“How do I know if my pet is in pain?” is a question commonly asked by pet care owner
In the following article my goal is teach you how to recognize the more subtle sign of paint.
Of course sometimes its easy to tell a pets in pain. If a pet is lame and carries one limb you can bet she hurts. A dog with a ruptured disk may arch his or her back and scream if you touch the affected vertebrae. There is no question this animal is in severe pain.
But what are some more subtle signs of pain that are often missed by the average pet owner. Loss of appetite, restlessness, panting can be signs of severe discomfort.
Licking at a particular area of the body such as a joint should have you consider that the area may be painful. A distended abdomen that is very tense to the touch often indicates a pet in great discomfort. A pet that gets up slowly after sleeping but walks better as the day progresses is probably arthritic. This same dog may hesitate to go upstairs or jump into the family car. A dog or cat that goes to eat some food but then drops the food may have a tooth ache. Cats are well known for developing very painful cavities at the interface between the tooth and gum. Older dogs may develop painful root abscess of the large upper premolar. This abscess may be detected when a buldge or open wound develops under the eye on the same side. If a dog or cat’s personality changes and the animal becomes reclusive or aggressive you may suspect pain as possible cause. On the other hand some pets in pain want more of the owners attention. Shivering and shaking are very common signs of an animal in pain. A pet that starts to urinate or defecate and then stops may be feeling pain from the posture being assumed or from the attempted passage of urine or stool. It would then make sense to have the urine tested for the presence of blood or white blood cells. A stool that is very large and hard could cause a great deal of distress on attempted defecation. Male cats that have urinary tract obstruction may have a greatly distended urinary bladder that is extremely uncomfortable. This cat may go in and out of the litter box repeatedly but produce no urine. This same cat may strain for longer periods or just momentarily if the pain of passage discourages him Dogs with neck injuries may stand in a guarded posture with their neck pulled into the body and turn their whole body rather than their neck as they explore their environment. Sometimes just looking into your pets eyes will tell something hurts. His or her eyes may be squinty and the pupils may be dilated. Taking your pets pulse may also provide evidence of pain. A much more rapid than normal pulse is a common sign of pain. Of course you must know what your pets normal pulse is to know if it has elevated.. A good place to take a pets pulse is at the inner thigh up toward the groin.
Keep in mind that there are all types of animals just as there all types of people with different pain tolerances. Some small coddled dogs may cry for no reason while some large stoic dogs may not complain even though you are manipulating a very painful joint. Giving your pet a weekly home exam will help you learn what is normal for your pet. Put their joints through full range of motion, push up on their abdomen, and just spending a few moments watching them, walk, run, eat, drink, breath and eliminate will help you pick up early signs of pain. If you suspect your pet is in pain don’t wait very long to have the problem diagnosed. Procrastinating when pain is present could turn the problem into a very expensive emergency.
Fortunately, veterinarians can provide a number of options for pain control.
These options include non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, narcotic pain killers, muscle relaxants, herbal analgesics, acupuncture, chiropractic, pulsed magnetic therapy
cold laser therapy, and infrasonic sound therapy