Whilst a lump or a limp is generally quite obvious, some pet health issues can be more subtle, particularly in the early stages.
Potentially sneaky health issues include organ diseases or hormonal imbalances, which can come on gradually. Common internal issues that can start quite subtly include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Hyperthyroidism in cats
- Cushing’s disease in dogs
- Heart disease
Regular vet checks are a great way of identifying these issues, so we recommend annual checks for young pets and six-monthly checks for animals eight years of age or older. Before your pet undergoes any procedure (such as dental treatments), it’s worth requesting thorough pre-anaesthetic blood tests to check your pet’s red and white blood cells, and basic organ parameters. It’s not uncommon that we unexpectedly detect early health issues in this way, particularly in older pets.
However, given that your pet spends most of their time at home, it’s really useful for you to be able to monitor some basic health parameters too. As well as keeping an eye on your pet’s general behaviour and looking for any obvious signs of unwellness (such as coughing or weight loss), it also helps to monitor their EDUF.
EDUF refers to your pet’s eating and drinking levels, and the quality and quantity of their urine and faeces. In many cases, we can notice:
- An increased appetite (and potentially weight loss despite this), in cases of hyperthyroidism or diabetes
- Increased drinking and urination in cases of chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease or diabetes
- Increased defecation in cases of pancreatic insufficiency or chronic gut disease
If you notice any changes in your pet’s activities that concern you, give us a call to discuss whether any further investigation is advised. We guarantee, our friendly team will not be perturbed if you wish to phone us to discuss the state of your cat or dog’s poo! We love poo talk!!