Animal Pain Awareness Month

Photo: Cipla Vet

September, Animal Pain Awareness Month, was started by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management to educate and inform pet owners about their pet’s health and well-being as it relates to pain management.

Animals suffer some of the same aches and pains that people do. They can suffer pain related to an injury, Acute Pain which is obvious and distressing, or Chronic Pain which can be subtle, increase over time, and often attributed to “old age.”

Regardless of the source of pain, it is important to keep in mind that there are several options for treating pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage.

Common 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

So keep a special eye on your pets this month, and if you see any signs of pain, be sure to contact your vet.

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