Whether your pet is aging and starting to show symptoms of arthritis… or, if they’ve had an injury or another medical condition that causes pain… we’re here to partner with you in helping them feel better!
How to tell if your pet is in pain
Often, it can be surprisingly tricky to tell whether or not your furry family member is in pain. That’s because dogs and cats tend to not complain like humans do, and instead, try to mask their pain (at least until it gets worse).
Here are some symptoms of pain you can watch for:
- Limping, or holding up any of the limbs
- Stiffness/reluctance to move or walk normally
- No longer doing activities such as running, jumping, or playing
- Acting “depressed,” overly quiet, or grouchy, especially if it’s a sudden change
- Crying or whimpering
- A decrease in appetite
- Excessive pawing at the eyes, ears, or mouth
- Excessive scratching or licking at any part of the body
- Yelping or yowling when picked up
- Bathroom accidents in the house
- Hiding a lot (this is especially true for cats)
If you suspect your pet may be in pain… what can be done?
We recommend bringing your buddy in for a consult and physical exam. That will help us create the best plan for you and your pet.
This may include…
Some pets, especially older pets who suffer from arthritis, can do very well with just a few changes at home, such as:
- Adding non-slip surfaces - this is especially helpful for dogs whose legs slide out from under them on wood or tile floors
- Installing steps or ramps - to help arthritic pets get onto the bed or other furniture, or into the car
- Adding a cushy pet bed or mattress - this may be more comfortable for pets with sore joints to sleep on
- Weight loss - if your pet is overweight, losing some weight can help reduce the pressure on their joints
For this technique, a special therapeutic laser is applied to a painful spot on the body. The light stimulates healing at the cellular level, and reduces inflammation and pain.
For some pets — especially those with certain injuries or muscle weakness — physical therapy may be a very helpful option.
Certain supplements — such as glucosamine, chondroitin, or omega-3 fatty acids — may be helpful in terms of restoring joint health and reducing inflammation.
There are a lot of different supplements and brands to choose from. We can help you decide what’s best for your individual pet.
For many dogs and cats, pain medications can provide a significant improvement to their quality of life, and give them additional months (or even years) of happy time with you.
Of course, we always weigh the pros and cons of any drug, and work with you to find the lowest effective dose that keeps your pal happy and enjoying all their favorite activities.
***Note: Never give human pain medications without first checking with your veterinarian, as many of them are toxic to pets. We have much safer options available here, that are made especially for pets.
To learn more about any of these services — or, to schedule a consult — give us a call at 813-684-7387.
You can also request a time for a general health check and consult online.