Signs an Animal is Ill

What to look out for

It is important to regularly check your pet when handling, so any issues are identified as soon as possible. Prey species are adept at hiding signs of illness so you must get used to the normal behaviour patterns of your pet. For animals that cannot be handled, pay extra attention to their behaviour and routines.

Signs of ill health include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor coat condition, hair loss
  • Hunched posture
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Dull eyes
  • Squeaky, laboured or otherwise noisy breathing.
  • Lethargic and cool to the touch
  • Lack of interest in food or water
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Excessive scratching
  • Lumps beneath the skin
  • Excessive Scratching

It is important to have knowledge about what illness and injuries your particular species is prone to, such as scent gland tumours in gerbils or diabetes in hybrid hamsters. Any significant change in behaviour should be checked at a vet. The best chance for your pet is picking up any issues as early as possible.

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Crittery is an educational resource site and small home-based rescue.