Veterinarians answer the same questions day after day, but they don’t mind. Vets know that providing the proper knowledge allows pet parents to provide the best possible care. Find a veterinarian in your area here. You’ll also find the answers to six commonly asked questions about a pet’s well-being below, but be sure to follow up with a professional if a situation worsens.
1. Why has my pet suddenly become a picky eater?
Your pet can become bored with the food you provide. If he will still eat his favorite treats by the handful, head to your area pet supply store for a different food. Be sure to mix the new food with the old to allow for a gradual transition that won’t upset your pet’s tummy. If your dog or cat turns up his nose even at treats, make an appointment with your vet to rule out anything more serious than finicky eating.
2. Should I be worried about this bump?
If what you initially thought was a bug bite doesn’t go away and actually grows in size, then yes. Call your veterinarian right away. It could be a simple fatty growth, or it could be a cancerous tumor. If it is cancer, you will want to explore treatment options for your pet and make a plan.
3. What do I do when I find a tick on my pet?
Using a pair of tweezers or a tick removal tool, found at pet supply stores, grip the tick by the head and pull straight out slowly and firmly but without squeezing too hard. If you see that the tick’s mouthparts were not removed or if swelling at the site continues beyond a few days, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your vet can check for infection and suggest a tick prevention product to help keep the nasty critters at bay. If you don’t feel confident in your tick removal skills or if there are multiple ticks, take your dog or cat to a pet grooming provider ASAP.
4. Why does my pet keep scratching his neck? He doesn’t have fleas!
The answer to this question may be simple, such as he doesn’t like his new collar, or it may be complicated and require the help of a veterinarian and potentially a specialist. When your pet is secure inside, take off his collar and see if he continues to scratch. If he doesn’t, hit the pet supply store and find a collar made from a different material, one that doesn’t itch his delicate skin. If he continues to scratch, call your veterinarian and ask for advice. The doc may want to see your dog or cat or may refer you immediately to a specialist.
5. Why does my pet eat grass?
Because it’s tasty, or because your dog or cat has an upset stomach and has learned that eating grass will lead to vomiting. If your pet begins to graze like a cow, make an appointment with your vet. Otherwise, let him have a snack. One caveat: If you treat your grass with chemicals, you do not want your pet chewing on it.
6. When should my pet’s breath worry me?
You know best what your pet’s breath normally smells like. If it becomes increasingly stinky, it may be a sign of dental disease that comes about with age. Sudden stinkiness can be a sign of other serious health issues. Either way, your veterinarian can offer advice on treatment. Your best bet is to get your cat or dog used to teeth brushing at an early age, either by you or a pet grooming provider, so you can hold off professional cleaning as long as possible; it requires anesthesia and costs a pretty penny.