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Unlike humans, most pets seem to be in perpetually good moods. They're ecstatic when you arrive home from work, are always ready to play and enjoy keeping you company whether you're cooking dinner or cleaning the garage. When your pet seems sad and is no longer interested in the little things that used to make him or her happy, it's only natural to wonder if depression is the cause.
Depression and Pets
Pet behavioral experts believe that animals probably do suffer from depression when they face upsetting situations. Symptoms of depression often occur after a life-changing event, such as a move to a new home, a family member moving out or the death of a pet or family member. Often, it takes a little detective work to determine what may have caused your pet's condition.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Your pet may be depressed if you observe one or more of these symptoms:
Help Your Pet Overcome Depression
It's a good idea to schedule a visit with the veterinarian if your pet's symptoms continue for longer than two weeks. Because many of the symptoms of depression can also occur if your pet is ill, it's important to rule out illnesses and conditions that can affect behavior. For example, diabetes or kidney failure may cause your pet to feel tired and lose interest in his or her usual activities. Older pets that seem depressed may actually be suffering from arthritis. When standing, walking or running is painful, going for long walks or even staying by your side while you cook dinner may no longer be enjoyable.
If your veterinarian doesn't find any health problems, you can help your pet by:
Are you concerned about changes in your pet's mood or behavior? Call us to schedule an appointment. We'll perform a thorough examination, treat any underlying health conditions and offer suggestions that will help your pet feel better.
PetMD: Can Dogs Get Depressed
VetStreet: Warnings Signs Your Pet May Be Depressed, 8/5/15
Healthy Pets: What Never to Do for Your Melancholic Dog, 3/29/17
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.