Recognizing Pain in Your Pet

One of the challenges in pet health is that of recognizing when our pets are in pain. Unlike their owners, pets cannot verbally tell us when or where they hurt. Animals tend to be stoic, hiding their pain and, thus, their vulnerability. It is up to you to be observant of your pet’s behavior so that you can spot any subtle changes in their daily activities and interaction. Once you perceive that your dog or cat is exhibiting any signs of pain, an examination by your pet’s veterinarian will result in prompt relief.

Recognizing Pain in Your Pet

Dog and Cat Sickness Symptoms

You know your pet, how he or she acts and his or her routines and unique lovable quirks. Be alert for unexplained changes in your pet’s appearance and behavior, including:

  • An unkempt coat when grooming becomes an uncomfortable endeavor for your cat
  • Changes in facial expression, such as a creased forehead or dilated pupils
  • Increased panting in your dog
  • Persistent licking or pawing at a particular area of the body
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Reluctance to move or be moved, demonstrated by vocalizing and/or signs of aggression including growling, biting or hissing.
  • Lying or sitting in an unusual position, stiff mobility, limping, holding up a paw, a crouched or hunched body position, a tilted head or an arched back
  • Hiding in a remote location from the rest of the family
  • Unusually quiet or, conversely, increased vocalization
  • Changes in how your pet greets and interacts with you
  • Decreased alertness, as when attention is being focused on the discomfort
  • Restlessness as your pet makes attempts to get more comfortable

How Does Your Vet Spell Relief?

Once you suspect that your companion is suffering from pain, it is imperative to have your cat or dog evaluated at once by a veterinarian. Your pet’s veterinarian will begin with a thorough nose to tail examination, palpating and manipulating organs, muscles and joints. Once the source of the pain is located and the cause is diagnosed, he or she will recommend a course of treatment.

Dog pain relief and cat pain relief comes in a host of formulations:

  • Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pet meds
  • Injections
  • Heat or cold laser therapy
  • Holistic options such as chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture

Two For You, None For Your Pet

Remember, cat pain relief is very different from dog pain relief, and such relief must only be administered on the recommendation of your veterinarian. Many of the pain relievers that you might take can be toxic to pets:

  • Never give your pet acetaminophen
  • Never give your pet ibuprofen
  • Only give your pet aspirin when your veterinarian recommends it

When it comes to pet health, stick to pet meds for your furry friend for safer, more affective treatment. No one wants to see an animal in pain. Be proactive by observing your beloved family member for signs of discomfort so that you can seek prompt treatment, ensuring relief for your pet as well as for your peace of mind.

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