September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Pets may be very good at making their points when they want treats, walks, or lap space, but they often have trouble letting on when they are in pain. To complicate matters, some animals also try to mask signs of illness or injury. It’s important to know what to look for. A vet lists some key ones below.
Changes In Appetite
Most dogs and cats are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry best friend isn’t eating much or at all, reach out to your vet.
While every pet is different, it’s usually an indication that something is wrong when a pet suddenly starts acting withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social.
Pets that are in pain often continuously lick or nibble at their sore spots. Dogs and cats with arthritis tend to worry at their legs or paws, or sometimes the base of their tails.
Limping is one of the more obvious indications. However, sometimes pets only limp briefly when they first get up. This is something we often see in animals that are just developing arthritis.
Changes in your furry pal’s usual personality can also be signs of pain. If Fluffy is usually aloof, but is suddenly clamoring for attention, she could be hurting. Dogs that go from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen could also be in pain.
If your four-legged pal yelps or flinches when touched, especially in a specific spot, contact your vet. This is typically an indication of pain.
No/Reduced Interest In Play
Fluffy and Fido are quite playful, which is part of why they are such fun pets. If your furry buddy is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys, pain could be the issue.
Another indication of pain is difficulty urinating. This is often a sign of a medical emergency, so contact your vet right away if you notice this.
Changes in Vocalizations
Our animal companions all have their own unique voices. Some are very talkative, while others rarely speak. If your normally-quite kitty is suddenly yowling, she may be sick. In dogs, whining, whimpering, howling, or growling can often be indications of pain.
If you notice any of these red flags, contact us, your local animal clinic, immediately! We are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care!