Q: What are the most common signs of pain in your pet?



September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, encouraging pet parents to recognize both acute and chronic pain in their pets. Brought to you by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM), the month is themed “The Most Common Signs of Pain in Your Pet”.

A: What if you couldn’t tell your doctor that you were in pain?  Animals suffer from pain just like we do. Pain comes in many forms: surgical pain, arthritis and cancer, just to name a few.  Acute pain is obvious and distressing.  Chronic pain can be subtle, and masked as “getting old” or “slowing down.”  Age is not a disease, but pain is. There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation and acupuncture.

ivapm pain awareness monthCommon Signs of Pain in Dogs

  • Decreased social interaction
  • Anxious expression
  • Submissive behavior
  • Refusal to move
  • Whimpering
  • Howling
  • Growling
  • Guarding behavior
  • Aggression; biting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Self-mutilation (chewing)
  • Changes in posture

Common Signs of Pain in Cats

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Quiet/loss of curiosity
  • Changes in urinary/defecation habits
  • Hiding
  • Hissing or spitting
  • Lack of agility/jumping
  • Excessive licking/grooming
  • Stiff posture/gait
  • Guarding behavior
  • Stops grooming/matted fur
  • Tail flicking
  • Weight loss

For more about signs of pain in your pet see our recent article on Animal Pain Awareness Month here.

Source: IVAPM



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