Is Your Pet Comfortable?
All pet parents will agree, we love our pets. We love them for their unique personalities, their unconditional love, their ability to sense and respond to our moods, and a long, long list of other reasons. From the time our pets join our families we want them to be happy, healthy and comfortable.
September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. This is a time for pet parents to learn about their pet’s health and well-being when it comes to pain management – both chronic and acute. This is a way to improve the quality of your pet’s life.
Unlike people, our pets can not verbally tell us when they are uncomfortable or in pain. Pets are reliant on their two-legged parents to watch their behavior and movement and to adjust their environment and activity to reflect their comfort levels.
Sometimes it’s obvious that your pet is in pain. It may be a noticeable limp, a large cut, or an observed trauma. Other times the signs of pain or trauma can be more subtle.
Warning signs your pet may be in pain:
Antisocial or aggressive behavior
If your pet is hiding away or appears to be more antisocial than normal, it could be an indication that they are in pain. Any noticeable change in behavior may be a cause for concern.
Changes in eating, drinking or sleeping habits
Pets that are in pain may sleep more. This may be an indication that they are trying to heal, or that it is difficult for them to move around. A loss of appetite and noticeable differences in the amount of water they are drinking are common symptoms. Not eating dried food or hard chews may indicate dental pain.
Being more vocal
Excessive yelling, growling, snapping, and even howling may be an indication that something isn’t right.
Is your pet licking one spot constantly? When a pet is hurt, it’s first instinct is to lick the wound to clean and care for it. Cuts may be more obvious, but an internal injury can manifest the same behavior.
Heavy panting or altered breathing
Heavy panting when your pet has not been exercising can be an indicator that something is wrong. If your pet is taking shallow breaths it may be a sign that it hurts for them to breathe.
Reduced interest in exercise or activity, a reluctance to climb stairs can indicate your pet is uncomfortable or in pain. Limping and/or stiffness are two of the more obvious signs that something is wrong and can be an indication of sore paws, arthritis or even an injury.
Signs of agitation
Restlessness can be a sign of pain in you pet. If your pet is pacing and back repeatedly, has difficulty getting comfortable and is sleeping a lot less, this could be an indication of an underlying issue.
Changes in their body or posture
Assuming the “prayer” position, with the front legs stretched out and the rump in the air, can indicate your pet is experiencing discomfort in the abdominal area. The prayer position allows this area to stretch out. Swelling of the paws, legs, or face can be a sign of inflammation or infection.
Shaking or trembling
Shaking and trembling can both be a sign of getting old, feeling cold, or being in pain. They can, however, indicate more serious conditions such as pancreatitis or poisoning.
If your pet is showing signs of being in pain, you should consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and develop a treatment plan. If you choose to treat holistically, PetAlive® has an assortment of products that can keep your pet comfortable and allow them to get back to what they love.