7 Signs Your Dog or Cat May Be in Pain

As much as you’d like them to, your dog or cat cannot talk. This makes determining when your pet is ill or injured difficult, as you have to watch for behavior or other warning signs.

Keeping an eye out for signs of pain is especially important as pets age, as they become more likely to suffer from ailments such as arthritis or dental issues. Even though your dog or cat can’t speak up to tell you they’re hurting, here are 7 signs your pet may be in pain:

Aggressive or Antisocial Behavior

If your normally even-keeled pup suddenly begins growling or nipping at you or other animals in your home, this may be a sign he’s hurting. Watch carefully for the circumstances around the aggressive behavior. If your pet goes in for a bite after someone touches his back legs, for example, it could be a sign that he’s having pain in this area.

Being More or Less Vocal

Cats and dogs meow or bark often, and some pets “speak” more than others. But if your usually quiet cat seems to be crying loudly, she may be in pain. If your pet is making more noise but you don’t see limping, difficulty moving, or any other changes in behavior, the pain could be internal.

On the other hand, some pets may be less vocal if they’re in pain. Even if your pet isn’t crying out in pain, he could be hurting. Check for other signs that may show your pet is having a problem and consult with your vet.

Changes in Habits

What, how often, and how much your pet eats, drinks, or sleeps typically stays consistent. But if you notice a significant change – a decrease in eating, decrease or increase in drinking, and an increase in sleeping, for example – that could be a signal that something’s wrong. While changes in basic habits aren’t only a sign of pain, they good reasons to schedule an appointment with your vet to get your pet checked out.

Problems Moving

While some stiffness is normal for pets, especially if they’re older or when the weather changes, limping, difficulty walking, or stumbling is not normal for pets. Sometimes, you’ll get an indication of what hurts based on how your pet is walking. No matter what, a sudden change in mobility is cause for concern.

Changes to Body or Posture

Look closely at your pet – Do his legs look swollen or somehow different? Is your pet standing more hunched-over or holding his legs straighter than usual? This could be a sign that something’s hurting. Swollen legs, paws, or even a face may indicate inflammation from an injury or infection.

Shaking or Trembling

Cold or fear are not the only reasons your pet may begin to tremble. Intense pain, poisoning, or even some illnesses can cause shaking in pets. Get to your vet as soon as possible.

Excessive Grooming

Having a pet that wants to keep clean is great! But if you notice that your pet is obsessively licking or chewing on the same spot, that could be a signal that something hurts. Frequent grooming can also be a sign that your pet is trying to soothe a hurt, especially if that pain is internal.

If you notice some or any of the above 7 behaviors, contact your veterinarian for an appointment!

Skilled Veterinarians in Frederick, MD

At Old Farm Vet Hospital in Frederick, Maryland, we want to make sure your pets are as healthy and happy as they can be. Whether your pooch just needs an annual wellness exam and vaccinations, or you suspect there may be something amiss, our dedicated team can help your furry friend. Schedule your appointment today!