6 Health Symptoms in Pets You Shouldn’t Ignore

As pet owners, it’s important to keep an eye out for digestive issues, respiratory problems, skin conditions, behavioral changes, physical changes, and your pet’s tendency to collapse. While some symptoms may seem minor, they could indicate a larger underlying issue.

If you notice these symptoms, bring your pet to an Inland Empire vet right away for tests and treatment.

1. Digestive Issues

Vomiting and diarrhea are common digestive issues in pets. While they can be caused by something as simple as a change in diet, they could also be a sign of a more severe problem, such as a bacterial infection or inflammation of the intestines.

2. Respiratory Problems

I often see that difficulty breathing, coughing, and sneezing are common signs of respiratory issues in pets. If left untreated, respiratory issues could lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia.

3. Skin Conditions

Nutritional deficiencies in pets can cause skin conditions. This may prompt them to itch, scratch, and lick more than usual. Common symptoms include inflammation, skin redness or discoloration, scaly patches, rashes, dry or flaky skin, and swelling or lumps.

4. Behavioral Changes

Pets can experience behavioral changes such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and excessive thirst. These symptoms could be caused by anything from a change in routine to a more severe issue, such as a hormonal imbalance.

5. Collapsing or Fainting

Collapsing or fainting is a serious symptom in pets that could indicate a heart issue, a blood clot, or a stroke. I often tell owners to watch out for pet weakness, disorientation, or staggering when moving.

6. Physical Changes

Physical changes such as weight loss, weakness, or swelling could indicate a more serious underlying issue such as arthritis or a tumor. Common symptoms I see in pets include a bloated, hard abdomen, poor coat condition, or a huddled posture.

When to Visit the Vet

As pet owners, you’ll want your furry friends to be healthy and happy. Here are some situations where you should consider bringing your pet to the vet.

Emergency Situations

If your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s vital to bring them to the emergency room right away:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ingestion of a toxic substance
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea

Regular Check-ups

In addition to emergencies, bringing your pet in for regular check-ups is essential. During these appointments, we can catch potential health issues early on and provide preventative care to keep your pet healthy.

  • During a check-up, I’ll perform a physical exam, check your pet’s weight, and ask about any changes in behavior or appetite.
  • I also recommend blood work, urinalysis, or other diagnostic tests to check for underlying health issues.

I recommend scheduling check-ups at least once a year for most pets and more frequently for senior pets or those with underlying health conditions.

Related Questions

What Are Common Diseases in Pets?

The common illnesses in pets include liver disease, kidney disease, lymphoma, and arthritis. Some pets can also have heart disease, hypothyroidism, or oral infection.

How Do You Know if Your Pet Is Suffering?

You’ll know your pet is suffering if it’s having trouble fighting health symptoms like physical changes, digestive problems, or respiratory issues. Pets may suffer if these symptoms result in a poor quality of life.

What Pet Behavior Should Not Be Ignored?

You shouldn’t ignore behavioral changes like lethargy or loss of appetite. It’s crucial to determine the cause of these behaviors to avoid further health problems.


Ignoring symptoms can lead to severe health issues and even death. Remember, pets cannot speak for themselves, and it is our responsibility to ensure they receive the best possible care. By being proactive and seeking veterinary care when necessary, your pets can live long, healthy lives.