Options For Animals

Signs and Symptoms

You love your animal; and as a conscientious owner, you want to keep them healthy and protect their wellbeing. Owning any animal is a responsibility which requires continual observation, management, and occasionally the ability to detect unusual behaviors which may reveal signs of illness or injury. Because your animals communicate in a language other than words, they must rely on your capacity to observe and distinguish the subtle changes in their behavior which might indicate a warning sign for health concerns.

Since not all behavioral changes are cause for concern, the following list of Signs and Symptoms will help you identify what to watch for to protect your animals and ensure a healthy and vigorous life.


Dogs - Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic - Wellsville, KS

  • Pain when being touched, pet or lifted
  • Reluctance or difficulty when climbing stairs or jumping
  • Difficulty when getting up after lying down
  • Negative changes in attitude or behavior
  • Altered sitting (“Puppy Sitting”)
  • Changes in eating or eliminating
  • Constantly licking or chewing paws
  • Lameness or changes in gait
  • Changes in performance
  • Lying on one side


Cats - Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic - Wellsville, KS

  • Obvious pain or discomfort (difficulty jumping, reluctance to climb stairs, cries when being picked up)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst (often a sign of diabetes)
  • Unexplained changes in weight
  • Bad breath
  • Diarrhea or changes in litter contents, urinating outside the box
  • Prolonged or repeated vomiting (though eliminating hairballs is normal, continual vomiting is often a sign of infection and can cause dehydration)
  • Discharge from the eyes and/or nose (common sign of upper respiratory infection)
  • Lump or lesions evident to touch or sight
  • Finally, cats tend to hide if injured or ill. If your cat has suddenly gone into hiding, it’s generally a sign that something is amiss.


Horses - Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic - Wellsville, KS

  • Pain and stiffness when moving or being touched
  • Reduced performance
  • Negative changes in behavior or attitude
  • Abnormal gait, shortened stride or lameness
  • Inability or difficulty in taking a lead
  • Bucking
  • Difficulty or inability to collect
  • Pinning ears or snapping when being cinched
  • Difficulty flexing at poll
  • Changes in posture
  • Resistance to being ridden


It should be emphasized that this list is a basic overview, and does not cover every sign and symptom an animal may exhibit. The purpose is to highlight the most commonly seen signs and symtoms in the hope of offering guidelines to help the pet owner to recognize potential disorders. This is in no way an attempt to diagnose and/or treat any specific disease or condition. If a pet is demonstrating any unusual syptoms or behaviours, the owner should consult their animal’s health care provider without delay.