It’s Pet Pain Awareness Month
We wish our pets could talk to us for so many reasons- but especially when we want to know if they’re in pain or why they feel sick. Often our pets suffer in silence, and sometimes we as pet parents don’t notice subtle changes in their behavior that indicate pain. Sometimes we write it off as a by-product of aging. Heck, you know some of us get cranky with age! However, there are a number of signs, some more obvious than others, which can indicate pain in pets. You, as a pet parent, are in the best position to notice these changes, along with any pet care specialist that spends a lot of time with your pets is.
Signs your pet is in pain include:
- Your cat isn’t using her litter box anymore.
- Your pets show signs of agitation: crying out, yelping, or growling.
- Dogs pooping inside the home when it’s unusual or they have a dog door.
- Pets being unusually sensitive to touch & disliking normal handling.
- Your pup squirming away when she used to like being picked up.
- Kitty isn’t grooming herself well anymore.
- Changes in sleeping, eating, or drinking habits
- Antisocial or aggressive behavior (grumpy, avoids contact, snaps at you).
- Being quiet, less active, or hiding (not jumping on bed or sofa anymore)
- Pet being reluctant to walk, or limping.
- Heavy panting/altered breathing (can also be rapid, shallow breathing) and an increased heart rate
Is your pet in pain? Contact your veterinarian immediately!
It’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian if you notice any of these changes in your pets. Keep in mind that pets don’t show internal pain until it is severe. Dogs will mope around and cats will even purr during extreme pain or discomfort. Their instincts tell them that showing symptoms of pain is a sign of weakness and may put them in harm’s way. Any changes in behavior or appetite, intestinal routines, mood or demeanor can and usually are signs that something is going on. Please don’t ignore those or think maybe it will pass. You won’t always be able to notice in time, but early detection, just like in humans, is key to successful treatment. Most often, internal troubles don’t show up as painful until the problem is beyond repair.
That’s another good reason to take your pet to their veterinarian yearly, especially if they show any of the above symptoms of pain or changes in behavior. Blood work and x-rays or ultrasounds will help your veterinarian rule out/diagnose and treat issues early. There are so many new procedures and treatments available now. We have never had such a great ability to give your pets the best chance of a long happy life. Pay close attention- you know your pet best.
Equipaws Pet Home Health Care is always here to help you with any questions about or care for your beloved pets. Please call us whenever you need support for your sweet pets.