Most pet owners will have to deal with a pet health problem at some point. It’s important to know when to contact a vet, and when you can treat the problem yourself. You want the best for your pet, so it pays to understand the basics of pet health care.
Circumstances When a Vet is Necessary
If you suspect a serious issue, such as an injury, poisoning, or a potentially life-threatening medical condition, it’s important to contact a vet as soon as possible. In some cases, waiting too long can have dire consequences. It’s also a good idea to take your pet in if they are showing signs of discomfort or distress.
For example, serious injuries include broken bones, lacerations, deep puncture wounds, and fractures. Other signs that you need to visit a vet include difficulty breathing, sudden blindness or deafness in one or both ears, paralysis, seizures, and inability to move. If your pet has been poisoned, it’s extremely important to contact a vet immediately – many poisons have severe consequences.
Sadly, poisoning isn’t the only problem. If your pet is showing signs of a parasite such as fleas, ticks, or worms, contact your vet immediately. Other problems that require immediate attention include gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea and behavioural problems such as excessive barking or aggression.
To ensure the best health for your pet, it’s important to take them for regular checkups. These are fantastic ways to spot any potential health issues and get them treated immediately. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behaviour, contact the vet right away. This could include anything from an inability to move to excessive licking or scratching of their fur.
Finally, if your pet is pregnant or has recently given birth, it’s important to take them for regular vet visits. During the pregnancy, a vet will be able to tell you what needs to happen to ensure your pet has a safe delivery. After giving birth, the vet will check your pet’s overall health and make sure everything is alright with their newborn litter.
If you ever go away on holiday, use a cattery run by veterinarians so that you know your pet will be in good hands. The staff at the cattery or facility for any other pet type will be well-trained and can handle any unexpected health issues that might happen while you aren’t available.
Things You Can Handle At Home
On the other hand, there are some things that you may be able to handle at home. Minor cuts and scrapes can usually be treated with antiseptic cream and a bandage, and minor eye irritations can often be soothed with a warm compress.
If your pet is coughing or sneezing, they may have a common cold – this should clear up in a few days, and you can ease their symptoms with some vitamin C or honey. If your pet has an upset stomach, you may be able to help them by feeding them smaller amounts of food more often, or by offering bland foods like boiled chicken or white rice.
If you have any doubts, at least phone your vet for advice. They can suggest the best course of action, or help you to isolate the problem more effectively. In a case where your pet is in distress and seems unwell, it’s best to consult your vet immediately. If they are showing signs of extreme discomfort, lethargy or loss of appetite, it’s important to identify the problem quickly!