We bet you have a large collection of photos of your dogs and cats on your phone. We certainly do. A far more important use of our phones was sparked when Penny reviewed a study on dogs who were doing a lot of licking. She learned how you can use your phone to provide your veterinary team with vital information to help them with a diagnosis.
Take a Video of the Problem
The next time your dog or cat is limping, licking, gagging, or showing any other visible symptom that makes you think about a trip to the vet, take a video of the symptom or behavior. Upload the video to an Internet-based site and you can send a link to your vet or play it during your visit.
We all laugh about the number of times a symptom magically disappears when the cat or dog is on the examination table. If that occurs, you can present the video as a part of your report to the doctor.
Take Progressive Photos
In some cases, a close-up photo might work better to help you determine if an issue is getting worse or getting better. Taking a photo-a-day of an injury or problem can be a sure way for you and your vet to assess progress.
We did this recently when Poppy was under treatment for an irritated paw. Each day, after we cleaned and treated her paw, Ed would hold it as open as he could while Penny photographed the area. Looking at the photos together assured us the treatment was working and her paw was healing. You could do the same thing with videos if that works better.
About that Licking Study
I mentioned a study on dogs who were licking as a symptom of various problems. What I learned is that any odd licking should be reported to your vet the same way you would report a change in unusual eating or elimination symptoms. The study reported that 74% of dogs with excessive licking of surfaces had some form of a gastrointestinal disease. As a part of this study, the researchers had people take videos of the licking behavior.
Next Sunday, we'll share some tips for these photos and videos.
Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2017 Penny & Ed Cherubino
(Adapted for BostonZest from one of our City Paws newspaper columns.)