Is your pet in pain?

DVM Blogs: Is My Pet In Pain?

By Dr. Barrientos, DVM

One of the most common questions I get asked is: Is my pet in pain? This is a very important question as nobody wants their furry friends to be in discomfort. Unfortunately, animals can't just tell us when they hurt. Dogs won't always express pain by whining, and cats are masters at hiding pain. If you don't pay attention to the clues that indicate your pet is hurting, you may not notice that your pet needs help.

The Sad Dog

Don't think that a dog whining or crying is the only indicator that a dog might be in pain. In fact, dogs will rarely whine or cry unless they are in severe pain. So, look for these signs to recognize when your dog may be experiencing pain:

  • A decrease in appetite
  • Trembling
  • Has a sad or tense look on their face
  • Not using a leg
  • Avoiding stairs
  • Not greeting you as usual
  • Crouching, head down
  • Taking a long time to urinate or defecate
  • Excessive panting

The Obscure Cat

Cats are even better at hiding their pain. So if you notice your cat acting grouchy, flattening his ears, crouching up his body, or especially hiding, it may be a good indication that they may be experiencing pain.
Here are some other common signs:

  • Not being able to jump on a bed or counter
  • Any issues with the litterbox, straining on defecation or urination
  • Not grooming or wanted to be groomed
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Aggressive behaviour when touched
  • Salivation

So there you go. The above signs are just some of the ones you may notice. If you are observant, you will notice these and maybe others, and if in doubt please don't wait and bring them in for a vet check.

Dr. Barrientos