ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Tell if Your Pet is in Pain

Updated on July 6, 2009

Pain indications may be pretty evident or very subtle

Pain is not only a physical condition found in humans, rather it affects our household pets as well. The only difference is that as humans, we are equipped with better means to communicate our painful status, while pets are harshly penalized because of their lack of voice. However, pets are blessed with another method of communication that as pet owners we must learn to read, this subtle language is referred to as body language.

In some cases, pain is pretty evident in our companion animals. However in others, it may be quite subtle. Cats in particular are very stoic creatures, being in pain in their view is a weakness. Therefore, these secretive creatures try to hide it as much as possible. Some dogs as well are pretty strong in hiding their pain, often camouflaging it very well. Following are some evident and less evident signs of pets being in pain.

Vocalization

Vocalization is the next best thing to human talking. Pets that are hurt often will vocalize their pain making it easy for owners to know they are hurting. A typical scenario is a dog yelping suddenly upon stepping on something sharp or a cat growling upon being touched. The pain may be just temporary or it may be ongoing. A pet in pain may whine, yelp, howl, whimper, groan, grunt or growl.

Hiding 

This takes place mostly in cats. As explained earlier, cats see pain as a weakness making them prone to predators. Therefore, one of the first things a cat instinctively does when in pain is to look for a great place to hide. This often translated as well in not coming out to eat, drink or use the litter box.  Sometimes, geriatric cats will hide to find a place to die.

Change in Posture

A pet in pain may appear in hunched up position, he or she may not put weight on a leg or the pet may just lay on its side sleeping more hours than usual. Changes in posture are due to the fact that pet tries its best not to put weight on a painful limb or to avoid laying down on a body part that hurts. 

Behavior Changes

A pet in pain may change behavior. It is not unheard of a friendly dog turning into a vicious one when he is approached when in pain. Cats may growl or scratch and bite upon being picked up and dogs may guard their injury by baring teeth to anybody trying to approach him. Some pets may appear restless, repeatedly getting up and laying down or may pace more. Some pets may simply hide to avoid being bothered.

Routine Changes

A pet not feeling well and in pain will generally sleep more, eat/drink less and in some cases even have bladder or bowel movements in the wrong places. Cats may not be seen for hours and dogs may not appear to be their usual social beings. Such routine changes are red flags quite easy to interpret.

Physical Changes

Cats in pain often may not tend to their grooming session as usual, therefore, their coat may seem to lack its normal luster and in some cases the fur may become dull.  Dogs may pant more even without being exercised or without hot weather.  Some pets may shake and tremble.

Over Grooming

Dogs and cats have an instinct to overly groom a spot when it hurts or itches. Both dogs and cats with urinary tract infections may be found licking their genitals, or they may lick continuously a paw that hurts. Often the area being painful can easily be recognized by simply looking at the area the pet is licking excessively.

As seen, there are various ways pets are able to tell their owners something is wrong. It is up to the owner therefore to pick up the cues and have a veterinarian investigate, diagnose and properly treat the source of pain.

For Dogs with Painful Joints

Nutramax Cosequin DS Double Strength Chewables, 250 Count
Nutramax Cosequin DS Double Strength Chewables, 250 Count

Cosequin Is A Nutritional Supplement To Help Dogs Maintain Healthy Joints. As Dogs Age, It Is Common For Their Joints To Become Less Flexible Which Impacts Their Mobility And Quality Of Life. Cosequin Is An Exclusive Formula To Support And Maintain The Health Of Your Dog's Joints. Each Chewable Tablet Contains 500 Mg Glucosamine Hcl, 400 Mg Sodium 95% Chondroitin Sulfate 5% Mixed Glycosaminoglycans, 33 Mg Ascorbate And 5 Mg Manganese.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 years ago from USA

      Many vets still prescribe it short-term for dogs. Baby aspirin "buffered" given on a full stomach for 1-2 days does not have to necessarily end up with an ulcer. Cats should never be given aspirin. Have you ever seen how many pets have died on Rimadyl and Previcox? The numbers are outstanding. All meds can cause side effects. Here is a vet's opinion on aspirin;

      http://blog.petmeds.com/ask-the-vet/is-asprin-safe...

    • profile image

      vetster 

      6 years ago

      Aspirin? No way! Ulcer central. Now classed as a nasty substance, particularly for pets.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 years ago from USA

      Tony, this hub may be helpful to you:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Causes-of-Limping-in-D...

    • profile image

      tony waterston 

      7 years ago

      My dog started limping this morning, now she is struggling to walk, and it looks like both legs, just feel so helpless

    • RalphGreene profile image

      RalphGreene 

      7 years ago

      Great information.Pet owners must basically know this.I really start to like having dog for pet.Thanks for this information.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Very helpful and informative hub. I have booked marked for future advise. Thank you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)