MANILA -- Since pets cannot talk, sometimes it can be hard to determine when they are not in perfect health.
But according to an expert, there are signs that pet parents can look out for so they can bring their furry companions to the nearest veterinary clinic or hospital.
In a recent webinar organized by pet nutrition company Royal Canin, Dr. James Ross Tagnia of King's Road Veterinary Clinic in Bacoor, Cavite listed nine emergency symptoms that require professional diagnosis and treatment.
1. VOMITING MORE THAN 4 TIMES A DAY
"Our dogs and cats all eat a lot of weird things... sometimes they vomit for no reason at all. Sometimes once, probably twice. But if you see that they're vomiting more than four times in a day and then coupled with lack of appetite... you don't dismiss that."
"It may mean a lot of things: indigestion, lack of activity, but it can also mean viral bacterial disease... Definitely you have to go to a vet when you see these symptoms."
2. BLEEDING UNCONTROLLABLY FOR 20 MINUTES
"There are some [cases of] bleeding that you can obviously first aid [and] apply pressure on... But if you're unable to do that for more than 20 minutes, you don't go and just text someone, 'What do I do?' Because that needs an emergency procedure."
3. HEAVY PANTING, DIFFICULTY IN BREATHING
"It's summer it's so hot outside. If you can't breathe regularly outside, what more our pets with fur around them?
"Heat stress and heat stroke are very dangerous to our pets... [If there are] symptoms like panting heavily, drooling, and you can see the gums are bright red, sometimes it's purple already... rush them to a nearby vet."
4. LIMPING, BROKEN/EXPOSED BONE, LARGE OPEN WOUNDS, HIT BY A CAR
"Unfortunately, some furparents try to observe and wait it out for a day or two, but please don't do that... Please just go straight to the nearby vet because that may lead to severe infection, especially for those with broken bones or open wounds. We're not even talking about the excruciating pain that our pet is experiencing at that time.
"There is no first aid for this, you really need to go straight to a hospital."
5. DIARRHEA FOR MORE THAN 4 TIMES IN 1 DAY
"Our pets love to eat weird stuff so sometimes they get upset stomach, sometimes they get hyperacidity... or sometimes you simply changed diet from one brand to another. If that is just once or twice in a day, it's okay. Just observe, you don't need to book an appointment right away.
"But if diarrhea is uncontrollable... you see them 4 times a day... and it's usually coupled with vomiting or lack of appetite, then please see your vet immediately."
6. NO APPETITE FOR MORE THAN 1 DAY
"You know your pets and you know their appetite. You know their favorite thing and treats, and if they refuse that for more than a day, then you know there's something going on.
"Just trust your gut feel, your inkling, that feeling that, 'There's something really off with my pet right now.'"
7. SUDDEN ENLARGEMENT OF BELLY
"If their belly becomes big all of a sudden, it may mean a lot of things. [There may be] fluid [or] water inside their tummy, it can also mean infection in their uterus for those who have not been neutered or spayed. It can also mean there's a tumor inside. These things really need to be diagnosed by a vet as soon as possible."
8. NO PEE FOR MORE THAN 2 DAYS
"This is not normal, even in humans. It may mean there are crystals or sediments, or stones in the urinary tract, or they're constipated and their bladder is also constricted. These need more diagnostic tools than just observing them."
"Obviously you can't control this at home... so please rush to your nearest vet."
Meanwhile, Tagnia also encouraged pet owners to consider having annual wellness exams for their animal companions to "catch potential health issues earlier."
Royal Canin held the webinar featuring Tagnia to mark the launch of its Bring My Pet to the Vet campaign, which gives pet owners in the Philippines access to over 20,000 free checkups and 4,000 care kids for their furry friends through the brand's mobile application.