As a loving pet parent, you want nothing more than for your four-legged best friend to lead a healthy and happy life. Unfortunately, there are some serious health conditions that are easy to overlook because the symptoms aren’t all that obvious, and failure to diagnoses these conditions can have painful and dangerous consequences for your pet.
Keep an eye out for the subtle signs that your dog or cat may be suffering from the following ailments:
1. Kidney Disease: If you think your older cat is urinating outside of the litterbox just to be defiant, you’re probably wrong. If your kitty stops using the litter box, is drinking more water than usual, and urinating more often, kidney disease may be to blame. If you notice these symptoms, be sure to discuss them with a veterinarian.
2. Thyroid Conditions: Thyroid conditions can have serious health consequences, but the good news is they can be easily managed once diagnosed. Below are two types of thyroid disease commonly overlooked by pet owners:
Hyperthyroidism: You may think your older cat’s boundless energy is a good sign that she’s healthy and happy, but this actually could be a symptom of hyperthyroidism, or the excess production of the thyroid hormone. This condition is most often seen in older cats and can lead to chronic stomach upset, blindness, high blood pressure and heart failure.
Hypothyroidism: This condition is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged and older dogs and means the body isn’t producing enough of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms can be subtle, which is why many pet parents miss them, and include weight gain, loss of energy, and dry or itchy skin.
3. Heart Disease: Although not as common in pets as people, heart disease does affect dogs and cats. For canines, valvular disease or cardiomyopathy are the most common cardiovascular ailments. Cats are most likely to suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Some overlooked symptoms of heart disease in pets include noisy breathing and grayish gums. These conditions can be managed with medication for a fairly long period of time, especially if caught early, so it’s important for pet parents to be vigilant.