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Posted on 10-09-2017
The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) has designated September 2017 as Animal Pain Awareness Month, a worldwide campaign meant to raise awareness of recognizing signs of chronic and acute pain in pets. The IVAPM specifically chose September because it coincides with Pain Awareness Month (for humans) established by the American Chronic Pain Association. Organizers of Animal Pain Awareness Month have selected the slogan "Because Their Pain is Our Pain" to impart the importance of pet owners understanding that animals feel and process pain in almost the same way humans do. The hope of the IVAPM and your Columbus vet is that pet owners will take a more active role in seeking veterinary care for animals presenting signs of experiencing pain.
Your veterinarian in Columbus describes these possible signs an animal is in pain:
Vocalizing excessively--dogs may whine and cats may meow if they are in pain. In addition, some cats will purr when distressed. Be aware that rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds may not vocalize when in pain. Instead, they may stop eating, act depressed and even may appear lethargic.
Grooming excessively--to try and soothe themselves, dogs and cats may lick their paws, tails or lower backs incessantly. Dogs suffering eye pain may lick a paw and rub the affected eye with that paw repeatedly.
Lack of interest in eating and drinking--chronic/acute pain is stressful to pets. They may withdraw from eating, drinking and socializing until the pain decreases. Pets with painful oral diseases may change the way they eat or drink by moving the food around in their mouth or using their tongue as little as possible while drinking water.
Panting--dogs and cats in pain may pant or breathe quickly with their mouth closed. Pain raises blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate in both humans and animals.
Acting aggressively towards owners--animals in pain tend to scratch, bite and growl at people because they are in "protective" mode, an instinctual behavior intended to safeguard their vulnerable condition.
To learn more about recognizing the signs of pain in pets or to make an appointment with your Columbus vet for wellness animal care, call Hamilton Road Animal Hospital today at 614-239-0027.
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