Pets in pain

Dr. Stuart Clark-Price joined our series of conference calls recently, and one of the topics we covered was how pets express pain that isn’t traumatic, like a broken bone or a bite.  Dr. Clark-Price is a professor of animal anesthesiology and pain management at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Since animals can’t tell us they are experiencing some level of chronic, low-level pain, it’s really up to the pet’s guardian to be alert to symptoms that could be caused by something serious.  Although it might be easy to attribute some behaviors as “just getting old”, Dr. Clark-Price noted that getting old isn’t a disease.  Indeed, your pet could be telling you he or she is hurting. Here are some indicators:

  • Your pet is significantly less mobile than normal. This could be the onset of some arthritis, among other causes, and might be able to be treated.
  • Your pet isn’t eating as enthusiastically. This could be due to a broken and infected tooth.  It’s definitely worth checking out your pet’s oral health.
  • Your pet is having trouble sleeping, or is sleeping much more than normal. These are important symptoms to discuss with your veterinarian, as they could be due to a variety of causes.

Since we as guardians of our pets spend the most time with them, it is important for their health that we carefully observe their behaviors, and discuss significant changes with our vets.

For a more in-depth review of this topic and more, be sure to check out this great interview with Drs. Charles A. Cohen and Stuart Clark-Price.

Posted in Pet Care Tales | Tags: , , ,
Pets in pain
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