A condition which influences an animal’s health and ability to function is called a disease. Indeed, like humans, animals can become sick and may require surgery at an animal hospital, proper medication prescribed by a veterinarian, and lots of care at home to get better.
Pet owners love their companions and when the animals happen to get sick, they worry. When initial small behavioral changes were treated with simple, over the counter medication it may have brought relief to the animal, but if the symptoms keep persisting or get worse, it is best to book an appointment with the local veterinarian.
Consult your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Abnormal discharges from the nose, eyes, or other body openings,
- Loss of appetite,
- Excessive weight losses or gains,
- Abnormal thirst and water consumption,
- Unusual, difficult, or uncontrolled waste elimination,
- Abnormal behavior, sudden viciousness,
- Lack of energy and lethargy,
- Strange lumps or growths,
- Limping or difficulty moving,
- Problems getting up or lying down,
- Excessive head shaking,
- Scratching, licking, or biting of body parts,
- Dandruff, dull coat, ragged fur, or loss of hair,
- Open sores,
- Foul breath or excessive tarter deposits on teeth,
Animal diseases are of great concern to humans for several reasons. Some illnesses reduce the productivity of the animals used for food production, while others can be transmitted to humans, endangering public health. In the wild, if too many diseased animals die in a certain area the ecology will be out of balance and, in the case of pets, prevention and proper treatment can help our cats, dogs and horses, live longer and healthy lives.
Infectious animal diseases are caused by agents, such as a virus or bacteria, which penetrate the body and disrupt its natural defense mechanism. Noninfectious diseases, on the other hand, are caused by factors such as diet, environment, emotional distress, injury, and some heredity conditions. At times, the cause of a disease may be unknown, or an animal may experience a combination of diseases, all at the same time.
Healthcare can come from an animal doctor or veterinarian, who will gather a complete history of the animal, including symptoms. The doctor will then perform a thorough physical examination, which may include taking the animal’s body temperature, listening to its heart, checking its pulse, feeling its abdomen and lymph nodes, and conducting various other diagnostic tests. Once the cause of the distress has been identified the vet will then decide on a course of treatment for the patient, which may require medication and/or surgery.
There are conditions and diseases typical to animals, while others are similar to those plaguing humans. Cancer, Lyme disease, Arthritis, Toxoplasmosis, Worms and Parasites, Salmonellosis, Tuberculosis, Foot-and-Mouth disease, Rabies are just a few also quite familiar to us.
Many animal owners will sign up for animal healthcare insurance to cover basic and emergency healthcare cost in a variety of situations. This can help save them money if their animal suddenly becomes sick or has an accident. Animal healthcare can be quite costly, especially long-term, and sudden medical expenses can also be difficult to cover, when other unforeseen bills show up in your mailbox at the same time. Therefore, be smart and be prepared.