Undetected Disease in Animals

By DR. ED MAPES
STONEBRIDGE ANIMAL HOSPITAL
MCKINNEY, TX

“My Pet is Just Slowing Down.” These words and others like them describe how many folks view their pets that exhibit signs of “aging.”  As a vet in McKinney, my examinations and some wellness blood/stool/urine testing often prove otherwise in a pet. I may see signs of lethargy, decreased activity levels, poor appetites and other common symptoms, which are very often caused by a range of chronic ailments that robs animals of health.  If they could only talk, it would be a lot easier to recognize that medical problems–not aging– are the basis of these symptoms.

In order of descending roles of importance, I’ve found that the most common causes of decreased vigor in animals are the following:

Vet McKinney

 

1)  Dental disease

2)  Arthritic pain/Spondylosis

3)  Hypothyroidism/Hyperthyroidism

4)  Heart disease

5)  Chronic skin disease

 

You probably wonder why Dental disease ranks as numbers one and two; it’s because oral/dental diseases cause so much suffering for our pets. As a vet in McKinney, I routinely find gingivitis, periodontitis, fractured teeth, oral growths, and other maladies during examinations of pets; most of the time owners are unaware of the problems in their pets’ mouths.

Imagine having an abscessed gum or fractured tooth that lingers for months or even years. These pets can’t tell us about their pain, so they learn to live with the chronic discomfort. Naturally their activity levels, appetites, weight, hair coats, and a host of other systems pay the price and they begin to appear “aged”.

Using dental radiography in our procedures has proven to be a tremendous improvement for a vet in McKinney, giving us the ability to recognize disease below the gum line that was never visible before. Dental procedures now are a lot more than simple cleaning; today we detect and treat painful conditions that were always missed before.

All of the conditions cited above are treatable, and their resolution usually makes distinct differences in these pets – quite often the improvements are seen very quickly.

Other common symptoms of disease that pet owners should be aware of are listed below. Simple awareness of these signs can make owners more able to notice these changes in their pets at earlier stages, when treatment is often less involved, less expensive, and more effective.

 
  • PUPD – polydipsia/polyuria
  • Dehydration
  • Chronic vomiting/diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Attitude changes
  • Blood in urine/vomit/stools
  • Signs of pain
  • Decreased energy levels

All or some of these signs are often seen in a variety of diseases, and bringing this information to your pet’s vet in McKinney is helpful in determining the cause(s) of ailments. Once we define a list of possibilities, certain blood or urine analyses, radiographs, or other testing will be done to help us arrive at a final diagnosis and to then recommend appropriate treatment.

 

One thing I learned a long time ago: it’s tough to treat a pet that never comes to the hospital to be examined!

 

Vet McKinney
Stonebridge Animal Hospital
5913 Virginia Parkway
McKinney, Texas 75071
214-856-7005

 

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