Do you know how to recognize if your cat or dog has chronic pain? It may not be as obvious as you think and cats in particular hide it well without vocalizing it. When it does become obvious it is usually at an advanced stage.
While pain can be a symptom of a serious or terminal health problem, it is more commonly seen in aging pets that are suffering from arthritis, joint, or muscle pain or recovering from an injury. What it really comes down to for our cats and dogs suffering is pain management through treatments of rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Dr. Jessica Waldman is a veterinarian certified in canine rehabilitation and acupuncture focused on prevention. She founded California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE).
She gave us five ways to recognize if your cat or dog is in pain:
1. Change in routine. Your cat or dog no longer wants to do simple things that it has been doing for a long period of time. For example a dog no longer wanting to go out side to take care of business, or go for walks, or seems to have lost interest in play. Change in sleeping patterns.
2. Hesitation in physical excursion, slowing down, lethargy.
3. Loss of appetite, frequent vomiting or diarrhea.
4. Walking off balance
5. Change in temperament
The most important thing is to be well in tune with your animal and to be able to recognize subtle changes that could be tell tale signs. Don’t become paranoid or a hypochondriac, but observant. Keep a health journal to record your observations so you can see patterns as they develop and share it with your vet.
Here is more what Dr. Waldman told us:
(We have found recordings play best when using the Firefox browser)
You can listen to our entire interview with Dr Waldman on 02/28/15 at 10 am PST, or any time there after at the following link:
Does your pet suffer from pain? How are you making your pet more comfortable? I would love to hear your comments.