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Is Fluffy Unhealthy? Common Cat and Dog Issues

fat dog lying on food bowl

Your human family members can complain when they feel under the weather, but things get more complex for pets. Our furry friends aren’t just unable to tell us when they’re unwell; many cats and dogs actively hide their symptoms.

It’s a coping mechanism that kept their wild ancestors safe during tough times, but it can cause real problems at home. You can help keep tabs on your pets’ health by learning about the most common ailments, their symptoms, and appropriate treatments.

1. Obesity

Concerns about obesity may be overblown, but one thing is still true: 25 to 40 percent of our pets are overweight or obese. Those numbers are growing as more animals live sedentary, housebound lives or receive inappropriate foods. While a few extra ounces might not seem like a big deal, they can add up. Overweight and obese pets are more likely to suffer from joint and mobility problems. They might also develop diabetes or conditions such as fatty liver disease. Learn how to check your pet’s body condition to keep him or her healthier.

2. Arthritis

This condition frequently affects older dogs and cats, making life difficult and painful. You might not realize that your pet is in pain right away, though. Most animals act normally until the condition becomes severe. It’s also hard to tell arthritis symptoms from other problems. If your dog or cat seems to slow down or avoids climbing stairs, it might be time for a visit to your local vet. Simple exercise or medication could help your pet live a longer, more comfortable life.

3. Dental Problems

Many pet owners wouldn’t dream of brushing a dog or cat’s teeth, but they should. Even Fido can suffer from plaque and tartar deposits that can lead to decay or inflammation. In severe cases, dental issues can stop your pet from eating correctly. Dental infections can even be life threatening. Clean your pet’s mouth regularly if he or she can tolerate it, and use a treat or food designed to keep teeth in good condition. Once a year, get the vet to perform a deeper cleaning that will help your furry friend stay in good health.

4. Ear Infections

If your dog or cat spends a lot of time shaking its head or seems off-balance, an ear infection could be the culprit. About 20 percent of dogs and 10 percent of cats suffer from ear conditions, most of which can be prevented by regular cleaning. Ask your vet to teach you how to care for your pet’s ears for a happier, healthier family.

5. Parasites

Fleas, ticks, worms and other parasites can be a big issue for many pets, especially those with access to the outside. These tiny creatures are responsible for a lot of itching and discomfort. They can also cause anemia, nutritional problems, and even death.

The good news is that you can treat your pet for multiple parasites at the same time. Choose a topical product based on ivermectin or a similar systemic anti-parasitic medication. It will help keep away fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and even heartworms. The treatment is simple, and it could save your pet’s life!


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