Could your pet’s behavior be related to a hidden illness?

Some of your pet’s behaviors may be related to a hidden illness and you may not even realize it.  Nipping. Scratching. Litter box issues. Leash pulling. Meowing at night. Urinating on the floor. Chewing shoes.  Are these behaviors just part of being a “normal” dog or cat, or not?

Actually, some common behavior issues are due to underlying medical problems. And these illnesses are tough to recognize even for the most observant owners.

For example, your dog may urinate on your floor. It may be from excitement, but it also can be from a urinary tract infection. Your cat may stop jumping on your lap. Not because she’s being unfriendly, but because she has arthritis and jumping is too painful to her joints.

If these behaviors are left unchecked, it becomes a triple issue. The behavior may worsen, the underlying illness may progress (which puts your pet’s health at risk), and most importantly, your pet’s quality of life as part of your family is compromised.

We can help. We have the expertise to analyze, identify and resolve behavior issues with your pet. At your pet’s yearly checkup:

  • If your dog is petrified of fireworks, we can discuss desensitization techniques to give him relief.
  • If your older cat is suddenly drinking a lot more water, our physical exam may reveal that your cat has an illness. We’ll run the right tests and prescribe medications if needed.
  • We can talk about your pet’s behavior. Some behavior issues are related to medical problems, but many just require new training strategies. Either way, we can help fix those behaviors and give your pet a new lease on life!

Make an appointment for your pet’s annual exam today. We’ll check to make sure all of your pet’s behaviors are appropriate and signs of good health. We are committed to your pet’s well-being. Call us at 352-392-2235 to make an appointment today and let’s keep your pet healthy!

University of Florida


As part of both the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and UF Health, Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to advancing animal, human and environmental health through teaching, research, extension and patient care.



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