Imagining a beloved companion suffering in pain is a pet parent’s worst nightmare. A sudden whine or whimper can stop you in your tracks. We are responsible for our pet’s health and happiness, after all. If you’ve ever wondered if your pet is experiencing pain, wonder no more.
The first step in understanding your pet’s discomfort is recognizing the different types of pain. We typically categorize pain into acute (or sharp) pain and chronic (long-lasting and persistent) pain.
Acute Pain in Pets
When your pet experiences acute pain, you’ll likely know right away. This type of pain is usually the result of a significant event, like a car accident or a fight with another animal. Your pet may cry or shriek and will try to get away from the source of the pain. After retreating, you may see your pet licking the area of the injury, limping, or bleeding. Any of these signs of trauma require professional medical attention as soon as possible.
Some pain, like a bee sting or thorn prick, is less severe and can be short-lived. (Though your pet may still be very dramatic about it!) Check the area your pet is attending to for evidence of what is causing discomfort. For something like a thorn, use tweezers to remove it and keep your pet from itching or chewing the area. Bee stings are similarly easy to recover from, though they may cause anaphylactic shock in pets with allergies. If you’re unsure if the injury requires a vet visit, err on the side of caution and give us a call.
Chronic Pain in Pets
Chronic pain can be challenging to detect since the symptoms are usually not as conspicuous. While a dog with chronic joint pain may cry out when jumping off the sofa or getting up from their bed, for the most part, the signs of long-term conditions are more subtle.
Chronic pain can be related to dental discomfort, allergies, damaged joints, and more. Left untreated, these underlying conditions can cause significant and irreparable harm to your pet’s physical health. Long-term, unrelenting pain takes a toll on your pet’s mental wellbeing, as well.
What Are the Signs of Chronic Pain in Pets?
Symptoms of a pet experiencing chronic pain include limping, moving slowly and irregularly, and having trouble standing up or lying down. They may display uncharacteristic behaviors like short tempers and aggression or have inexplicable accidents in the house. You may see changes in energy levels, like sleeping more than usual, and less enthusiasm for activities like long walks or time in the backyard.
A pet in pain may also:
- Lose interest in food
- Hesitate when walking across slippery surfaces
- Vocalize without an obvious cause
- Stop grooming regularly
- React when being pet on some regions of their body
How to Relieve Your Pet’s Pain
Pain does not have to be permanent for your pet. There are ways to reduce and manage their symptoms so that they can continue a happy life with your family.
If you recognize any signs of acute or chronic pain in your pet, make an appointment today. We’ll help you find the right solution for your favorite companion. Some pain can be managed by making lifestyle changes to reduce the stress on your pet’s joints, like adding ramps or stairs to their favorite couches and beds. More significant discomfort can be addressed with supplements, medications, or surgery. If your pet’s pain is an indication of an underlying injury or disease, our veterinarians can diagnose and treat the condition for lasting relief.
As your partner in managing your pet’s wellness, we’re always happy to help. Give us a call today and be confident your pet is living a life free of pain.
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