It isn’t uncommon for owners to get the sense that something’s just not right with their pet, but be unable to characterize the problem so they can tell the veterinarian.
Sometimes, changes in your pet’s health are subtle and occur over weeks or months. It can require all of your attention and perception to identify what has changed. We’ve developed a simple health inventory to help guide you in characterizing your pet’s health. This list can be used for a monthly assessment of your pet’s health or reviewed prior to going to the veterinarian so that you can be sure to tell him or her about all the changes your pets is experiencing. The more information your vet has, the easier he or she can diagnose any underlying conditions.
What is your pet’s general demeanor?
Has his level of activity changed? Has his interest in playing changed? Does he tire more easily?
Does he sleep through the night?
Are his eyes bright or dull? Does he have a discharge from his eyes? What color is the discharge?
Does he hug the wall or the furniture when he walks?
Has his hearing changed?
Does he paw at his ears?
Does he scratch his head, muzzle, or ears on the carpet or furniture?
Is he overweight? Underweight? Has there been an unexplained weight change?
Has his appetite changed?
Is he drinking more or less water than usual?
Does he have a cough? What does it sound like?
Does he have vomiting, diarrhea, constipation?
Does he drag his bottom or scoot his rear across the grass or carpet?
What is the condition of his coat? Is it dull? Lifeless? Dry? Shinny? Are there bare or bald spots? Has his coat thinned? If it has thinned, is the thinning all over or just in certain areas?
Has he been scratching? Is he scratching all over or in one particular spot?
What is the condition of his nails?
Are there any unusual or unpleasant odors from his mouth, ears, skin?
Is he alert and listening to you?
Is he having more accidents (urine or feces) than usual?
Does he appear to be in pain? Does he back away when you try to touch him in certain places? Does he growl when you touch him? Is he favoring or guarding a part of his body?
Are there any signs of recent injury?
Are his movements smooth? Does he favor one paw or leg over the others? When he moves, is his reach even on the left and right sides?
Does he show stiffness in his joints? Does he have difficulty lying down or getting up?
Does he hold his head erect and straight?