Sep 11, 2020

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) has declared September as Animal Pain Awareness Month. Pets tend to be good at hiding their pain, so it is important for veterinarians to educate their clients to spot the potential signs of pain in their pets. This month is dedicated to raising awareness to help pet owners recognize and manage their pet’s pain.

According to the North American Veterinary Community, more than 45 million household pets suffer from acute or chronic pain. Acute pain is characterized by pain that has come on suddenly or has only been present for a short period of time. Examples of acute pain include pain after surgery or from a new injury, such as a fall. Alternatively, chronic pain can be more subtle and may be considered just “slowing down” or “getting old.” An example of chronic pain is osteoarthritis pain.

But how do you know if your pet is in pain? As we mentioned, pets can be good at hiding pain. But there are some potential signs of pain in pets that you can keep an eye out for. The IVAPM has provided a list of the most common signs of pain in pets:

  • Decreased activity – Take notice if your animal is not playing as much as usual
  • Not going up or down stairs – This could be an early sign of osteoarthritis
  • Reluctance to jump onto surfaces – This especially applies to cats
  • Difficulty standing after laying down – This is a sign of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased appetite – This can signal mouth pain
  • Over grooming or licking a particular area – This can be a sign of referred pain

While September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these potential signs of pain at all times. If you notice that your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, call your veterinarian.

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