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To keep your pet happy and healthy, you need to know the red flags of potential medical problems. Behavioral changes may be the first indication of a medical issue in disguise. Sudden changes in bad behavior can be a sign that something may be wrong. Recognizing these changes, and knowing how to “read” your pet is an important part of their ongoing preventive care. Here are some signs to look out for: 

They are in noticeable pain 

One indicator that your pet may need medical attention is if their behavior shows signs they may be in noticeable pain. Pets can hide their pain and, because they cannot verbally communicate their feelings, it’s important to pay close attention to them and any behavior changes. So, how do you know if your pet is in pain? Your cat may simply just start disappearing. Cats often hide when they are in pain, or if there is something wrong. You may also notice your pets eating habits may change. This may be an indication of an underlying issue. Other signs include: becoming less active than usual, changes in grooming patterns, limping, gnawing/licking, or becoming more vocal than normal.  

Changes in urination and bowel patterns 

If your pet is having trouble going to the bathroom, or is going to the bathroom too much, this may also be a sign they might need to take a trip to the vet. Sometimes this may be common for your furry friend. But, if it becomes persistent you should seek medical attention. Symptoms like diarrhea and digestion issues are red flags to pay attention to. If your pet experiences vomiting, this may also be a sign.

Excessive itching and scratching 

Does it seem like your pet has been excessively itching or scratching itself? This behavior change may be another indicator that your pet should see a vet. Too much scratching can cause sores and pain in dogs. Sure, your pet can have sensitive skin, and even common allergies like humans do. But too much itching and scratching could hurt them, and also mean they may have a skin issue that needs medical attention such as: food allergies, parasites, overproduction of yeast or staph infections. If this is happening to your furry friend, help relieve the itch to scratch by getting help from a specialist. 

Aggressive out of nowhere 

An important behavioral change that may show an underlying medical red flag is if your loving pet becomes aggressive out of nowhere. If your pet lashes out at you or another pet, it’s important to stay calm and immediately regain control of them. This is to ensure that both your pet and the victim, both remain safe. If your pet is in pain or has something going on medically wrong, this may be an unpleasant symptom. You should have them looked at to rule out anything. If it’s something as simple as a behavior problem, put them in behavior training right away to ensure another incident like that doesn’t happen again.


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