Common Symptoms of a Sick Pet

Much like with children, having a sick pet can be a scary experience because we love our pets so much and don’t want to see any harm come to them. As a pet owner, you know your dog’s or cat’s usual behavior and have the best advantage to quickly spot when your beloved pet is not acting himself. The following list of symptoms are common ways that our pets let us know that something isn’t right.

If your pet is displaying any of these symptoms call your vet immediately:

  • Decrease in or loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Lumps or tumors
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Straining or inability to urinate or defecate
  • Increased shedding or bald patches
  • Excessive scratching or licking of the body
  • Foul odor coming from the mouth, ears or skin
  • Limping
  • Seizures
  • Reluctance or difficulty in getting up or going up and down stairs
  • Abnormal vocalization (whining or crying)
  • Hiding
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Blood in the urine or stool

Symptoms that require you to take your pet to the vet immediately:

  • inability to urinate
  • bloated hard abdomen
  • excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • seizures
  • inability to stand up


  • Ask the vet for a demonstration of how to properly administer your pets medications before going home.
  • Allow your pet to rest in a quiet place away from loud noises, other pets and children.
  • Have your pet abstain from straining activities until he is fully recovered.
  • Remind family members of any dietary restrictions your pet must follow.
  • Help your pet with going up and down stairs if necessary.
  • Report any worsening symptoms or new symptoms to your veterinarian immediately.
  • Return to your vet for any follow up appointments.
  • Finish all medication prescribed even if your pet appears to be fully recovered.

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