What if you couldn’t tell your doctor that you were in pain? Animals suffer from pain just like we do. Pain comes in many forms: surgical pain, arthritic pain, and pain from other chronic diseases, such as cancer, just to name a few. Acute pain is usually obvious and distressing, but chronic pain can be subtle, and masked as “getting old” or “slowing down.”
How can we recognize chronic pain in our pets? Often times, there are subtle changes to your pet’s mobility and/or behavior that can clue us in to the fact that he or she might be hurting. Any limping suggests discomfort, as can a reluctance to walk on slippery surfaces, hesitation to jump up or down off of furniture or in and out of the car, attempting to stand with the front legs first, and abnormal or uneven wearing of the nails. Sometimes there are subtle behavioral changes that indicate pain, such as sudden aggression towards other pets or people in the household, an aversion to being brushed, disruption in sleep patterns, a decrease in appetite, or the development of new house-training issues.
At CAMC, we take pain seriously. We will ask you questions about changes you might be noticing in your pet’s mobility and general behavior and will use this information in conjuction with the information we gather by performing a thorough physical exam of your pet’s joints, spine, muscles, and abdomen. If we determine that your pet is sore or uncomfortable, we offer a personalized, multi-modal approach to pain management that includes weight management, dietary supplements, and a variety of oral and/or injectable pain medications, based on your pet’s individual needs.