We get this question a lot. Some of you aren’t sure what to look for, some are right on track and then there are the folks in between. Since we are all about education and animal well-being, this blog is meant to help you so your pet can benefit. It’s a win-win!
Signs my dog is in pain
Dogs. They show signs if you know where to look. Sometimes these can be tricky. Like panting for instance. Your dog will pant if they are uncomfortable, but then again also if it is hot or they are stressed. Ugh. Are they doing less of what they love? Walking, running, going up or down the stairs differently or not at all? Licking and chewing can be a sign. It can also show allergies as well, which is why it is a good idea to make note of these signs and discuss them with your Veterinarian.
Credit for image to cgvet.com
By nature’s design our dogs are made to mask any pain if they can. For the reason that they should not appear weak to other animals and many of them also do not want to appear weak to us humans either. Even with us, their caretakers. That’s why we have to pay attention to their body language.
This is going to be a quick overview and not an extremely in depth look at pain detection in your pet.
Signs my cat is in pain.
Cats are unique creatures. They told all of us in this profession during school that, “Cats are not small dogs.” That is extremely true. They are even better at hiding pain and weakness than dogs and can be extremely difficult to read. Looking for pain in a cat can be a little like looking at one of those hidden object puzzles.
Are their pupils dilated? This can be stress or pain driven. Are they eating less than normal? Watch them walk up and down the stairs if you can. Do they hop-step, or have more difficulty going one direction more than the other? Are they vomiting more hair balls? This could be an indication of stress (which could be from pain), uncomfortable joints that they are trying to soothe by licking, or of course allergies. These are all important things to tell your Veterinarian during an exam so that they are able to narrow down the location of the discomfort and if you are dealing with something like arthritis.
Credit for photo PetMD
When to contact your Veterinarian
If your cat or dog is exhibiting any of the sings/symptoms mentioned above contact your veterinarian to set up an exam. They will ask further questions, check your pet from nose to tail and help you answer any of these questions.