September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. This is a very important topic for pet owners. Your furry friend 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 for you to know what to look for. A vet lists some key ones below.
Limping is one of the more obvious indications that a pet is in pain, especially if they are injured. However, sometimes pets only limp briefly when they first get up. This is common in animals that are just developing arthritis.
All our furry buddies are different. However, it’s usually an indication that something is wrong when a normally-cuddly pet suddenly starts acting withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social.
Changes In Appetite
Most pets are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry best friend isn’t eating much or at all, there may be something wrong.
Pets that are hurting often continuously lick or nibble at their sore spots. For instance, dogs and cats with arthritis tend to worry at their legs or paws, or sometimes the base of their tails.
Changes in your pet’s usual personality can also be a sign of pain. If Fluffy is usually aloof, but is suddenly clamoring for attention, she could be hurting. A pooch that goes from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen may also not feel well.
If your four-legged buddy yelps, backs away, hisses, or flinches when touched, especially in a specific spot, there could be something wrong.
No/Reduced Interest In Play
Our animal friends can be quite playful, which is part of why they are so much fun. If your furry buddy is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys, pain may be the issue.
Another indication of pain is difficulty urinating. This can be 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 individual voices and vocal styles. Some are very talkative, while others rarely speak. If your normally-quiet cat 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!