The entire month of September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Sponsored by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM), the goal is to educate pet owners about how to maintain their pet’s health and pain. By being informed, they can maintain the overall well-being of their pet.
Just like humans, animals suffer from chronic and acute pain. Pain comes from a variety of sources including surgical pain, arthritis and cancer-related pain. Acute pain is more obvious but chronic pain is more subtle and often perceived as a pet just getting older. The goal for this month is for pet owners to recognize the subtle signs of chronic pain and take their pet to the vet for regular check-ups and pain evaluations. There are many ways to effectively treat pain including pain medication, rehabilitation exercises and therapeutic massages. Veterinarians are professionally trained in recognizing and treating pain in pets. Talk to a veterinarian you trust about the best methods to manage the pain in your pet.
Behavioral changes are often a sign that your pet may be in pain. Some common behavioral indications to watch for in your pet include:
- Being reluctant to play
- Spending a lot of time lying down
- Not going up or down the stairs
- Decreased appetite
- Licking a particular area of the body or getting aggressive if a particular area is touched
Pet owners should take the time to learn more about the causes and symptoms of pain in pets and how to help them manage that pain. IVAPM also encourages veterinarians to raise awareness about pain management for pets. Talk to your veterinarian about what you can do to be the best caretaker for your pet. If you think your pet may be in pain, bring them to Regal Animal Hospital for an evaluation. We care about your pet and we’re here to help!