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9 Signs That Your Pet Is In Pain

September 1, 2021

This is Animal Pain Awareness Month! Pets may be very good at making their points when they want snacks, playtime or lap space, but they often have trouble letting on when they are in pain. To complicate matters even more, many animals instinctively mask signs of illness or injury. This is because, in the wild, showing weakness can attract predators. It’s important to know what to look for. A vet lists some key things to look for below.

Changes In Appetite

As you may have noticed, Fluffy and Fido are very, very enthusiastic about food. If your furry buddy isn’t eating much or at all, there could be something going on.


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

Behavioral Changes

Changes in your pet’s usual personality can also be indications of pain. If Fluffy is usually aloof, but is suddenly clamoring for attention, she may be hurting. :Pets that go from being playful and friendly to withdrawn and sullen may also be in pain.

Changes in Vocalizations

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


Many of our four-legged friends are super cuddly. It’s usually an indication that something is wrong when a friendly, affectionate pet suddenly starts acting withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social.


Limping is one of the more obvious indications of pain. In many cases, this is indicative of injuries. However, sometimes pets only limp for a few moments when they first get up. This is often a sign of arthritis.


If your four-legged pal yelps or flinches when you pet them in a specific spot, he or she may be in pain.

Reduced Interest In Play

Our furry pals are quite playful, which is part of why they are such fun pets. If your animal companion is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in their favorite toys, pain could be the issue.

Trouble Urinating/Defecating

This one is often a sign of a medical emergency, and is definitely something to be taken seriously. Contact your vet right away if you notice this!

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

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