmmph. No smoked salmon today?”
Lacy the Cocker Spaniel when the owner’s ready for a walk: “Oh BOY, OH BOY, OH BOY…..I can’t WAIT!!!”
Any critter on the vet’s table during a rectal exam: “How ruuuuude!”
Unfortunately, the one time that pet owners have trouble imagining what their pets are thinking or feeling is when they’re in pain. Dogs and cats naturally conceal pain because their instincts tell them that showing any weakness is dangerous for their survival.
So your first clue that your cat suffers from feline cardiomyapathy, the most common feline heart disease, could be when your vet detects a heart murmur, or a sudden paralysis of a hindlimb. Subtle symptoms like a reduced appetite or shortness of breath are easy to overlook or attribute to simply having a senior pet.
A cat that drinks and drinks and creatively initiates a new litter box in your teenage daughter’s open dresser needs to be checked for diabetes. A usually docile cat that’s suddenly aggressive or bites his tail base, forelegs or paws could be signaling pancreatitis. Unfortunately, the cat is unable to cry out “My abdomen really HURTS!”
Unexplained weight loss, lameness without injury or an older dog that’s not thriving are all symptoms that could point to cancer. Early intervention can make your pet more comfortable and greatly improve his odds of overcoming cancer as well as other diseases.
When owners observe a marked change in their pet’s behavior, it’s wise to consider what the underlying cause is. Make notes of these changes to discuss with your veterinarian. What you may think is insignificant may be the missing link to the diagnostic puzzle.
Pet owners need to be detectives of sorts -and masters of observation. Whenever you question something a little different or new to your pet, it’s a good idea to bring her in for a consultation here at Town N Country Animal Hospital. Your observation combined with our experience will best promote your pet’s good health and well being.