September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

September is Animal Pain Awareness month, dedicated by International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). IVAPM is an organization that provides resources for pet owners and veterinary staff on pain management, prevention and treatment for our pets.

Do you recognize when your pet is in pain? Animals are master concealers when it comes to hiding their pain symptoms until it has become more severe and obvious. It is up to us to be in tune with our pets and any subtle changes they may be displaying! If you notice something “off” with your pet, please check in with your veterinarian.

Usual symptoms of pain in dogs include –

  • Decreased social interaction

  • Anxious expression

  • Submissive behavior

  • Refusal to move

  • Whimpering

  • Howling

  • Growling

  • Guarding behavior

  • Aggression; biting

  • Decreased appetite

  • Chewing on limbs or paws

  • Changes in posture


Usual symptoms of pain in cats include –

  • Reduced activity

  • Loss of appetite

  • Quiet/loss of curiosity

  • Changes in litterbox habits

  • Hiding

  • Hissing or spitting

  • Lack of jumping

  • Excessive licking or grooming

  • Stiff posture/gait

  • Guarding behavior

  • Stops grooming/matted fur

  • Tail flicking

  • Weight loss


Pain can be sudden or become more noticeable over time. It is our responsibility to pick up on any cues our pets are sending us! The faster we can determine signs of pain; the better the outcome will be for your pet. If you can’t afford medication, your vet can work with you on some alternative options, to get the relief he/she needs.



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