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9 Signs That Your Pet Is In Pain

September 15 2021

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Our furry friends are very good at making their points when they want treats, walks, or lap space, but they sometimes have trouble letting on when they are in pain. To complicate matters, some animals instinctively try to hide signs of illness or injury. It’s important to know what to look for. A vet lists some of the key ones below.


Pets that are hurting often continuously lick or nibble at their sore spots. Dogs and cats with arthritis tend to lick or nibble at their legs or paws, or sometimes the base of their tails.

Changes In Appetite

Most of our four-legged pals are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry best friend isn’t eating much–or at all–reach out to your vet.


Pets are all unique. Each of our furry patients has their own personality. However, it’s usually an indication that something is wrong when a pet suddenly starts acting sad, grumpy, and/or anti-social.


If your furry buddy suddenly yelps or flinches when touched, especially in a specific spot, contact your vet. This is often an indication of pain.


Limping is one of the more obvious indications. However, sometimes pets only limp briefly when they first get up, which may be easier to miss. This is something we often see in animals that are just developing arthritis.

No/Reduced Interest In Play

Fluffy and Fido are quite playful, which is part of why they are such fun to have around. If your furry buddy is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys, there might be something going on.

Behavioral Changes

Changes in your pet’s usual personality can also be signs of pain. If Fluffy is usually aloof, but is suddenly demanding attention, she could be trying to let you know that something is wrong. This applies to FIdo, too. Dogs that go from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen could also be in pain.

Difficulty Urinating/Defecating

Another indication of pain is difficulty urinating. This is often a sign of a medical emergency, so contact your vet right away if you notice this.

Changes in Vocalizations

Our animal companions all have their own unique voices. Some are very talkative, while others rarely speak. If your normally-quiet kitty is suddenly yowling, she may be sick. In dogs, whining, whimpering, howling, or growling can often be indications of pain.

If you notice any of these red flags, contact us, your local animal clinic, immediately! We are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care! 

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