How can I tell that my animal is unwell?

In spite of your best efforts to maintain a clean and healthy living environment for your pet, the risk of them becoming ill will always be present. Whether a mild cold or a life-threatening condition, early diagnosis is the key to quick and easy recovery. In order to ease your duty, We have provided you with a small guide, containing some of the most common signs you should always be vigilant for.

The first changes, which you will notice when your pet becomes sick or is in pain, are in its behaviour. How they will manifest depends on the type and number of pain centres, the illness, the animal’s personality, the environment and other factors. Usually you may observe some of the following patterns:

  • Tiredness
  • Solitude
  • Unwarranted fear
  • Unwarranted aggression
  • Hiding, pointing or watching the painful part of the body
  • Tilting of the head
  • Rubbing of the rear on the floor or on objects
  • Scratching or biting the skin
  • Plucking fur or feathers
  • Not answering when being called
  • Letting out agonizing sounds
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Pica (abnormal appetite)
  • Changes in breathing
  • Changes in posture

The skin and its features are important indicators of your pet’s well-being.
When they are healthy, animals should have soft flexible light pinkish-red skin. Mammals should have cold and wet noses. Both fur and feathers should be close to the body, glossy and smooth.
Possible changes here are:

  • Pale skin
  • Flushed skin
  • Blue skin
  • Yellow skin
  • Hardened skin
  • Cracking and pealing skin
  • Dry nose (mammals)
  • Increased or decreased body temperature
  • Sweating*
  • Vesicles or blisters
  • Swelling
  • Loss of fur or feathers
  • Chance in colour of fur or feathers
  • Black sediments at the base of fur or feathers
  • Fragile fur or feathers
  • Oily fur or feathers
  • Matting
  • Dandruff

*Carnivores have sweat glands only on their footpads.
Horses sweat intensively around their nose, eyes, mouth, at the base of the ears, on the neck, around their elbows, at the sides of their ribcage and in the inguinal region.
Birds, reptiles and amphibians do not sweat.

„The eyes are a window to the soul.“
The visible changes in the eyes are few in number, yet significant for the diagnosis of certain illnesses.
Some of them are:

  • Endophthalmos/Exophthalmos
  • Yellowing of the sclera
  • Reddening of the sclera
  • Hazy eyes
  • Uneven surface of the eyes
  • Tearing up
  • Purulent discharge around the eyes
  • Затваряне на едното око
  • Bending of the eyelid

Other changes, which you may notice, are:

  • Discharge from the nose
  • Coughing
  • Bad breath
  • Prolonged periods between bathroom usage
  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in the urine or stool

When suspicion arises, do not wait!

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