Can you tell when your pet is in pain? After all, your cat or dog can’t say “ouch” or otherwise tell you that she’s hurting. So, how can you know? And what can you do to help your beloved animal companion in her time of need?
Dr. Metzger and the rest of the Rainbow Vet Hospital staff want every pet owner from Burbank and the surrounding California communities to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pain in animals, and how our team can help your dog or cat the next time you think she’s suffering.
Signs & Symptoms of Pain in Animals
Pain, or “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage” as it’s been defined by the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of Wisconsin, is experienced differently by each pet. Like humans, animals have many different factors that contribute to how intensely they feel their pain and how they react to it, including the severity and type of injury, overall health status, and individual temperament.
Here are a few of the telltale warning signs and symptoms that may indicate your pain is hurting:
- Difficulty walking, getting up from the floor, jumping onto furniture, or climbing stairs
- Difficulty chewing food, or frequently dropping food (if the pet has jaw, tooth, and/or gum pain)
- Increased agitation and jumpiness/reflexive guarding when touched
- Increased vocalizations (barking or meowing)
- Unusual social withdrawal or decrease in activity
Alternatively, your pet may not show any signs or symptoms. Or, other changes may occur that are not necessarily painful themselves but related to whatever underlying condition that is causing pain (such as cancer, arthritis, or tick-borne illnesses). This may include things like anemia (low red blood cells), decreased appetite, unexplained weight loss, and an increase in respiratory rate or pulse.
How a Veterinarian Can Help Relieve Pain in Your Pet
Bring your pet to see us if you are concerned that she is in pain. We’ll like perform a thorough physical examination and may request some special lab work and diagnostic tests to identify the source of your animal’s discomfort.
Based on the results of our examination, we’ll discuss with you the most appropriate pain management options. Depending on your budget, your personal choice, and your pet’s needs, we may recommend any of the following:
- Medications to control pain
- Medications to address/resolve any underlying chronic health conditions
- Surgical, dental, and/or dermatological consults
- Dietary modifications which can promote anti-inflammation, improved tissue healing, and better weight management
- Veterinary rehabilitation, including physical therapy and cold laser therapy
- Lifestyle modifications, including car ramps, pet stairs, and activity restrictions
- Alternative and/or holistic veterinary medicine, including acupuncture, massage, and herbal supplements
Is Your Pet in Pain? Give Her the Healing She Deserves With Help From Our Veterinarian in Burbank
At Rainbow Vet Hospital, we can connect you with a veterinarian in Burbank who cares as much about your pet’s well-being as you do. Dr. Metzger and his team have the tools, technology, and clinical experience to help you find the best pain management solution for your beloved animal companion. To schedule an appointment with our veterinarian in Burbank or to learn more about our veterinary medical services, then call Rainbow Vet Hospital today at 818-846-1166.