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We seem to be having a flood of sick doggies lately! Dex, Kodi, Ava, Bailey, Dolce, and Matilda to name a few (forgive me if I forgot anyone!!) I posted this a while ago, and thought it might come in handy for everyone right now. :D It is good basic information to help decide if a Vet visit is needed. I see quite a few posts where folks are questioning if they need to go or not. This may help people make the correct decision.
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Seven Symptoms Not to Ignore in Your Pet
In these tough economic times, pet owners are looking for ways to save money on their pets. Unfortunately, this also leads people to delay seeking medical care because they're uncertain if a visit to the vet is absolutely necessary. Most people know that if a pet has collapsed, had a seizure, is bleeding, bloated, unable to walk or has been injured they should see their veterinarian quickly. But what about other, more subtle symptoms? When should you absolutely, positively take your pet to the veterinarian? Here are examples of some common clinical signs that you should never ignore in your dog or cat.
1. Difficulty Breathing
Any changes in your dog or cat's breathing needs to be addressed immediately. Because cats and small dogs have small respiratory tracts, even seemingly minor breathing issues can quickly lead to life-threatening situations. If your dog or cat is coughing, panting more than normal, fatigues easily or suddenly has loud or noisy breathing, it should be examined by your veterinarian immediately. Heart and lung disease, infections, obstructions and more can cause sudden breathing problems.

2. Vomiting
Vomiting once after eating garbage is expected. Vomiting three or more times in a day is concerning and vomiting three or more times in an hour may be an emergency. Generally speaking, if your pet vomits more than three times in day, it should be seen by your veterinarian. There are numerous causes of vomiting in dogs and cats, fortunately most of them are non-life-threatening. Don't take a chance that your pet is suffering from an intestinal obstruction, infection, pancreatitis, liver or kidney disease, hormonal imbalance or worse. The sooner your pet is diagnosed and treated, the better (and less costly) the treatment will be.

3. Diarrhea
Diarrhea that persists for more than a day should always be addressed. Because dogs and cats are smaller than humans, they can become dehydrated more quickly than we do. Additionally, no one likes to clean soiled carpets and bedding! If your pet has loose stools that last longer than a day, do your pet (and yourself) a favor and have it checked out. Most pets can receive simple treatments that will leave them feeling better and you cleaning less in no time.

4. Sudden increase in water consumption or urination

Changes in thirst and urination can be challenging to identify in dogs and cats. If you suddenly observe your dog or cat constantly at their water bowl, asking to go out more frequently or you notice you are changing the litterbox more often, take your pet to the vet. These clinical signs may be associated with diabetes, kidney or liver disease, kidney or bladder infections, poisoning, hormonal diseases and more.

5. Dark or bloody stools

Dark, black or tar-like stools are often associated with digested blood in the feces. Bright red blood often accompanies colitis or anal gland conditions. Either way, you should have your pet checked out when you see changes in their feces. Bleeding ulcers, intestinal parasites, foreign objects and more can cause dark or bloody stools and should be treated as quickly as possible.

6. Not eating for 48 hours

A pet's appetite is preserved unless there is something seriously wrong. When a dog or cat doesn't eat for two consecutive days, you should be worried. By delaying treatment, your pet experiences further nutritional deficiencies that may prolong or complicate their recovery. Cats, especially those that are overweight, that don't eat may also develop acute life-threatening liver failure. Take your pet's lack of appetite very seriously and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

7. Unable to defecate or urinate

A pet that is straining or unable to urinate or defecate is in immediate danger. Besides the risk of bladder or urethral rupture, kidney failure, blood poisoning, seizures and even worse conditions is great, your pet should have medical attention immediately. Many dogs and cats start out straining to go to the bathroom only to suddenly develop complete blockage. Male dogs and cats are at particular risk for urethral or urinary obstructions.

While this is not a complete list of symptoms that require immediate medical condition, it is a “wish-list” that many veterinarians wish their clients would heed. Too many pets suffer needlessly or must endure more involved treatments due to delayed treatment. Use these seven symptoms as a guideline and always err on the side of caution when dealing with your pet. They can't tell us what's wrong or how they feel. It's up to us to be their guardians and pay close attention to the subtle signs they give us.

Wags and purrs,
Dr. Ernie
 

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Great article! Thanks for posting it!

Just my opinion, but I would never wait 48 hours to take Maltese who isn't eating to the vet. Toy breeds dehydrate quickly. Lady has had to be hospitalized or get subq fluids after only 24 hours and she is eight pounds.
 

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Great article! Thanks for posting it!

Just my opinion, but I would never wait 48 hours to take Maltese who isn't eating to the vet. Toy breeds dehydrate quickly. Lady has had to be hospitalized or get subq fluids after only 24 hours and she is eight pounds.
I hear ya! But I didn't really want to edit this vets article. Dehydration is proportionate to weight, that's why little dogs and babies need to be treated quickly! Personally, if I have a vomiting dog with a absent appetite, I just go to the vet. I don't wait at all. Vomiting and no eating spell trouble for maltese.
 

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Pam - thanks - great article. Sort of a Medical Cliff Note for Maltese owners!! I'm praying that all our "kids" get better. This is so distressing. :smcry:
 

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Good info! But Ava didn't have any of those symptoms. she was just lathargic and not "herself". This morning I decided something was definitely not right. you know your own dog....and if they're "not right" you just can't let it go on for too long.
 

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Very good info! Thanks for posting Pam! And I hope all the sick fluffs feel better soon and nothing is serious.
 

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Great article.
Pat - is Ava ok?

Well she wasn't but I took her to the vet. She had a temp and her white blood cell count was high. They gave her fluids under her skin and two other needles. Now she's on antibiotics and seems to be improving, although she's not 100% yet. Thanks for asking.
 

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Good info! But Ava didn't have any of those symptoms. she was just lathargic and not "herself". This morning I decided something was definitely not right. you know your own dog....and if they're "not right" you just can't let it go on for too long.
Mother's intuition! :thumbsup:
 
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