September is Animal Pain Awareness Month
Animals are good at hiding pain, which is why it’s important for veterinarians to educate clients on tell-tale signs that all is not well with their pet.
September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) and event sponsor, Zoetis, are helping to raise awareness on how to recognize and manage pain in animals.
The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) educates and informs animal owners about their animal’s health and well-being when it comes to pain management, be it acute or chronic pain.
Animals suffer from pain just like people do. Pain comes in many forms: surgical pain, arthritis and cancer related pain, just to name a few. Acute pain is obvious and distressing. Chronic pain can be subtle, and masked as “getting old” or “slowing down.” Old age is not a disease, but pain is. There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage.
The most common signs of pain:
- Decreased activity – Take notice if your animal is not playing as much as usual
- Not going up or down stairs – This could be an early sign of osteoarthritis
- Reluctance to jump onto surfaces – This especially applies to cats
- Difficulty standing after laying down – This is a sign of osteoarthritis
- Decreased appetite – This can signal mouth pain
- Over grooming or licking a particular area – This can be a sign of referred pain
To access Zoetis’ OA checklist, click here.