10 symptoms you should never ignore in your pet

  • by DR Roxanne Jones
10 symptoms you should never ignore in your pet

Not sure whether to rush your pet to the vet or if you’re overreacting? Here’s a list of 10 of the most common symptoms that require medical attention.

Bear in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and you should never take a chance with your pet’s health. If you’re worried, talk to your vet - don’t just ignore the symptoms.

  1. Not eating. If your animal stops eating for longer than 48 hours, he is not well, and whatever is causing the issue probably won’t just go away on its own. You should definitely take your furbaby to the vet as soon as possible.
  2. Vomiting. Severe vomiting (more than three to four times in a day) that lasts longer than 24 hours requires medical attention.
  3. Bloody diarrhoea. This is serious and potentially life threatening. Urgent treatment is required.
  4. Suddenly bloated abdomen. This could be a twisted stomach, and in which case is a medical emergency.
  5. Collapsed animal. This may indicate something very serious and needs to be seen to as soon as possible.
  6. A sudden change in the colour of the mucous membranes, i.e. gums and inside of the eyelids. The normal colour is pink. Take note of your dog’s normal colour so you can tell if something is wrong. If the colour of the mucous membranes changes to white, yellow, bright red or blue/purple, or goes pale, there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed right away. If your animal is pale he is suffering from anaemia. Read more about anaemia.
  7. Breathing difficulty. This is a life-threatening emergency.
  8. A sudden change in behaviour, especially if your animal becomes noticeably aggressive. This could be rabies. Get to the vet right away. Read more about rabies.
  9. Unexplained weight loss. This indicates that  something is wrong, and your pet will need to be examined to get to the root of the problem.
  10. Bite wounds. These can be extremely deceiving. At our practice, we call it the ‘tip of the iceberg’ effect. What you see on the surface is just a tiny part of the bite - under the surface, the wound may be much worse than it appears. Proper medical care is needed to prevent major complications and infection.

This is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good start and will alert you to the fact that your pet needs quick medical attention if she displays any of these symptoms. Since she can’t talk for herself, this list is one of the best ways to keep your furbaby healthy!

Remember to keep your vet’s phone number in easy reach, and know where to find your closest 24-hour vet in case of an emergency. We’re holding thumbs - and paws! - that you never spot these or other critical ailments in your pet.

Disclaimer: Always consult your vet for professional advice. The Zuki.co.za blog is provided as an educational tool and should not be used to diagnose illness or treat an animal.

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