Animals feel pain the same as we do, but they do not always display it in the same way. This means that owners often do not realise that their pet is in pain. Animals can be stoic and hide the fact they are in pain and the signs and clues are often subtle.
Clues your dog is in pain:
- Panting a lot more than usual, even at rest
- They pass stools as they walk along, rather than the standing in the usual pose to pass a stool
- Ears flat back
- Aggression/change in temperament
- Less active
- Reluctant to play
- Not eating
A lot of the time owners just think their dog is ‘getting old’. Although this is the case, the cause of a lot of their symptoms is often them being in pain due to old age-related problems.
Clues your cat is in pain:
- Becoming less active
- Being vocal
- Reduced appetite
- Hiding away
- No longer being able to jump up on to higher surfaces, like they once could.
- Avoiding being handled/stroked/brushed
- Reduction in grooming itself
- Changes in posture – more crouched, hunched over, ears flat
- Squinted or closed eyes
Some cats will show a lot of these signs, others will be more subtle.
If you think your pet maybe in pain, then it is best to take them to your vet to be assessed. There are a lot of options for pain relief these days, some with less risks and side effects than others.