Experienced pet owners know when they beloved dog or cat is feeling unwell, but it can be tempting to take on the role of ‘vet’ and try to self-diagnose. The following are pet symptoms you should never ignore.
Vomiting and Coughing
It is natural for cats to cough up a hairball every once in a while (just not so pleasant for those who clean it up!) but if you notice that Sally the cat is coughing and vomiting more than usual this could be an indication of kidney failure or inflammatory bowel disease, according to Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC, in the article 3 pet symptoms to never ignore.
Dr. Lee goes on to state that coughing is never normal in cats. If your cat has started coughing, this could be caused by asthma, which can worsen and lead to chronic lung disease, or even death, if left untreated.
If your once active cat now spends much more time snoozing than chasing after her mouse toy, it is easy to dismiss the change and put it down to mere exhaustion or boredom. Listlessness is actually a subtle cue that something could be seriously wrong, such as kidney disease, a urinary tract infection or even cancer. Do not ignore listlessness in your pet by trying to self-diagnose.
Unless you are a qualified vet, you are unlikely to come up with the right diagnosis. Take your pet along to the veterinarian for a medical examination, just to be on the safe side. A clean bill of health will come as a relief, rather than the shocking discovery of advanced cancer that was missed during the early stages.
Unsuccessful Urination Attempts
If your male cat has been trying to urinate, but appears to be straining to go with no success, this could be an indication of a feline urethral obstruction. This condition makes it difficult for cats to urinate, which causes incredible pain and suffering to cats, as well as temporary kidney failure, and even death. Take your cat to the veterinarian, who will be able to diagnose the problem and remove the blockage.
Show your pets you care by checking on any unusual or uncharacteristic symptoms such as vomiting and coughing, listlessness and unsuccessful urination attempts. Ignoring such symptoms can be life-threatening for your pets.
Prevention.com, 3 Pet symptoms to never ignore, by Justine. A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC.