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The darker side of cute

Everybody loves seeing an animal do something cute or even a little strange. A dog sliding down the stairs on his belly or one that one walks on two legs make for funny videos to share with friends. But sometimes these behaviors come from very real physical problems for the pet.

Despite a few outliers, pets are generally not thespians displaying their dramatic flare for artistic enrichment. Unless trained with treats, pets will sometimes stop or start a behavior because of pain. You may think Fluffy has gotten lazy because he doesn’t use his cat tree anymore, instead preferring to lounge in the sunbeams on the floor. Perhaps Fluffy does prefer the sunbeams, but maybe he’s grown arthritic and it’s painful to get into the cat tree now. Dogs who seem to prefer walking on their hind legs might have luxating patellas: when their knee caps pop out of socket, it might be less painful to walk upright.

As a general rule, if your pet suddenly exhibits a strange or kooky behavior, it’s worth checking in with your veterinarian. After a clean bill of health, you can go back to making and sharing the silly videos.


In partnership with Willamette Veterinary Hospital

& Ark Animal Hospital

Josiah Moses, DVM Eastgate Veterinary Clinic


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