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9 Signs That Your Pet Is In Pain

September 1, 2021

Animal Pain Awareness Month starts today, September 1st. Our animal pals may be 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 also try to hide signs of illness or injury. It’s important to know what to look for. A vet lists some key ones below.

Changes In Appetite

Most of our animal friends are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry buddy isn’t eating much or at all, reach out to your vet.


While every animal is different, it’s often an indication that something is wrong when a pet suddenly starts acting withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social. A cuddly cat that suddenly hisses when touched may be sick.


Pets often continuously lick or nibble at sore spots. One example of this: dogs with arthritis tend to worry at their legs or paws, or sometimes the base of their tails.


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

Behavioral Changes

Drastic or striking changes in your furry pal’s usual personality can also be indicative of pain. If Fluffy is usually aloof, but is all of a sudden clamoring for attention, she could be hurting. Dogs that go from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen could also be hurting.


If your four-legged pal flinches or yelps when you touch them, especially in a specific spot, contact your vet. This is typically an indication of pain.

No/Reduced Interest In Play

Fluffy and Fido are naturally very playful, which is part of why they’re such fun pets. If your furry friend is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys, pain could be the issue.

Difficulty Urinating/Defecating

Difficulty urinating is another red flag, and a big one at that. This is often a sign of a medical emergency. Contact your veterinary clinic immediately if you notice this.

Changes in Vocalizations

Pets all have their own unique voices. Some are very talkative, while others rarely speak. If your normally-quiet cat 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! We are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care! 

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