Question: My dog has a black mole in his mouth that is growing. Should I be concerned? My dog Maverick has a mole in his mouth that is increasing in size as he grows older. Should I have it checked out? -Michael Answer: Dear Michael, Thank you for submitting your question about Maverick! Anytime that… Read More
Pet Health Problems & Concerns
Anyone who’s owned a pet can tell you that at some point in their life, they’re going to have a health problem. Whether it’s a simple cold virus, or a more serious medical condition, pet parents should be on the lookout for signs of illness in their pets, and ready to provide them with the required treatment to get them well again.
Common health problems and concerns in pets
There are a number of different health problems that pets will encounter, with some being more common than others. Here are a few pet health problems and concerns pet parents should be aware of.
At some point in their life, nearly every dog or cat is going to experience fleas and ticks. Especially if your pet spends any amount of time outdoors, you’ll want to make flea and tick checks — as well as the use of preventative products like drops or collars — a regular part of your care routine.
Mites are another issue that affect most pets at some point, but is most often an issue when they are young. Mites are microscopic, and can affect dogs, cats, and other animals such as birds and reptiles. Treating mites usually involves using medicated shampoos or applying a topical poison to kill them.
Parasites and worms are another common health concern for pets. Heartworms are probably the most well-known, and are an issue for pets throughout the world. Your pet will require preventatives to keep heartworm at bay, as well as regular blood tests to check for infection. Other worms that affect pets are hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms, which can all be treated by giving a deworming product.
Pets are subject to many of the same infections as humans, such as influenza and colds. They can also experience species-specific issues. Viruses and bacteria can also cause health problems for pets with open wounds or immune-compromising disease.
Obesity is a growing health concern for pet parents, with nearly as many as 50% of pets affected. Providing your pet with a balanced diet and ample exercise are the best ways to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
Bone and joint problems affect pets of all stripes, and include health concerns such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and torn ligaments. Treatment will vary depending on the cause, but many pets take supplements or anti-inflammatory medications to help manage symptoms.
Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and organ disease also affect pets in many of the same ways they affect their human counterparts. Routine veterinary check ups can help to catch many of these issues before they become bigger problems.
Signs of health problems and concerns in pets
If your pet is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, it’s best to have them seen by a vet as soon as possible to evaluate their condition and get them the medical care they need. Signs of health problems and concerns in pets include:
- Loss of appetite
- Loose or bloody stools
- Discharge from the eyes, ears, or nose
- Trouble walking, eating, or drinking
- Sudden changes in their personality, activity levels, or behavior
- Excessive pawing at the eyes, ears, or nose
- Signs of pain such as whining, crying, squinting, or limping
- Obvious injury such as bleeding or a broken bone
Most pets will live a long and healthy life with a quality food, access to clean drinking water, adequate exercise, and routine preventative veterinary care. That doesn’t mean they won’t get sick from time to time, or befall an accident that requires treatment. But, with a little bit of prevention and a whole lot of love, your pet can live a happy and healthy life for many years to come.
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