HOW TO HELP YOUR VET HELP YOUR PET!
Dogs and cats cannot tell us when something doesn't feel right. However, there are ways that they can show us that they are having a health problem. Even if you can't quite put your finger on what is not normal about your pet’s behavior or health, you can be the key to helping your vet figure out what needs to be done. The most important thing to make a note of is your pet's "ins and outs". When you bring your pet into the hospital your vet will often ask you whether your pet is eating and drinking, urinating and defecating normally. Information about changes in these four necessary functions is very helpful. If you have a doggy door so that your dog or cat can leave or enter the house at will, make a note of how often they go in and out. Periodically, follow your dog out to the yard so that you can see how much they are urinating and whether their stool is normal. This will give you an idea of what their normal state looks like. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, keep your kitty inside for a day with litter, food and water so that you can make a note of the "ins and outs". If you have multiple cats and you are unsure of which one is having a problem, isolate each cat in turn in a room with litter, food and water beginning with the cat you are most suspicious of. Changes in the frequency and amount of urination and defecation and firmness of the stool can indicate that there is a problem. Pay attention to how much your dog or cat normally eats and drinks. If your pet’s appetite or thirst have increased or decreased significantly this can be an indication that there is a problem. Early identification of a problem can lead to the discovery of a disease process that can be caught before it is too severe to be managed or resolved. When your vet asks you if there have been any changes in these four functions and your answer is, "I have no idea", than it will be significantly more difficult for your vet to narrow down what diagnostics would be the most informative and what treatment is most likely to resolve the situation. You are your vet's eyes and ears at home. You can be the most important part of solving a health problem so start paying attention to "ins and outs" today!