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Signs Your Pet is in Pain (And What to Do About it)

Signs Your Pet is in Pain (And What to Do About it)


September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. If you’re the parent to a fur baby, you know that your pets feel pain just like you and I do. According to the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) “the proclamation of the month is in keeping with IVAPM’s commitment to encouraging pain management for all animal species through education and advocacy.” Here are some signs your pet may be in pain and what you can do to help them!


  • Heavy Breathing – It is absolutely normal for your dog to pant or breathe heavily after exertion. However, continued heavy panting is a sign of respiratory distress and should be monitored.


  • Vocalizations (growling, whining, whimpering, hissing, crying) – You mean you don’t speak cat? Vocalizations are the ways your pet communicates their needs, wants, and fears. More often than not, whining, crying, and hissing are signs something is wrong.


  • Excessive Grooming, usually localized – Regular grooming is required for your furry loved one but when your pet is excessively grooming themselves, it can be a sign of a stress-related disorder like OCD.


  • Sudden, Unexplained Aggression – Sudden aggression is a common cause of pain in pet’s, especially dogs. Consider it their way of protecting themselves.


  • Difficulty Getting Around – Old age is not a disease. If you see your pet limping or moving slower than usual, it could mean that something hurts when they move. Don’t dismiss it as they’re just getting older.


Take some time this month and monitor your pets behaviors, watching if they’re displaying any of these signs of pain. If your pet is frequently showing any of these signs of distress, don’t make assumptions. Most importantly, if they are, be sure to advocate on their behalf and take them to your local vet. See our August blog if you need local recommendations.


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