We all want our beloved pets to live long, comfortable, healthy lives. Because pets can’t talk to us, it can be difficult to know how they are feeling. Detecting pain in our pets can be especially challenging.
Although our pets often feel pain for the same reasons as humans (infections, dental problems, arthritis, post surgical, injury, ect) they way that they display pain is quite different, and often very subtle. It is important to stay alert to these signes, because the sooner your pet’s pain is diagnosed and treated, the sooner they can resume their normal, happy lifestyle.
Dogs and Cats may show pain through;
- Unusual vocalizations or facial expressions
- Withdrawing from or an increase need for social interactions
- Changes in sleeping, drinking, or eliminating
- Licking or biting themselves
- Restlessness or difficulty moving
- Changes in behavior
- Limping or hiding
Small mammals (guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, ect.) show signs such as aversions (even subtle) to eating or drinking, chewing/gnawing, or presenting with wet chest which could indicate excessive drooling.
If any of these signs are noted a veterinary exam is recommended in order to detect where pain may be coming from or what the cause may be. Depending on exam findings there are a number of things we can do to treat pain in our pets including pain/anti-inflammatory medications, glucosamine/chrondroitin supplements, therapeutic diets, physical therapy, weight loss management, or a combination of one or more of these which is referred to as multimodal management.
There are also many things we can do to decrease the chances that our pets will suffer from pain.
We can help to prevent joint pain by feeding our pets a healthy diet designed to keep them at a healthy weight and using supplements to encourage joint health.
Dental pain can be controlled by regular dental exams done by your veterinarian to detect potential problems early and regular dental procedures to prevent tooth loss and advanced dental disease.
Pets can be predisposed to some joint problems, but screening young animals’ hips, knees, & elbows allows us to recognize if problems are present, evaluate, and possibly consider surgery at an early age when things can be corrected.
Understanding good husbandry (housekeeping and nutritional needs) of our small companion mammals and keeping close tabs on their normal behavior to monitor for subtle changes can go a long way with preventing pain.
Regular veterinary exams are essentional for your pets health, happiness, and longevity. We are dedicated to providing your pets with exceptional pain management at Caver Lake and are here to help you understand, prevent, and treat painful processes in your pet.