How To Know If Your Pet Is In Pain

Kitten with blue eyes looking at the camera

A very common ailment I see on a daily basis is a limping pet. While it may be more commonly seen in dogs, we do still see cats with a limp. So, what gives? Why are they limping!??

1. PAIN!!

I can not stress this enough. PAIN is the most common cause for a limp or lameness in a dog or cat. Yes, you heard that right….PAIN. I find that most of my clients are completely unaware of their beloved pet being in pain because the pet is simply not acting like they are in pain. Humans display pain rather differently than animals. We have NO problem yelling at the top of our lungs if we are in excruciating pain (remember the last time you stubbed your little toe?)…or hobbling around…or complaining….or calling your doctor for an appointment… and the list goes on and on. For some reason, we expect our pets to display their pain in a similar manner. Truth be told…THEY DON’T!

Ask yourself this question…”Why would you limp?” Odds are, you would limp because you were experiencing PAIN. Animals simply DO NOT vocalize/cry/complain when they are in PAIN. Rather, the most common signs of PAIN in cats and dogs are limping, muscle quivering, depressed appetite, panting, restlessness, and licking/chewing the area that is painful. Causes of pain arise from injury, surgery, cancer, and infection/inflammation.

2. Neuropathy

This is a condition where the communication between the brain and the extremity is broken. You can see this condition present in any of the 4 limbs and/or tail of a cat or dog. While neuropathy can be painful, it doesn’t always come with pain. Neuropathy can be challenging to differentiate from pain and requires a skilled veterinarian to preform an examination and diagnostic tests…

What can I do to help my pet that is limping? Call your trusted vet. 

Often times clients like to try something at home to help their pet feel better before committing to an appointment with their vet. While it may seem like a good idea, please refrain from Dr. Google to diagnose your pet’s ailment. Last time I checked Google didn’t graduate from Veterinary School. Trust your veterinarian’s education and years of clinical experience over any online platform for sound medical advice. I see all too often well-intentioned clients misdiagnose their own pet and take medical advice off a Google search engine. SKETCHY!

If your beloved pet is limping, or you believe your pet could be pain, please reach out to
your trusted vet. We are here to help you and your pet enjoy many happy, pain-free years