montgomery AL veterinarians-12Ways Pets Communicate Pain

Pets can’t talk, but many have an instinctive way of letting their owners know if they are in pain. Dogs especially speak to us in clear ways that reflect a problem is present. For cat owners, you have heard this before; cats are masters of disguise. It may take months before you know your cat has a problem. This is why; visits to your veterinarian are crucial. So how much do you know about your pet’s ability to communicate? Let’s take this test to see.

 

montgomery AL veterinarians-11I know my pet is in pain when:
A) He ignores me when I call his name.
B) He drinks excessively.
C) He limps occasionally.
D) He stops cleaning his paws.

If you guessed C you are correct. Interestingly, if your pet is limping he/she is in more pain than you would expect. Instinctively, cats and dogs in the wild know that if they show any signs of weakness they could be another animal’s lunch. Therefore, your cat or dog will hide pain until that pain is greater than their self-preservation instinct to hide it.

montgomery AL veterinariansI know my pet is in pain if:
A) He starts barking for no reason.
B) He stops eating his treats.
C) He stops using the bathroom in his favorite spot.
D) He gets up slower when I call him.

If you guessed D, you are correct. If you notice that Rover or Kitty take a second or two to raise their rears up to stand, when they used to pop up like a spring, it’s because it hurts to stand up quickly. This is a classic sign of arthritis or joint pain and should be discussed with your veterinarian.

montgomery AL veterinarians1I know my pet is in pain when:
A) He stops eating.
B) His fur stinks.
C) He scratches and licks at his feet.
D) He pants when we go for a walk.

The correct answer is A.
Dogs and cats are programmed to pack on pounds in case food becomes scarce. When your pet stops eating, it’s not because they’ve suddenly decided to go on a diet, it’s because something inside them is preventing them from eating. Your pet knows very well not eating will lead to death. They’re trying to eat, they want to eat, and they just can’t.

montgomery AL veterinarians-6My pet is probably in pain if:
A) He suddenly starts snapping at people.
B) Hides all the time, only occasionally coming out to great me.
C) Barks, yelps, or uses a distressed meow every time I pick him up.
D) All of the above

The answer is D. A drastic change in personality usually means discomfort. Pets have few options to communicate with their owners and snapping, barking, yelping, and hiding constantly are just a few tale-tale signs that something serious needs to be evaluated.

As a pet owner, you know more about the usual day to day activities of your pet. When something begins to change, it’s never a bad idea to be proactive and discuss the change with your veterinarian.