Weekly Scoop
October 28, 2020

Last week my pup Kai was acting a bit strange. He seemed 'out of it'. Sometimes he would just stand there and stare at me with this soulful look in his eyes, like "please help me mommy."

Other times, I find he stays outside longer when he goes out to 'do his biz.' I go out to see about him and he is just sitting there in the middle of the yard. What is THAT all about?

Do I take him to the vet?
Do I assume since his stool is a bit 'off' that he has a slight stomach bug and will get better without taking him to the vet?
Do I give him bland boiled chicken vs. his regular dog food?
Do I stop giving him treats until he seems better?

Does this sound familiar?

Our pets can't talk to tell us if they feel a bit off, have any pain, or have an illness and need professional help to solve. But there are behavioral signs as well as other signs we can look for which might give us a clue that they need some help.

Check out these articles for some ideas. But as always, please defer to your experience with your pets and your vet. They are your partners in the care for your pets and will know best.

Included in this edition of the newsletter:

  • 5 Common Signs That Your Dog is Sick
  • 10 Weird Cat Behaviors That Could Be Signs of a Sick Cat
  • Diagnostic Interactive Tools: Dog Chocolate Toxicity & Cat Symptom Checker

A huge thanks for your continued support and feedback!
Terry Richardson
5 Common Signs That Your Dog is Sick
Pet Health and Safety • Abby Drexler (AKC)

Dogs don't have the ability to tell us how they feel. However, anyone who has ever had a dog knows that canine body language is very expressive. Dogs will instinctively not show us that there is something wrong in the early stages of an illness. Because you know your dog, you may be able to pick up on some subtle changes in his personality and actions. These subtle changes usually indicate that something is wrong. The key to helping your dog recover quickly is noticing that there is a problem as soon as possible. Here are five warning signs that your dog may be ill and in need of veterinary attention. 

Changes in Personality 
When dogs are in pain or don't feel well, they tend to display behavioral changes. Usually, these personality changes occur suddenly. Your normally social dog may start to withdraw. Or your kind and energetic pet may begin to show snippiness, aggression or lethargy. You should pay attention to your dog if he starts to growl when you get close to a particular area of the body. Dogs may snap at you if you get too close to the source of their discomfort. Not all dogs will display negative behavior when they are ill. Some dogs may become clingy or show signs of increased neediness. If you begin to notice significant changes in your dog's behavior, you should contact your veterinarian. 

Other signs to consider are below and covered in the full article.
Unexplained Weight Loss 
Respiratory Symptoms
Elimination Issues
Loss of Appetite 
10 Weird Cat Behaviors That Could Be Signs of a Sick Cat
PetMD Editorial
Cats are naturally conditioned to mask when they’re not feeling well, so it can be difficult to detect signs of cat illness right away. However, when a cat is sick, there can be some noticeable changes in their behavior.

In fact, cat behavior often changes long before you start seeing any physical symptoms—so be on the lookout for fluctuations in the way your cat behaves, and see your veterinarian if you notice something unusual.
Here are 10 weird cat behaviors that could be signs your cat is sick.
Welcome to the PetMD Cat Symptom Checker, where you can easily search our 1,000+ cat health articles based on the symptoms your cat is experiencing. Simply select the area of the body that is being affected and then check off any appropriate symptom(s). Articles relevant to your query will appear below
What Makes Chocolate Toxic to Dogs
Chocolate contains substances known as methylxanthines (specifically caffeine and theobromine), which dogs are far more sensitive to than people. Different types of chocolate contain varying amounts of methylxanthines. In general, though, the darker and more bitter the chocolate the greater the danger.
For instance, 8 ounces (a ½ pound) of milk chocolate may sicken a 50-pound dog, whereas a dog of the same size can be poisoned by as little as 1 ounce of Baker's chocolate!
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