Well, we believe they can, just not always in the way we would like.
It is a little easier to know when there’s a stranger at the door with a common bark, or “I need attention,” with a purr and a rub against your leg, but not as easy to identify when something is wrong.
So how do we know when they don’t feel well when the obvious signs are not there? We know kitties will often start a new behavior of eliminating outside of the litter box when there is a urinary issue, or a pup might lift his paw and not put weight on it if something is wrong. Maybe they have a new lump that we can visually identify or smelly breath that indicates a dental issue, but what about learning and knowing about potential issues before they become something that can possibly result in lengthy surgical procedures with a price tag we would rather not spend?
Just like you and I, routine diagnostics and “maintenance” visits to the vet’s office are important to solve problems while they may be insignificant and easily treated. Think about your maintenance plan with your vehicle. We go in to get oil changes and tune-ups and run diagnostics so we can prevent larger and possibly more expensive issues that may be coming our way. Why not think about our pet’s bodies as a similar vessel?
Many pets experience health conditions that can lead to lifetime complications, altered lifestyles, and possibly expensive medications that need to be given long-term. Diagnostics and exams are our way of “hearing” what your pet has to say. Starting at an early age, we should look at utilizing resources like blood work, radiographs, ultrasounds, and other non-invasive testing to watch for and monitor the progress of what is going on internally. When we have a complete picture, only then can we make educated decisions about what types of preventative measures we can take to assure our pets live a healthy, long life. We can offer prevention vs treatments if we start early in terms of what we can do for you. It all starts with knowing.