Colleen O'Brien, DVM, CVA
Signs Your Pet is in Pain
Nobody wants to see their pet suffering in pain, but it can be very difficult to know for sure when they can’t tell you what’s wrong. Sometimes it’s obvious, but other times the signs can be far more subtle.
Here are some tell-tale signs that your pet is in pain.
1. Limping or holding a leg up. Just because your pet does not cry, whimper, or complain, does not mean they are not in pain. Pets don't complain and try to illicit sympathy like people do. If they are holding a leg up, its not for fun, its because it hurts to use it.
2. Reluctant to use stairs/get in and out of car/get on or off furniture If your pet isn't following you around like they used to, it may be because the pain and stiffness is not worth the effort.
3. Being Grumpy If your pet seems like its getting grumpy (growling, snapping, scratching), it may be because they are fed up with pain. Think of how grumpy you get when you've had a headache all day.
4.Change in sleeping habits
Does you pet seem to get up and re-position more at night? It may be because they are having difficulties getting comfortable. Conversely, if your pet is sleeping more, it could be because they are reluctant to be awake and moving around.
Breathing fast can be a sign of many things (exercise, heart failure, cancer, pain). Its important that if you notice this that you bring your pet into a veterinarian right away.
The Best Way to Help Your Pet
Every pet is different and nobody knows your pet’s personality and behaviors better than you. If your pet is showing any of these signs, contact your veterinarian. Supplements, medications, and acupuncture all may help your pet feel better.