SEPTEMBER IS ANIMAL PAIN AWARENESS MONTH
It is Animal Pain Awareness Month – what does that mean? It is an important awareness month to discuss the pets we love so much. We may not think about it but animals experience the same pains that humans do — they just cannot tell us about it. To start your awareness, think about what you know of pain; either from injury or age.
UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNS OF PAIN
Animal pain awareness starts with the overall understanding that not all pain is obvious. It doesn’t only mean that your pet is just getting old either. Our pets cannot tell us or describe what or where it hurts; therefore it is important that we know how to observe the signs of discomfort. It is also important to be aware of symptoms over time. It is very easy for their pain to go unnoticed.
Animals are very skilled at hiding it when something hurts more than humans. This makes it hard for us to notice and it can mask a condition. If a pet is showing visible pain, it may have been hurting for some time before it began showing symptoms. It’s up to us, their humans, to watch for possible issues so we can advocate on their behalf.
COMMON SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
If your pet is experiencing any one of these signs of pain, it’s important to bring it to the Cumberland Animal Hospital and be diagnosed.
- Decreased social interaction
- Submissive behavior
- Howling or growling in dogs
- Excessive licking/grooming/chewing
- Decreased appetite
- Changes in posture or limping
- Reduced activity
- Quiet/loss of curiosity
- Changes in urinary/defecation habits
- Hissing or spitting in cats
- Lack of agility
A Veterinarian will diagnose the cause of the pain and determine the best course of action to manage it safely and effectively. A veterinarian can offer several options that range from non-invasive cold laser therapy (one of our favorite choices) to prescription pain relievers and physical therapy. It is imperative that you do not give your pet over-the-counter pain relievers without consulting your veterinarian first.
EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT
One of the very best things you can do for Animal Pain Awareness Month is to share these tips with others! Share this info with fellow pet parents and facilitate them to become more watchful regarding pet pain awareness.
The Cumberland Animal Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina understands how important it is to understand being aware of pain for your pets. Paying attention to the signs of pain will mean the difference between a lifetime of suffering and a lifetime of comfort and health for your best friend. If your pet is experiencing any one of these signs of pain, please contact us at 910-822-3337. Cumberland Animal Hospital’s veterinarians in Fayetteville, NC are always available to assist you. Call us to schedule an appointment or ask any questions.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska