Pets feel pain much like we do, but they can’t really tell us where or how bad it hurts—and they often instinctually hide illness or injury. That’s why the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management has selected September as Animal Pain Awareness Month, hoping to educate people about the symptoms of chronic pain and discomfort in animals.
Some signs to look for include:
- Heavy panting
- Decreased activity
- Reluctance to jump up on surfaces (cats)
- Overgrooming or licking a particular area
- Difficulty standing after lying down
While acute or urgent pain is obvious, chronic pain can be subtle and pet owners may see it as simply “getting old” or “slowing down”. In fact, recurring or prolonged pain can be treated and sometimes even prevented when the cause is found early. That’s why at AHSS, we recommend that senior pets see us more frequently for exams and blood work.