September 15, 2021
How Do I Know If My Pet Is In Pain and What Can Be Done To Help Them
Pet parents know that their pets don’t always show obvious signs that they’re in pain. And once we recognize they’re in pain, it can be difficult to narrow down how to alleviate that pain at home before they can get in to see the vet.
Read more about how to identify pain in cats and dogs and how to relieve the pain in this month’s blog post!
1. What are the common signs and symptoms of pain in dogs and cats?
Dogs and cats are very stoic as a rule and do not show us many early pain signs that are easily recognizable. One of the earliest signs of pain that you may notice is your pet sleeping more and playing less often or as vigorous. Additional signs would include other behavior changes such as decreased appetite, increased hiding behavior, avoiding stairs, getting “grumpy,” moving away from pets/scratches in a certain area, crying/barking when touched, and limping.
2. Do cats and dogs feel pain?
Yes, cats and dogs feel pain as people do. The big difference between our pets and ourselves is that our animals will not necessarily expect the pain to get better and so do not complain. Oftentimes our pets simply avoid doing a certain behavior that causes them pain as opposed to specifically crying out.
3. What relieves cat pain? What relieves dog pain?
Pain relief in all species can come from many different avenues. The most common pain relief that people think of are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories including Onsior and Metacam for cats as well as Rimadyl, Metacam, Onsior, Deramaxx, and Previcox in dogs. Other modalities for pain relief in both species would include herbals, acupuncture, animal chiropractic, and massage therapy.
4. Are there any over the counter pain meds for cats and dogs?
While over-the-counter pain medications are available for dogs, we do not recommend using them as they tend to not be very effective and may interfere with safer and more effective medications your vet may be able to prescribe. There is nothing sold over the counter that would be safe to give your cat.
5. Can I give my cat or dog aspirin for pain relief?
Aspirin will not kill your dog so long as you are careful not to overdose him/her as there is a narrow dosage range in dogs between effectiveness and toxicity. What I usually see are dogs given aspirin that are still sore so they come see me for a better pain medication that I am then unable to prescribe to them for 3 days because I need the aspirin to get out of their system before I can safely give it to them.
Avoid giving Aspirin to cats as Aspirin is not able to be properly processed in your cat’s liver and the effects of the drug will be fatal.
6. What are alternative and natural pain relief methods?
Pain relief methods that do not involve the administration of NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) include acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, massage therapy, and herbals. Often these modalities are used in conjunction with NSAIDS to keep your older/injured pet comfortable and are very effective.
As always, if you think your pet is in pain, please give us a call to speak with one of our team members and schedule an appointment. You can reach us by phone at (330) 627-4898 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.