September is Pet Pain Awareness Month, and we recognize the occasion by teaching pet parents the signs of pet pain and improving pet pain management. Both cats and dogs instinctively mask their pain and symptoms of illness. As the closest person to your pet, you have the best chance of noticing the slight behavior changes and other signs that indicate pain.

What Are the Signs of Pain in Pets?

When in pain, cats might purr or groom excessively and dogs might pant excessively or flatten their ears. Many common signs of pain, however, are the same for both species.

Look for Behavior Changes

Your pet’s behavior might change. Pain could be indicated by slight changes to their daily routines. You might notice your pet growing less social and trying to isolate themselves from the rest of their family. They might show a reluctance to be touched or become more aggressive. Some pets have an increased number of accidents inside the house or outside of the litterbox.

Pets who are experiencing pain might also become lethargic, reluctant to move, and less interested in playing. You might notice that they become restless or excessively tired. In addition, your pet might persistently lick or bite at a specific location on their body.

Pay Attention to Appetite

In pain, pets might experience appetite loss – especially if they’re experiencing mouth pain or gastrointestinal illness. Both decreased or increased hunger and thirst can indicate illness, in addition to unexpected weight changes.

Keep an Eye on Appearance

In pain, your pet’s appearance could change slightly. These types of changes might manifest in swelling around the face, on the limbs, or in the abdomen. Musculoskeletal issues like arthritis could cause changes in your pet’s posture or gait. You might notice lumps, bumps, a rash, redness, or bald patches in your pet’s fur. In pain, your pet’s eyes might be more dilated than usual.

Excessive Vocalization

When experiencing extreme pain, a cat or dog might howl, yowl, growl, hiss, or whimper.

Medical Changes

When in pain, pets often have an elevated heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and temperature. While you likely won’t notice these signs of pain, a veterinarian will be able to detect them during a checkup.

At-Home Pet Pain Management in Richmond

Capital Home Veterinary Care’s experienced professionals can help you determine if your pet’s in pain, provide a diagnosis of the underlying cause, and establish a pain management treatment plan for your pet. With the convenience of at-home mobile veterinary care, we’ll bring relief to your pet’s doorstep.