ACVH blog animal pain awareness

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Is Your Pet in Pain?

Maybe your pet is panting more than usual…or she doesn’t want to jump up on the cat tree…or he’s licking an area on his leg all the time. These symptoms are signs that your pet is in pain—and by the time you see those behaviors, there’s a good chance they’ve been uncomfortable for quite a while.

Your dog, cat, bird or other pet may be a different species, but we all process and feel pain in much the same way. That’s why the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management has selected September as Animal Pain Awareness Month. In cooperation with veterinary professionals around the world, they hope to bring recognition to the issue of both acute and chronic pain in animals, and encourage pet owners to look for symptoms of pain and discomfort.

Pets often instinctively hide pain, and it’s important for pet parents to recognize the signs of pain in their animal companions and learn about therapies available to help them. While acute or urgent pain is obvious, chronic discomfort can be subtle and pet owners may see it as simply “getting old” or “slowing down”. Some signs to look for include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Decreased activity
  • Reluctance to jump up on surfaces (cats)
  • Overgrooming or licking a particular area
  • Difficulty standing after lying down

At Ahwatukee Commons Veterinary Hospital, we take treating pain very seriously and in addition to medication have several drug-free options for restoring your pet’s quality of life.

Once the area of focus is identified, we highly recommend and offer cold laser therapy, which uses a beam of laser light to reduce pain, inflammation, and speed healing. This treatment is effective for a long list of conditions, including arthritis, joint disease, infections, sprains and strains, lick granulomas, skin allergies and more.

If your pet is showing symptoms of pain, or if you want to find out if laser therapy might help your animal friend, call us at  (480) 893-8423