When we feel under the weather, we know to pay a visit to our doctor. If you’re a pet parent, you have the responsibility to care for your pet and ensure that he’s comfortable at all times. When pets fall ill we have to be extremely observant of their symptoms. It’s wise to observe your pet’s daily interactions and behaviors when he’s feeling well for your point of reference when he’s ill.

“Health is not valued till sickness comes.” – Thomas Fuller

We Care, too

At Petmate® we have pets, too, and we truly care about their overall health and wellness. When our pets feel ill, we feel it, as well. So we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 dog and cat illnesses that every pet parent should be aware of.

If you think that your dog or cat might have any of the following ailments, contact your local vet immediately.

1. Obesity: Unfortunately overweight pets are more prone to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and premature death. Make sure your pets are always active by playing with them regularly. You can have them play fetch with toys or climb pet steps to exercise their legs if they're not well enough to go outside. Check with your vet for a diet and exercise routine that will keep your pet healthy and active for years to come.

2. Heartworm: This disease is spread by mosquitoes in all 50 states. Contact your vet for an annual heartworm test and monthly preventative treatment suitable for your pet’s size and age.

3. Dental Disease: If your pet has bad breath for days, you’ll probably want to contact your vet for a checkup. Pets develop tartar, gum disease, and cavities that can require professional treatment.

4. Parvovirus: This disease is commonly known as “Parvo” and typically is seen in puppies and kittens. The sooner this disease is caught, the more likely your pet will survive. The major symptoms associated with the intestinal form of a canine parvo infection include severe, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, and severe weight loss. If your pet shows any of these signs, contact your vet right away.

5. Distemper: This often fatal disease is seen mostly in puppies that aren’t vaccinated. This disease comes with neurological symptoms, and if your pet survives, he may suffer long-term effects. The first signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression, and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus.

6. Rabies: This fatal disease first gained recognition in the touching classic Old Yeller. While this disease is always fatal, as a pet parent it’s imperative that you ensure your pet is vaccinated for this disease regularly.

7. Flea and Tick-Borne Diseases: These pesky critters are known to come out all-year-round, especially during the summer season. Regularly grooming your dog with a fine grooming comb also allows you to detect fleas early. Guard your pet against this disease with the aid of a preventative prescribed by your vet. You can also help prevent illness by avoiding these common bath time mistakes.

8. Arthritis: When our pets get older, we see this ailment as part of the natural aging process. While there’s currently no cure for arthritis, your vet can prescribe wonderful supplements and even acupuncture to keep your pet mobile and comfortable for years to come.

9. Diabetes: This well-known human disease can also strike our pets, too. Contact your vet to devise a preventative exercise and diet regimen to keep your pet healthy.

10. Kidney Disease: This disease is often seen primarily in cats, but when dogs become afflicted with it, they often deteriorate faster. Your vet can perform blood work to ensure that your pet is not headed down this road.

For more information on pet illnesses and how you can keep your pet healthy, check out the below link:

  1. 1 “Top 10 Most Serious Pet Diseases List”

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