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How to Tell If Your Pet Is In Pain

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Animals have distinct ways of communicating with us. Their barks, meows, and chirps for attention let us know when they are demanding food or playtime. But how do you know if your pet is in pain? While the signs aren’t always immediately obvious, there are several symptoms to watch out for.

Blue Lake Animal Hospital provides unwavering veterinary support for you and your pet. Below, we’ve listed a few common indications that your pet may be in pain, which can point to an underlying health problem. If you notice these signs, don’t try to treat the issue on your own. Schedule a visit with our knowledgeable veterinarians at the soonest opportunity.

Aggressive Or Avoidant Behaviors

Has your pet been acting differently than usual? Behavioral changes can be associated with pain. Chances are, you are already well-acquainted with your pet’s individual behaviors and characteristics. If these seem different than usual, your pet may be stressed due to pain. For instance, some animals may be more avoidant than normal and hide from you. Other animals, such as dogs, may become aggressive if you try to touch them. Noticeable changes in behaviors or temperament are sometimes indicative of pain, so if you are concerned, reach out to our vets. 

Changes in Eating or Sleeping Habits

A telltale sign that an animal is in pain is if its eating or sleeping habits change. Your pet likely has a routine, and if this is disrupted, it can be an indication that it isn’t feeling well. When an animal is in pain, it may sleep more often since being active is too difficult. Additionally, your pet might resist eating or drinking water. Trouble eating, especially foods that are dry or firm, may be indicative of dental pain

Increased Vocalizations

Sometimes, an animal in pain will be more vocal than they typically are. Dogs might growl, bark excessively, pant, or howl. Cats may also have an increase in vocalizations or changes in their purring, indicating something is wrong. If your pet is vocalizing more than usual, especially when paired with other symptoms, it may be trying to tell you something. 

Excessive Grooming

If you’ve noticed your pet grooming itself more than usual, it may be attempting to soothe itself from the pain it is experiencing. A dog’s first instinct when in pain is often to lick at the wound as a way to care for it, and such is true even if the pain is internal. For cats, grooming is a self-soothing measure that reduces anxiety, and so their grooming habits may also change when in pain.  

Changes in Mobility and Posture

Pain can make it difficult for your pet to walk. Swelling in the paws and legs can indicate inflammation or an infection. Some animals will take on a hunched, rigid stance when they are in pain. Limping, trouble climbing stairs and a general hesitation to move around can signal a problem. If there’s a change from your pet’s usual, active self, visit our veterinarians for a checkup. 

Visit a Veterinarian for a Checkup

Whenever there’s a chance that your pet is in pain, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional assistance. Blue Lake Animal Hospital provides prompt services to help your pet heal and feel better as soon as possible. Call our office to learn how we can help you. 

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