How to Recognize When Pets are in Pain
When people are in pain, we express it by saying ‘ow!’ or ‘this hurts!’ or a choice four-letter word. Pets, however, aren’t able to express their discomfort in the same way. Given that September is Animal Pain Awareness Month (as proclaimed by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management), now is the perfect time for retailers to help educate owners about the different ways animals tell us how they feel.
Common Causes of Pain
While some pain sources—like cuts or scrapes—can be easy to spot, others are less apparent. Conditions like osteoarthritis, skin conditions, digestive issues and dental problems can all cause significant and chronic discomfort for pets without being overly obvious.
Know the Signs of Pain
While pets can’t verbally communicate their pain, they do have other tells. Pet parents should be cognizant of their animals’ habits and be on the lookout for the following signs:
• Lethargy or decreased activity
• Avoiding using the stairs or jumping on surfaces
• Reduction in appetite
• Struggling to stand after lying down
• Excessive grooming or licking a specific area
Talk to a Vet
Owners who suspect their pet is exhibiting any of these signs should be encouraged to immediately consult their veterinarian. Don’t wait or try to treat perceived symptoms with home remedies, human supplements or medications.