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Red Flags: What signs should I be concerned about in my aging pet?

Some dogs and cats are very stoic, and hide their discomfort well. Therefore even subtle signs or changes in your pet should be taken seriously. The following signs are often an indication that there is a more serious problem that should be investigated:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination or “accidents” in the house
  • Decreased or no urination or straining to urinate
  • Blood in the urine (sometimes seen as ‘rust’ colored)
  • Poor hair coat
  • Vomiting
  • Change in fecal consistency and/or frequency of bowel movements
  • Difficulty with bowel movements
  • Blood in the feces or very dark/black feces
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Panting
  • Restlessness (often noticed at night)
  • Limping
  • Redness, discharge or squinting of the eyes
  • Bad breath
  • A sore that won’t heal

The above list is an example. If your pet is showing ANY signs, either behavioural or physical that are different than “normal”, please let your veterinarian know.