Many American households own at least one or more pets, and while dogs, cats, and birds are among the most common pet types, other species may also be kept as companions, ranging from hamsters and rabbits to reptiles like lizards, tortoises, and snakes. Even tarantulas are often kept as pets, specialized pens, cages, and tanks are made for these various species, as well as decoration and shelters in those areas, not to mention toys and food. A tarantula, for example, would not eat cat food, and a rabbit would feel confined in a snake tank. Meanwhile, pet owners must be responsible for their pet’s health, and owning a cat, dog, bird, fish, or anything else means knowing how to care for it and what to do if health problems present themselves. Among furry pets such as cats, dogs, and rodents, some common problems may soon present themselves such as a flea infestation or a disease, and in dire cases, a pet owner must know how to find an emergency veterinarian to save their cat’s or dog’s life. Like a hospital for people, an emergency veterinarian office is a place where life-threatening issues for a pet may be handled, such as serious blood loss, difficulty breathing, or broken bones. A 24 animal hospital may not be far away, and besides an emergency veterinarian, a pet owner should also know where to find non-emergency, everyday veterinarians and their offices.
What health issues might present themselves in a pet, such as a dog or a cat? Some of the most commonly kept pets have well-documented health issue that may arise, and some of them are in fact similar to human ailments. An obese or elderly cat or dog, for example, may suffer from arthritis and inflamed joints, making movement slow, difficult, and painful, and a pet owner may soon recognize when their four-legged friend is having trouble. Even diabetes may present in a cat or a dog, and this can call for a visit to the vet’s office and a specialized diet from that point on. Pets might also get simple colds, such as “kennel cough” that is rapidly transmitted between dogs who are all confined in a space together.
Furry pets may also suffer from insects, arachnids, and worms, and some of these can be transmitted to or from their human owners. Fleas are a common issue; these troublesome insects can consume a lot of blood, or 15 times their body weight in the case of females every single day. They are also prolific breeders, with a female laying some 2,000 eggs in its lifetime. At best, these insects and their bites cause irritation on pets, and this can lead to excessive scratching or licking to deal with the sensation. At worst, fleas can transmit deadly diseases. In fact, the infamous Black Death was spread by means of the fleas on rats that arrived from ships from Asia. Today, while the Bubonic Plague is thankfully a rarity, other diseases may still present themselves from flea bites, and an emergency veterinarian visit may be needed if a dog or cat suffers from such an affliction.
Ticks are a similar problem as fleas, and these arachnids can transmit diseases or viruses such as Rocky Mountain Fever or Yellow Fever in humans, and may transmit similar diseases to someone’s dog or cat, and these arachnids are often contacted either by brushing against plants where these arachnids lie in wait, or from other dogs or cats that have them. Mites can irritate the skin or ears, and parasitic worms such as heart worms can cause all sorts of health problems in a pet.
A pet owner should take his or her dog, cat, rabbit, or any other pet to an emergency veterinarian office in the case of disease or injury, such as getting in a fight with stray dogs or cats or other wildlife. Wound and broken bones must be treated at once, and symptoms of disease, such as eye or nose discharge, changes in behavior, pain, teeth falling out, and more should prompt a visit to the animal hospital at once. Everyday checkups, meanwhile, should be done at a regular vet’s office every so often.