Animal Pain Awareness

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Animals can feel pain, just like we can. However, they can be quite helpless in this area. After all, they can’t take themselves to the vet, or even tell us what’s wrong. Part of being a good pet owner is keeping up with your pet’s health care needs … and that means recognizing and responding to pain. An Anderson, IN vet offers some insight on this below.

Expressions Of Pain

Animals have learned over the course of millions of years that displaying pain can be an open invitation to predators. Therefore, they instinctively try to hide it. Pets may also get protective of their bodies when they’re hurting. For instance, a dog with a wounded paw may snap at someone who tries to help, just out of instinct.

Signs Of Pain

Every type of pet has their own list of red flags to watch for. For instance, cats may stop grooming themselves if they don’t feel well, while dogs may lick at sore spots. Do some research about your furry buddy and their breed. This will help give you an idea of common issues, and what to look for.

There are also some general clues to be aware of. These include rapid breathing, changes in sleeping or eating habits, increased or decreased thirst or appetite, limping, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other warning signs include strange posture, reduced interest in play, grumpiness, withdrawal, trembling, restlessness, and aggression. In general, anything that seems uncharacteristic for your pet can be a red flag. A friendly dog may act sullen if he isn’t feeling well, while a normally-aloof kitty may suddenly start clamoring for attention. The better you know your animal companion, the easier it will be to spot these changes.

Understanding Pain

Pain is of course extremely unpleasant, but it exists for a reason: to let us know that something is wrong. Unaddressed pain means that an underlying health issue is also going untreated. This can lead to a whole slew of secondary issues, such as weakened immunity, muscle loss, and dehydration. Be sure to contact your vet as soon as you notice anything wrong. It’s also important to understand that the sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better. Usually, the longer you wait, the worse the issue gets!

Is your pet due for an appointment? Contact us, your Anderson, IN animal clinic!

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