Lethargy would have to be the most “non-specific” symptom that our pets could have. When to worry and when not to worry about our pets being “lethargic” can be a tricky question for many pet owners.
The following list is a general guideline to help you to decide when and when not to worry:
- First rule: if in doubt, ring your vet. A phone call costs nothing.
- If pets are young, with no history of problems and they are a little off for a day only, then monitoring is reasonable
- If there is a little diarrhea, but no vomiting, monitoring is reasonable (see under vomiting and diarrhea)
- If there is vomiting, then seek veterinary advise
- If lethargy is mild to moderate then monitoring for 24 hours is reasonable
- If lethargy lasts more than 24 hours, then seek advice
- If a pet is older or has a known condition, such as a heart murmur, or ongoing organ disease, then seek advice immediately.
- If there is potential known access to toxins or snakes etc, then seek advice.
Again, lethargy is a tricky one, with no right or wrong answer, The big mistake many pet owners make is presenting their lethargic vet for a consultation after more than 2 days of being so. We get some clients presenting their pets after 5 or more days of being lethargic and not eating! Often at this stage pets are severely compromised.
Just like us, our pets can just have an “off” day every now and then. Give them a day, call for advice if longer than 1 day, or if there is another reason for concern, call straight away.