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Signs of Pain in Pets

August 1, 2020

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month! Our furry pals can be pretty expressive when they want to let us know they want breakfast or cuddles, but they aren’t quite as clear when they aren’t feeling well. That’s why it’s important to know how to recognize signs of pain. A Bend, OR vet lists some common ones below.

Lack Of Appetite

A lack of interest in food is almost always a red flag. Healthy pets have healthy appetites! Even if your pet doesn’t like what you offered, he or she should still be interested in their dinner.


Limping can be caused by injuries, but it is also often a sign of bone/joint issues, such as arthritis. In some cases, pets usually just limp when they are getting up. The limp may go away as your pet warms up. However, with arthritis and many other issues, the limp will gradually become more pronounced.


Just like people, pets don’t often feel very sociable if they aren’t feeling well. If your normally-friendly pet is hiding or spending a lot of time alone, there could be something going on.

Changes In Vocalizations

This one will play out differently for different pets. If your animal companion is usually a chatterbox, he or she may fall silent if something is wrong. Dogs may whimper or yelp, while cats may growl, yell, or hiss.


Sometimes when pets aren’t feeling well, they will continually get up or down, trying to get comfortable. If your furry friend can’t stay settled, they may not be feeling well.


Another thing to watch for is if your pet is continually licking or nibbling themselves. For example, if your dog’s foot is hurting, he may continuously worry at that sore spot.

Reduced Interest In Play

No surprises here: pets don’t usually feel very playful when they’re in pain. If your animal companion’s toys are gathering dust, there may be something going on.


Pain can also cause animals to move slowly or stiffly. Your pet may also sit in an unusual position if something is bothering them.


If you notice any of these warning signs, contact your vet immediately! Also, keep in mind that these are just a few things to watch for. Ask your vet for more information.

As your Bend, OR pet clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

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