September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Dr. Larry Mangum


Appalachian Animal Hospital

The goal of the month is to raise awareness regarding pet health and well-being when it comes to pain-management for both acute and chronic pain.

Our pets suffer pain, just as we do but they are unable to express to us when they are in pain or just how much pain they are suffering.

Pain takes many forms and some are natural as a pet ages. The most identifiable – and distressing – is acute pain. This means a pet is suffering sharp, intense pain and that something is immediately wrong and needs to be looked at.

More difficult to recognize is chronic pain. These are aches and pains that develop over time and can be difficult to recognize or confused with a pet simply slowing down.

There are several ways our pets tell us if they are in pain. If your pet is exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms, you should strongly consider a veterinary checkup:

• Not eating dinner – Pets whose appetite has decreased may be suffering some type of pain, typically mouth pain, that prevents them from wanting to eat.

• Not joining in play time with other pets – Pets that are lethargic and don’t want to play may be suffering a pain preventing them from frolicking like they may have in the past.

• Not using stairs – Pets that avoid climbing up or down stairs may be suffering early stages of arthritis

• Cats not jumping onto surfaces – This is also an indicator that your pet may be in pain.

• Over grooming or licking an area – This is an indicator of recurring pain in that spot.

• Difficulty standing after lying down – This could be an indicator of arthritis.

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, call Appalachian Animal Hospital at 423-587-4393.