How to tell if your pet is in pain and what to do
Pain in animals can be caused by a variety of factors. Just as humans do, animals feel pain from infection, broken bones, arthritic joints, dental problems, and much more. It is vital to be able to recognize the signs of pain in your pet so you can work together with your veterinarian to diagnose the source of the pain and treat it accordingly.
"How will I know my pet is in pain?"
Unfortunately, because animals cannot talk, we as pet owners are the ones responsible for watching for the changes in behavior or activity that our pets exhibit.
Some symptoms of pain:
Vocalizing- Howling, whining, whimpering, yelping, etc.
Change in daily behavior- Decreased appetite, lessened activity level, hiding or other non-social behavior, accidents in the house, change in sleep pattern, unusual aggression/other abnormal personality changes, etc.
Change in appearance- Ceasing self-grooming, rugged appearance, self-mutilation
Change in posture- Hunched posture, lays on side, etc.
Do not treat your pet's pain without consulting your veterinarian
Not all human medications are safe for dogs or cats, especially human NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen.
Your veterinarian will diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate medication. Give all medications as directed by your veterinarian. If you have questions or concerns that it is not working, contact your veterinarian. Do not give any other medications without consulting your veterinarian.
Things to watch for if your pet is prescribed pain medication- Vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stools, change in drinking/urinating habits, change in behavior (depression, restless, appetite loss), skin changes, and yellow skin, eyes, or gums
Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian with any questions or concerns!