Animal Pain Awareness Month: Recognize Signs of Pain in Your Pet


mt. carmel animal hospital recognize signs of pain in your pet

How do you recognize signs of pain in your pet?

The month of September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, and the staff at Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital wants to bring attention to an essential topic for pet owners or anyone who loves an animal. Pets love to please their people and often gather the energy to get up and play or provide affectionate greetings. Unfortunately, this devotion to their favorite humans makes it more challenging to recognize when they are experiencing pain. Even the best pet parents sometimes cannot pick up on subtle changes in their pet’s behavior. This blog will discuss how you can recognize signs of pain in your pet to seek veterinary treatment as early as possible.

What are the Prevalent Signs of Pain in Your Pet?

Please contact us if you notice any of these signs of pain in your pet:

  • Your pet is not playing as much as usual
  • Not or having difficulty going up or down the stairs
  • Your cat is reluctant to jump up onto surfaces
  • Your furry pal eats less, possibly due to mouth pain
  • Over-grooming or licking a specific area can signal referred pain
  • Difficulty standing after lying down
  • Overall “slowing down”

What Pain-Management Treatments and Care are Available?

The sooner you recognize signs of pain in your pet, the sooner we can evaluate the situation and achieve an effective treatment plan. There are multiple ways to manage pain in animals, such as supplements, medications, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Let’s explore the following solutions.

Weight Loss

Similar to humans, did you know that animals can also be arthritic? This makes osteoarthritis the primary cause of chronic pain in dogs. The heavier your pet, the more arthritis symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Stiffness
  • Limping
  • Reluctance to jump and run
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Behavioral changes like less playfulness or aggression

Fortunately, a weight management plan can ease your pet’s arthritis symptoms. Thus, the best preventive measure against pet osteoarthritis is to keep your furry pal at a healthy body weight.

Physical Therapy

  • Underwater Treadmill – An underwater treadmill for dogs can be an excellent way to assist a dog recover from an injury, losing weight, or helping with arthritis by building mobility and strength. The animal walks into the underwater treadmill “box,” and the watertight door is closed behind them. The heated water will slowly fill up the treadmill from the ground up to the appropriate height after your dog is secure. This will allow your dog to adjust gradually to the increasing water level. The water gives your dog the buoyancy that takes the weight off its joints. This will enable us to turn the treadmill on to a specific speed and have your dog walk without experiencing pain in its joints.
  • Laser Therapy – This laser treatment helps to manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing in animals. It works by increasing circulation and drawing additional oxygen to the affected area, activating the lymphatic drainage system, and helping block pain transmitted by nerve cells. Laser therapy is utilized for many veterinary medical conditions such as chronic arthritis, traumatic injuries, and tendon and ligament injuries. A handheld laser wand slowly moves back and forth during a veterinary treatment session over the pet’s damaged tissue. This produces a pleasant, warm sensation that relaxes most pets. Laser sessions typically last 15 to 30 minutes, and the number of sessions and treatment frequencies vary.


  • Dasuquin Advanced is only available through a veterinarian. This nutritional supplement assists dogs who struggle with signs of osteoarthritis through a combination of glucosamine, MSM, eggshell membrane, and a proprietary blend of ingredients to help support joint health.
  • Adequan is an injectable disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug that inhibits cartilage loss in your dog’s joints. It helps restore joint lubrication and renews the building blocks of healthy cartilage, relieving inflammation. Since Adequan is used to prevent further damage to the cartilage, it is best started at the first signs of arthritis in your dog. It is a simple injection given under the skin.


  • NSAIDs are the most effective medication for treating osteoarthritis. They are typically safe for dogs and have minimum side effects. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce stiffness, swelling, and joint pain in humans and can help your pet too! It is crucial to note, however, that pets cannot take the same NSAIDs as humans as they can cause serious side effects in our pets. Luckily, multiple dog-friendly options are available such as Rimadyl, Galliprant, Metacam, Previcox, and Deramaxx.

Ultimately, you might not be able to relieve your pet’s pain completely, but you can make them feel better. We hope you learned how to recognize signs of pain in your pet. And with our guidance, you may need to try various things to find out what provides the most relief.

Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!

Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2022 at 6:35 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.