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9 Signs That Your Pet Is In Pain

October 1, 2021

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Our animal companions may be very good at making their points when they want treats, walks, or lap space, but they often have trouble letting on when something is hurting them. Plus, some animals also try to mask signs of illness or injury. It’s important to know what to look for. A local veterinarian lists some warning signs to look for below.


All of our animal friends are unique. However, it’s usually an indication that something is wrong when a pet suddenly starts to act withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social. If your furry pal is hiding a lot, or just spending a lot of time alone, something could be wrong.

Changes In Appetite

Fido and Fluffy are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry best friend isn’t eating much or at all, contact your vet.

Behavioral Changes

Changes in a pet’s usual personality can also be signs of pain. For example, if Fluffy is usually aloof, but is suddenly clamoring for attention, she could be hurting. A pup that goes from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen could also be in pain.


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

No/Reduced Interest In Play

Our four-legged friends are quite playful, which is part of why they are so much fun. If your pet is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys, pain could be the issue.


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


If your pet yelps or flinches when touched, especially in a specific spot, contact your vet right away. This is often an indication of pain.

Difficulty Urinating/Defecating

Another indication of pain is difficulty urinating. This is often a sign of a medical emergency, so call your vet or an emergency clinic immediately if you notice this.

Changes in Vocalizations

Pets all have their own unique voices and vocalization styles. 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, immediately! We are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care! 

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