It can be difficult to determine if your pet is in pain, especially since they can’t tell you how they’re feeling. Whether they are sensing pain from an injury or an underlying issue, it’s important to know the signs so that you can get them the help they need. Some signs are more obvious than others so it’s essential to know what to look for. Remember that you shouldn’t attempt to treat your pet’s pain yourself because this can be very dangerous.
Here’s how to recognize when your pet is in pain:
Antisocial or aggressive behavior
One of the signs that your pet could be experiencing pain is if they suddenly exhibit antisocial or aggressive behavior. Your pet might stop greeting you at the door, avoid contact altogether, or even become aggressive. If your pet is keeping to itself, this can be an indication that they’re in pain.
Changes in eating, sleeping, or drinking habits
A loss of appetite or a huge difference in water consumption is a very common symptom of pain. When pets are in pain they typically sleep more often. This is because they are trying to heal themselves or they have difficulty moving around. If your pet is displaying this type of behavior, it’s best to get them medical attention to find out the cause.
Pets that are experiencing pain tend to be more vocal. This could be in the form of excessive yelping, howling, growling, or even snarling. This is your pet’s way of telling you that something isn’t right.
If your pet is constantly licking itself, it’s likely that they are trying to soothe the pain. It’s an animal’s natural instinct to clean and care for a wound by licking it. External pain, such as a cut, is more obvious to recognize, but sometimes this pain can be internal. If you notice that your pet is constantly licking and you can’t find an external cause, take your pet to the vet for medical help.
Heavy panting or altered breathing
Panting is a normal pet behavior, but when your pet starts to pant heavily even if they haven’t been exercising, this could be a warning sign. Breathing that is more shallow could also mean that it’s painful to take a breath.