Our pets can feel pain just as much as we do, but because they often try to hide it, their discomfort usually goes unnoticed until their condition has worsened. At World of Animals Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, pet pain management is just as important to us as other aspects of care. Pain can prevent dogs and cats from being as active as they should be, and it can affect their eating habits, too. Your pet’s physical and emotional health can be diminished as a result of their pain, and this may in turn shorten their lifespan. A pain-free life is a healthy life, but it can also lead to a longer life for your pet.
Different Types of Pain in Pets
There are two different types of pain pets can experience, which we explain below.
Acute pain is sudden pain that occurs as a result of an injury, surgery, infection, or inflammation. This type of pain can be quite uncomfortable for your pet and limit their mobility. However, acute pain is temporary, and can be resolved effectively if the underlying condition is promptly treated.
FAs you might expect, chronic pain lasts much longer in pets, and it usually develops over time. This means that many dogs and cats with chronic pain build up a tolerance to it, and may not show outward signs of being uncomfortable. Arthritis, joint and back disorders, and even types of cancers can cause chronic pain. This type of pain can be difficult to treat if it has persisted for a long time. See below for signs your pet might be in pain.
How to Tell if Your Pet is in Pain
Dogs and cats will hide their pain out of instinct, but there are signs you can look for. If you see any of the following with your pet, contact us as soon as possible so we can help.
- Vocalizing (whining, meowing, whimpering, howling, panting)
- Being strangely quiet
- Acting restless, listless
- Licking or chewing constantly at a specific part of the body
- Ears flattened
- Acting agitated or anxious
- Behaving more aggressively
- Loss of appetite
- Can’t get comfortable (keeps changing positions)
- Acting more clingy than usual
- Sleeping more than usual
- Spending a lot of time hiding
How Pain Can Affect Your Pet’s Grooming
Pets with acute or chronic pain might react in a negative way if you attempt to groom them. If your dog or cat has a chronic issue like arthritis, it might be best to use a very light hand with their grooming, or postpone their grooming until their discomfort is under control. Our team can also accommodate your pet’s needs to maintain their good hygiene while also keeping them comfortable during their bath or nail trim.