Animal Pain Awareness Month: Tips from our Roswell Vet

September is Animal Pain Awareness month, so our Roswell vet wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips on how to identify pain in your pet. If you notice your pet behaving abnormally, or if they seem to be in distress, call our office right away. We can provide you with some insight on what may be going on, and recommend a visit if necessary. Some instances of discomfort in pets may be more serious than others, so call us if you notice anything strange about your pet's behavior. Here are some common signs of discomfort in pets:
Decrease in Appetite
A diminished appetite is one of the first recognizable signs that something may be wrong with your pet. An animal that refuses to eat could be having stomach issues, they could have an intestinal blockage, or they may simply be feeling under the weather. Try giving your pet their most prized treat to see how they respond. If they still seem unwilling, don't force them to eat. Your pet may vomit or choke if there is an issue. Another source of a decreased appetite could be a dental health issue. If your pet has pain in a tooth, or tender gums, they may not want to eat anything that could potentially hurt their mouth. If you notice your pet is unwilling to eat, or does so reluctantly, call our Roswell vet. We can give your further information about what may be going on, and we can perform a physical examination to better understand what is making your pet feel ill.
Change in Gait or Posture
A change in gait could be a sign of a joint or limb issue. Any noticeable change in posture or walking style could be your pet's way of adjusting so they can reduce pain felt on one side. Even if your pet seems to keep active, a change in their walking style could be a sign that they are uncomfortable. Our pet's have trouble communicating with us, so it can be challenging to notice when something seems different about their behavior. If you notice that they are babying one paw, leaning heavily on one side, or adjusting their gait, call our office to schedule an appointment. We can perform a physical examination to see if your pet is experiencing any pain. Our Roswell vet may be able to recommend some pain management treatments, such as physical therapy exercises, to help ease their discomfort.
Lethargy & Antisocial Behavior
While our pets do require plenty of rest throughout the day, lethargy and antisocial behavior could be a sign that they are not feeling their best. If you notice that your pet is lying around the house, tends to stay in corners or away from guests, or even just looks a little sad, they may be sick. This type of behavior can be difficult to pick up if your pet is older, or even if you are a cat owner. Senior pets need lots of rest and we may not always notice that they are actually uncomfortable. Cats are very elusive and are more likely to hide their illness from their owner. Always take note of instances where your pet may not be as excited about something that they typically enjoy, such as playtime or getting their favorite treat. While lethargy could just be a sign that your pet is starting to slow down, it could also mean that something is wrong. Submissive behavior like lying belly-up or avoiding eye contact could be your pet's way of communicating their unhappiness. A sick pet could be acting more submissive as a way of asking for help.
If your pet seems out of sorts, call our Roswell vet or bring them in for a visit right away. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to pet illness, so call us at (770) 993-7887 if you have any questions about your pet's behavior.