As we all know, pets cannot communicate to us in the same way as humans communicate with each other. This language barrier can make it challenging to understand what our furry companions need or want. We’ve all been guilty of asking our pets, “Can you please tell me what exactly you want?”

When it comes to helping our pets to feel happy and healthy, this language barrier can be quite frustrating, especially when you are trying to determine if your pet is in any pain. We as pet owners dislike seeing our loved ones ill in any way – if only our pets could tell us what was wrong with them and how we can help them best.

Well actually, pets do tell us a lot of things just with their body language. It is our job as a pet owner to learn how to observe our pet’s behavior and decipher the meaning behind their behavior. Pets exhibit certain behaviors that could indicate pain, depending on how and when that behavior is occurring.

There are six common signs of pain that both cats and dogs can demonstrate that we have seen in our patients:

1. Limping
2. Decreased activity
3. Hesitation towards jump
4. Decreased appetite
5. Increased panting
6. Excessive licking at a particular spot

These signs may appear subtle at first, but they may progress within a short time frame. Cats are masters at disguising their pain, so that they will need closer examination!

Pet owners know their pets the best, so when unusual new behaviors begin, they are generally noticeable to the pet’s owner first. If your pet exhibits any sign of pain, it is important to take note on when these behaviors start and if they increase in frequency over time.

Several options can aid in managing a pet’s pain. Things like supplements, prescriptions medication, acupuncture, and laser therapy all have been known to help manage pain in pets.

Together, you and your pet’s doctor can discuss what would be an appropriate treatment plan for your pet and their needs. If you think your pet is experiencing signs of pain and want to have your pet seen by a doctor, we want to hear from you.

We just introduced laser therapy (photobiostimulation) to our hospital, and we see great results in our patients! In particular, we are seeing how laser therapy is helping our patients to reduce their pain. For more information about laser therapy and to see if your pet would benefit from it, click here. We are also hosting a contest for any patient that receives laser therapy, and you don’t want to miss out!