Many people may not realize it, but our pets can experience pain just as we do. We may assume that our pet could be painful after a surgical procedure or after experiencing an injury, but your pet may be in pain and you may not even know it. The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) recently published a short guide to help cat owners determine if their pet is in pain. Cats actually have “a strong natural instinct to hide their pain” and can “often have pain from arthritis, urinary problems and many other conditions.”
Is your cat having difficulty jumping up or down on furniture or counters, also on stairs, or difficulty walking or running? Is your pet less playful? Is she restless or have difficulty finding a comfortable position? Is your cat sleeping in an unusual position or location?
Is your cat vocalizing more when touched or moving, or show any aggression? Does your pet have less desire to interact with people or other pets in the household? Does he/she have a decreased appetite or stopped using/having difficulty getting in or out of the litter box?
Does your pet display rapid, open-mouthed breathing or have changes in eye expression? Is your pet excessively grooming, licking, biting or scratching any body part? Or maybe he/she has stopped grooming certain areas of the body completely.
If you answered “yes” to a few of these questions, you may want to have a veterinarian assess your pet for pain. IVAPM states “there are many options to treat pain in cats and give them a more comfortable life.” The doctors at Grafton Animal Hospital can help you find an option that works for your pet.
To learn more information and additional resources, visit the “For the Public” section at www.ivapm.org. If you would like to schedule a pain assessment visit for your pet at Grafton Animal Hospital, give us a call at (757) 898-8433.