Are You Aware of Pain in Your Pet?

by LVT Amanda Clever

Pet Pain2September has arrived, which means the temperature will rise and fall. Pumpkins, fallen leaves, and hay rides will be all around. The final days of summer are where you and your beloved pet can enjoy the great outdoors. But what if your pet has started to not what to join in the fun. Or is your pet slower to get up or down? What might be happening? Pain in your pet can range from acute to chronic pain from various health issues due to age and activity level. So what are the differences between acute and chronic pain? Let’s explore this further and find out ways to alleviate this pain to have a better sense of awareness of pain in our pets as we celebrate Animal Pain Awareness Month.

First, let’s explore what acute and chronic pain mean. So what are the most common signs of pain in your pet to be aware of? This can vary from each species. Whether it is a dog, cat, small pocket pets, reptiles, or other exotics; it can even be seen in our larger patients/pets like cows and horses. Acute pain is pain that occurs for a short time but can be very severe discomfort that causes distress in your pet. Chronic pain is associated with a particular long-term illness or condition.

So, what are some common signs of pain in your pet? For dogs, it could be difficulty standing or lying down, reluctant to jump up or down on furniture, decreased appetite, and decreased activity. Most of these could be associated with joint pain and aging due to osteoarthritis. Decreased appetite can be associated with mouth pain. This could be due to a fractured tooth, inflamed gums, or infection in many of the teeth or gums where you might not be able to see. If you noticed any of these signs or changes in your pet’s behavior, contact our office and we can investigate the issue to make your dog be its best.

Some might be wondering what are common signs of pain for my cat? Well, for cats, it could be over-grooming or licking excessively a particular area, reluctant to jump up onto surfaces or counters, decreased appetite, and decreased activity. Referred pain can be seen if your cat(s) are licking a particular or over-grooming. Decreased appetite could be due to many illnesses but also could be mouth pain. Osteoarthritis is common in our geriatric cats that can be easily missed if not watching their behavior and activities closely. Again, if you noticed any of these signs or changes in your pet’s behavior, contact our office to set up an appointment and have one of our veterinarians investigate the issue further to get your pet back to its normal, happy self.

Pain can also be seen in our small pocket pets/exotics. Some of the common signs associated with pain in these little ones are chattering, not able to pick up food well, decreased activity, decreased appetite, and in rabbits- not eating cecotropes, or night feces, which includes a lot of their nutritional supplement in their diet to keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy.

I cannot stress it enough, if you notice any of these signs, please contact the office and we can help your pet get back to its normal, happy self. This can be done by a variety of medications, cold laser therapy treatments, or supplements to improve health. So make September a start to always be aware of pain in your animals.