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9 Signs That Your Pet Is In Pain

September 15, 2021

Today, September 1st, is the first day of Animal Pain Awareness Month. Our animal companions are very good at making their points when they want treats, cuddles, or playtime, but they aren’t as clear about letting us know when they are in pain. To complicate matters, some animals instinctively try to mask signs of illness or injury. It’s important to know what to look for. A vet lists some of the key ones below.


If your furry pal yelps or flinches when touched, especially in a specific spot, contact your vet. This can be a sign of pain.


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

Behavioral Changes

Changes in your four-legged buddy’s usual personality can also be signs of pain. If Fluffy is usually aloof, but is suddenly demanding attention, she might be hurting. Dogs that go from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen may also be in pain.


While all of our furry friends are different, sudden mood changes can be an indication that something is wrong. If your pet suddenly starts acting withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social, contact your vet.


When animals are in pain, they often continuously lick or nibble at their sore spots. Pets with arthritis may worry at their legs or paws, or sometimes the base of their tails.

Changes In Appetite

Most of the time, dogs and cats are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry best friend isn’t eating much or at all, it’s something to be concerned of.

No/Reduced Interest In Play

Fluffy and Fido are quite playful, which is one reason they are such fun pets. If your furry buddy is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys and playtime, pain could be the issue.

Difficulty Urinating/Defecation

This is often a sign of a medical emergency. Contact your vet right away if you notice your pet having issues.

Changes in Vocalizations

Our furry friends all have their own unique voices. Some are very talkative, while others rarely speak. If your normally-quiet cat is suddenly yowling, she may be sick. In dogs, whining, whimpering, or growling can often be indications of pain.

If you notice any of these, contact us, your animal clinic, immediately! We are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care!