It is normal for animals to have some discharge from their eyes when they wake up and some may have more than others, depending on the breed. But if your foster animal has yellow or green discharge, or swelling around the eyes (making it hard for him to open his eyes), or the third eyelid is showing, you need to contact Vetting Coordinator to schedule a vet appointment.
Coughing and Nasal Discharge.
Coughing can be common if your foster dog is pulling on leash. If the coughing becomes more frequent, however, watch for discharge coming from the nose. If the discharge is clear, the infection is probably viral and medication may not be needed, but check with your Vetting Coordinator to find out if a vet appointment is necessary. If the discharge becomes colored, make a vet appointment because the animal may have a bacterial infection. Be sure to monitor the animal’s breathing. If the animal seems to struggle to breathe or starts wheezing, call your Vetting and/or Crew Member Coordinator immediately and follow the emergency contact protocol. Also, once you notice nasal discharge, monitor the animal’s eating habits more closely to ensure that he or she is still eating.
Sometimes animals will eat too quickly and will immediately thro up their food. Occasionally vomiting isn't cause for alarm, but if your foster animal has thrown up two or more times in one day, please notify your Vetting Coordinator via email. It could be indicative of infection. You should expect a response back within 24 hours.
Pain or Strain While Urinating.
When an animal first goes into a foster home, he or she may not urinate due to stress. If the animal hasn't urinated in more than 24 hours, however, please contact your Vetting Coordinator via text or email. Also, if you notice the animal straining to urinate with little or no results, signs of blood in their urine, or crysting out when attempting to urinte, contact your Vetting Coordinator immediately because these symptoms are indicative of an infection or an obstruction.
Swollen or Irritated Ears.
If your foster animal has irritated, swollen or redish/pink ears that smell like yeast, they may have an ear infection called otitis. This type of infection is more comon in animals who have very floppy ears, like Basset Hounds or Labradors. These animals may need to have their ears cleaned more often to ensure that the infection does not re-occur.
Ear mites, especially in cats, could also be the cause of irritate ears and a build up of brownish/black debris in the ear canal. If our Vetting Team examines your pet at the time of intake - prior to going home with you, we will oftentimes catch these symptoms and provide you with the necessary care and instructions.
Loss of appetite.
Your foster animal may be stressed after arriving in your home and stress can cause lack of appetite. But if the pet hasn't eaten after 24 hours, please let your Vetting Coordinator know. Also, if the animal has been eating well, but then stops eating for 24+ hours, contact your Vetting Coordinator to set up a vet appointment.
The activity level of your foster animal will vary depending on age and personality. Keeping an activity log and journal will help you notice whether your foster pet is less active than normal. If the pet cannot be roused or seems wa and unable to stand, it's an emergency. Contact your Vetting Coordinator immediately by phone or text.
Dehydration is usually associated with diarrhea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite. To test for deyhdyration, gently pinch the animal's skin around the scruff area. If the skin stays taught, the animal is dehydrated. Please email your Vetting Coordinator to schedule an appointment.
Frequent Ear Scratching.
Your foster animal may have a bacterial or yeast infection, or ear mites if they scratch their ears and/or shake their head frequently. These conditions can often by treated by us, so please contact our Vetting Team so we an assess the severity of the condition and determine the appropriate treatment plan.
Please contact your Vetting Coordinator if you notice any hair loss on your foster animal. It is normal for animals to have thin fur around the lips, eyelids and in front of the ears, but clumpy patches of hair loss or thinning hair can indicate ringworm, dermatitis or the early stages of mange. It is important to check your foster animal’s coat every day.
It is important to monitor your foster animal’s pooping habits daily. Soft stool is normal for the first two or three days after taking an animal home, most likely caused by stress and a change in food. If your foster animal has liquid stool, however, please contact your Coordinator so that an appointment can be scheduled to ensure that the animal doesn’t need medications. Keep in mind that diarrhea will dehydrate the animal, so be proactive about contacting your coordinator or our
vetting department. If your foster animal has bloody or mucoid diarrhea, please contact your Vetting Coordinator immediately.