Signs Your Pet Might Be Dying: How to Recognize the Symptoms

We are constantly on the lookout for our pets. We do our best to train them, protect and care for them. What are the signs a pet we love might be dying?

Recognizing the Signs

A veterinarian can save a pet’s life by confirming whether the pet has cancer, whether or not the pet is in severe pain, or if the pet is acting strange. However, for all those issues to be rectified, the pets must be able to communicate their problems and not just appear to be in pain.

Here are signs your pet may be dying: Red colored blood You may see blood in a pet’s stool or vomit. However, your pet may also have bleeding gums, paws and ears. If your pet has multiple problems, such as kidney or liver failure, you may see that the blood in the stool and vomit is red, clear or blue.

Blood in urine and stool does not necessarily indicate liver or kidney failure. Liver disease may be secondary to cancer. Kidney disease may be secondary to heart disease.

The Change in Behavior

Your pet's behavior changes. You notice they are depressed or they just aren't themselves. The dog is whining, not coming when called, or worse, can't seem to stand up on his own.

If you notice this change in your pet's behavior, you need to do something right away. The Symptoms This is a cry for help. As it grows worse, your pet becomes lethargic or unresponsive.

Your dog or cat has trouble breathing and is so sick that they can barely drag themselves to their water dish to drink. This is the final stage of a disease that has likely already spread throughout your pet's body.

If you continue to wait, you will be waiting too long. You may not see it coming if you haven't been paying close attention. Here are the warning signs of canine diabetes. 

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Lack of Appetite

This can be a sign of liver problems, not just in our pets. Nausea Can indicate neurological problems and more. Bleeding from the ears Clogged airways and pressure on the brain could be the cause of this.

Rapid weight loss Tiredness Vomiting Red eyes Blurry vision How to Help Your Pets Recover From a Heart Attack Many people think heart disease only happens to older people.

While that’s true in some cases, our pets can suffer from heart disease too. Many people think heart disease only happens to older people. While that’s true in some cases, our pets can suffer from heart disease too.

According to, more than 30 million pets are suffering from heart disease, with young dogs and cats suffering from conditions related to the heart like arrhythmias.


Being bored and sleepy all the time. Most often when people notice this sign in their pets, they attribute it to a sudden or intense emotional state of the pet.

Unusual weight loss If your pet is losing weight, he might be dehydrated or malnourished, or if he's gaining weight, he might have a tumor or an infection. Abnormal behavior When a pet is missing their usual zest for life, there is a problem.

They might be throwing up or not wanting to do anything, usually by day. Confused If a pet is confused or can't understand where they are or what is going on, this could be an early sign that something is wrong.

Unexplained illness Infection, heartworm, etc., is one of the leading causes of death in pets. One of the best ways to find out what the issue is is to take your pet to a vet.

Changes to Eating Habits

Is your pet drinking less or you have to feed it by syringe? If this is the case, perhaps you need to visit a veterinarian. Your vet may tell you it is a type of pneumonia and start you on medication to keep your pet hydrated.

If this is not the case, your pet may be at risk for dehydration and require subcutaneous fluids, fluids through an IV, or even a feeding tube. Your pet may also need to be on antibiotics in order to help fight the infection.

Your vet may give you recommendations or recommend an alternate vet to care for your pet. Headaches Your dog may suddenly begin having headaches.

The headache could be caused by an injury or the side effect of a medication. In some cases, it is a sign your pet is dying.

Change in Appearance

Health Issues Poor Performance Lethargy Wearing a Collar or Belt that Doesn’t Fit Toward the end, some diseases and conditions can lead to weight loss, lethargy and poor performance.

Animals with leg problems, such as back or arthritis problems, may be much slower to move around and are more prone to slip off the bed or forgo food and water.

Eating a Healthier Diet Increasing Happiness Having the Best Life Ever —?Kimberly Vincent, PICANO Services, LLC Kimberly Vincent is the owner of PICANO Services, LLC and Certified Veterinary Nursing Specialist (CVNS).

She lives in St. Albans with her Border Collie Terrier Dixie, plus two cats and two birds. In her spare time, she enjoys her bachelors degree in health and human services from Bentley College, learning Spanish and reading.

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Loss of Control Over Bowels and Bladder

Frequent Urination and / or Dehydration Choking Difficulty Eating and Drinking Increased Apathy or Aggression Seizures Heart Failure Severe or Repeated Seizures When does a pet start to show signs of dying?

If the pet has gone through the warning signs previously discussed, they're showing no interest in food, water, or anything they use for their daily lives. They often won't wake up.

They may be deaf or have a hard time communicating. You should bring them to a veterinary hospital immediately.

If you see that a pet you know is the "leader" of your house is failing, then you should act. Is the pet's breathing labored or he doesn't respond to anything you try to do for them? Do they have no interest in their food or water?


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Our pets are part of the family. It is important to realize the signs of death and make sure the correct care is taken of the pet until their time comes. The most important things to remember is to treat a dying pet like a dog or cat.

They need love, attention and care. They don't have the will to fight for their life, so why would you fight for it. The more positive feelings you have for your pet, the more caring you are about their passing.

Ask yourself if you are a good pet owner to your pets. You can’t be if you allow them to suffer. Instead, your love for your pet can help him to be at ease. We know it’s hard, but it is the only thing we can do.