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  • Writer's pictureKaaya Sharma

How to tell if your pet is in pain

Although our pets cannot verbally communicate when they are in pain, they can communicate that they are hurt through many other means. It is our job as pet owners to be able to effectively decipher these signs and get our furry friends the help they need.

1. Signs of restlessness and agitation

When an animal is experiencing discomfort, they will act more restless. It can be painful for them to remain in one position for an extended period of time. Sometimes, you might find your pet pacing or moving around more frequently than normal. If you notice this, it is best to keep an eye on your pet, and if your pet continues to be anxious, take them to the vet immediately.


2. Irregular eating and sleeping patterns

Noticing when your pet skips a meal, refuses treats, or naps excessively can be a big sign that they are experiencing pain. Any illness or internal obstruction can make your pets lose their appetite. In addition, similar to humans, sleeping more is oftentimes a response to sickness as a means to allow the body to rest and recover.


3. Changes in mood and activity

Oftentimes when pets experience discomfort, they will act abnormally. This can include being either more aggressive or more anti-social compared to their usual behavior. For example, if your pet is generally very friendly and playful and you notice that they are acting more reserved and quiet suddenly, it is a good sign something is amiss. Similarly, if your pet is generally more docile but they are acting more aggressive and irritable, it is also a sign that they may be hurting.


4. Repeatedly licking, scratching, or yelping

When an animal is experiencing pain, they will naturally try to heal their wound. Therefore, any excessive localized licking, grooming, or scratching can be a good indicator that there is something bothering them. In addition, if they are excessively yelping, barking, or growling, it might be their way of communicating pain, sickness, or general discomfort, and that they need a trip to the vet.


5. Shaking or trembling

A common response to an animal's fear or anxiety can be to shake and tremble. The majority of the time, however, the situation will pass, and the best medicine you can give your pet in this case is love and affection. However, if you notice the trembling seems continuous or excessive, there could be underlying health factors contributing to this response, including poisoning or internal obstructions. In this case, it is a good idea to visit your pet's vet as soon as possible.

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