Dog in Bed

Is Your Pet in Pain

When it comes to pain, our pets can be very good at disguising when they’re hurting. Unlike humans, they can’t tell us if something’s wrong or point out where it hurts. Heck, they aren’t even able to complain about an aching body part on social media! That’s why it’s important for pet owners to know the signs that indicate their pet may be in pain, which can be symptoms of issues such as dental disease, infections, arthritis, and even cancer.

Some signs and symptoms may be more obvious than others, so it’s important to be on the lookout for even the most subtle of changes that seem “out of the ordinary” for your pet. The sooner an owner detects signs of pain in their pet, the sooner they can be treated by a veterinarian and back on the road to happier & healthier days. Below are a few of the signs to look for that may indicate your pet is in pain:

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity level
  • Having trouble or not going up/down stairs
  • Not wanting to jump up onto surfaces (especially for cats)
  • Avoiding putting weight on a particular limb
  • Increased or decreased grooming or licking/scratching at a particular area

Other Symptoms May Include:

  • Restlessness
  • Withdrawing from or seeking out more affection & social interaction
  • Changes in urination/defecation (frequency, color, consistency)
  • Uncharacteristically aggressive
  • Uncommon facial expressions (vacant stare, a furrowed brow, grimacing)

You can find a more detailed list of behaviors/symptoms of pets in pain for both dogs and cats by clicking on the links below (information courtesy of the American Animal Hospital Association).

Is my dog in pain?

Is my cat in pain?

Knowing what to look for and when to address your concerns with a veterinarian will help you become your pet’s best health advocate!

Dr. Kelly Moderhack is a DVM at Dundee Animal Hospital. She practices at both our Dundee and Algonquin locations.