Pets Feel Pain: Learn How To Manage It
By the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
Erin Forbes, DVM
Mountain View Animal Hospital
September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Pain comes in many forms: arthritis, cancer, post-surgery, acute injuries, and chronic injuries. Acute pain is obvious and distressing and hard to miss. Think a broken leg or an injury from falling down the stairs. Chronic pain can be subtle: some may just think their pet is getting old. However, while old age is not a
disease, pain is and can be treated. There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, and integrative medicine options–acupuncture and chiropractic.
Common signs of pain can vary among animals. In dogs these include decreased social interaction, an anxious expression, whimpering, decreased appetite, self-mutilation, and changes in posture. In cats, we see reduced activity, loss of appetite, loss of curiosity, changes in urinary/defecation habits, hiding, excessive grooming (especially over joints), stiff gait, or matted fur. In horses, they might arch their back, shift their weight, stand abnormally, and be very stiff when moving. Continue reading