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How to recognize pain in pets

Unlike humans, pets cannot tell us when something hurts, and most likely, they will even try to hide their pain. It's an animal survival instinct to mask pain so they don't appear weak. While some animals may be good at this, your pet may still give you a few clues to let you know he's hurting.

Signs of pain:

  • Avoiding playing or being touched.

  • Inability to get comfortable.

  • Difficulty getting up/down stairs or in and out of the car.

  • Loss of appetite or inability to bend down to the food dish.

  • Weight loss.

  • Heavy panting and increased heart rate.

  • Constant licking or chewing at a particular area.

  • Being more vocal than usual; whining and whimpering.

If you notice some of these behaviors in your pet, he may be trying to tell you something. Discussing noticeable behavioral changes with your veterinarian is important to catch serious injuries or conditions early.

You can keep a close relationship with your dog or cat by petting and massaging him regularly. This will help you notice painful cues early on so that you can help your furry friend in times of need.

Note: Never give dogs or cats human pain killers, such as Tylenol which is toxic to pets.