How to Tell If Your Pet Is In Pain

Pets feel pain for many of the same reasons as humans: infections, dental problems, arthritis, bone disease, and cancer.  They also feel discomfort following surgical procedures.  

Unfortunately, unlike humans, they are unable to speak to us about when and where they hurt.  

You are in the best position to look for the subtle changes in behavior that may indicate you pet is suffering.  It is important to stay alert to these signs, because the sooner the pain is diagnosed and treated, the sooner they can heal and resume a normal, happy life.  

If your pet shows one or more of these behaviors and you suspect it may be due to pain, please notify us immediately at 973-887-0522.

Older Dog

Dogs:

Vocalizing: whining, howling, whimpering, yelping, groaning, grunting

Daily habits: decreased appetite, withdraws from social interactions, changes in sleeping or drinking, lapses in housetraining, sleeps more

Self-Mutilation: licking, biting, scratching a particular part of %patientsexadjl% body

Activity Level: restless, reluctant to move, difficulty getting up from a laying position, repetitively gets up and lies down, trembling, circling or lying very still, seeks more affection than usual

Facial Expression: grimaces, vacant stare, glazed, wide eyed, or looks sleepy, enlarged pupils, flattened ears, pants excessively when at rest

Grooming: coat lacks normal shine, hair stands up in places

Self Protection: protects a body part, doesn't put weight on a limb, limps, doesn't want to be held or picked up, hides

Aggressive (especially in a previously friendly dog): acts out of character, growls, bites, pins ears back

Posture:  Hunched with hindquarters raised and front end down on the ground, lays on its side.  

Older Cat

Cats: 

Vocalizing:  meowing, purring, hissing, growling

Daily habits: Withdraws from social interaction, decreased appetite, changes in sleeping or drinking, fails to use the litter box, urinates frequently, won't groom or grooms less, looks unkempt, sleeps more

Self mutilation: licking, biting, scratching a particular part of the body

Activity level: restlessness, reluctance to move, has difficulty getting up from a laying position, repetitively gets up and lies down, trembles or shakes, limps, can't leap as high, seeks more affection, avoids being petted or handled, hides

Posture: generally lays with feet underneath, arches back or tucks abdomen

Facial expression: grimaces, furrowed brow, vacant stare, glazed, wide eyed or looks sleepy, enlarged pupils, flattened ears, pants when at rest

Self protection: protects a part of its body, doesn't put weight on a limb, doesn't want to be held or picked up

Aggressive (especially a previously friendly cat): acts out of character, growls, hisses, bites, pins ears back


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