Is Your Pet in Pain? | The Visiting Vets

Is Your Pet in Pain?

A common question that many people ask is “how do i know if my pet is in pain?” Despite the obvious fact that animals cannot talk, they do often display behaviors that signify pain. These signs may sometimes be subtle especially in “tough” pets or certain species like cats and rabbits. Pain is a big factor when assessing quality of life and we should learn to recognize if our pets are telling us that they are in discomfort. Here is a list of some easy to recognize signs:

Signs signalling moderate to extreme pain:

  • vocalization or whining
  • unable to stand up
  • loss of use of a particular leg
  • rapid breathing
  • half-closed or unfocused eyes
  • struggling or thrashing behavior

Signs signalling mild to moderate pain:

  • loss of appetite
  • unwilling to exercise or play
  • slow movement
  • hiding behavior
  • self-mutilation or chewing at affected area
  • change in personality to become aggressive or grumpy
  • hunched posture or guarding behavior
  • yelping when certain areas are touched
  • stiff or abnormal gait
  • unable to rest comfortably
  • unable to jump as high as before (cats)

Many diseases or conditions can cause pain and these can vary from acute sudden pain (eg. injuries) to chronic ongoing pain (eg osteoarthritis).  If your pet is telling you that it is in pain, please listen and do not let them suffer in silence.  There are many treatments available to alleviate their pain.

Please contact us if you have any further questions or feel that you pet is in pain.

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