Animal Pain Awareness Month - What is your pet telling you?

What is pain, what are the signs, and how can we manage it?


The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management IVAPM has announced September as Animal Pain Awareness Month to coincides with human medicine’s Pain Awareness Month, as a way of highlighting how animals suffer from pain like us folks do.


Humans tend to ignore feelings of pain until they worsen or become unmanageable, and sometimes this method of dealing with pain can be placed onto our pets. But how do we know when our pets are in pain and how unbearable it is? Unfortunately our furred friends are unable to explain their pain level or how it’s affecting their daily lives, and to add to this communication barrier our pets natural instinct is to try hide their pain. Therefore, pet parents ought to treat the slightest signs of pain in their pets seriously.



Common signs of pain



Firstly we need to break down pain into its several forms:

  • Surgical pain.

  • Inflammatory disease and cancer-related pain.

  • Acute pain.

  • Chronic pain - often refined, and cloaked as getting old or slowing down.



Pets should never need to endure pain for extended periods of time. As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to look at out for the signs that our pets may be experiecing pain and take action. As some signs can go missed or be mistaken it is crucial to read up on what to look for and relate them to how your pet usually behaves.


Common signs:

  • Decreased play and activity.

  • Not going up or downstairs.

  • Reluctance to leap (especially for cats).

  • Difficulty standing after lying down.

  • Decreased appetite (mouth pain).

  • Over-grooming or licking a selected area of the body.



Acute or chronic pain not only causes discomfort in pets but it conjointly causes distress. Pets who live in pain can become more agitated and stressed, removing themselves from family and daily activities they would normally love to do. It also can cause alternative issues for his or her health together with dehydration, weight loss, and inflammatory stress responses.



Pain Management


There are several choices to treat the cause of pain in our pets, and as there are several main categories that pain can fall into there are also different paths to take. Each treatment is different for every pet dependent on their reaction, other health concerns, daily life activities and what outcome we need. A combination of strategies can also be needed in order to manage pain effectively.


Forms of treatment include:

  • Pain medications

  • Acupuncture

  • Massage therapy

  • Canine therapy

  • Therapeutic rehabilitation

  • Hydropathy

  • Laser



- Old age isn't an illness however, pain is -


Paying attention to the signs of pain will mean the difference between a lifetime of suffering and a lifetime of comfort and health for your best friend. Share this info with fellow pet parents and facilitate them to become more watchful regarding pet pain awareness.


To find out more about pain management click here for the IVAPM website packed with all the information you should need. If you want to find out more about hydrotherapy, laser therapy or physiotherapy feel free to get in touch by email, or click here for our website with more information.




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