Behavior changes in your cat are a critical indicator of pain. As the person who knows your pet best, you are a vital member of their healthcare team. Because cats have a natural instinct to hide signs of illness to avoid looking vulnerable to predators, the signs of pain might be subtle. Unfortunately, this can make it hard to recognize if your cat is sick or in pain. In honor of Animal Pain Awareness Month, Mount Carmel Animal Hospital shares more information about recognizing pain in cats.
Types of Pain
- Acute Pain – This pain type may last up to 3 months and is typically caused by trauma, injury, surgery, and acute diseases and medical conditions.
- Chronic Pain – Pain that lasts in conditions where healing hasn’t or will not occur or pain that lasts beyond the typical healing time. For instance, degenerative joint disease is a highly, common, painful disease in cats that is under-diagnosed.
- Persistent Pain – Cats with constant pain might require palliative care, an approach that provides cats with a condition or disease that doesn’t respond to curative treatment, with a plan to enhance quality of life with pain control.
Recognizing Pain in Cats
It’s vital for you to know your pet’s normal behavior and temperament. Since your kitty is nonverbal and can’t tell you he or she is in pain, your vet relies on you to determine any odd behavior patterns indicating pain. Since it’s Animal Pain Awareness Month, contact a veterinarian at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital if your cat demonstrates any of the following changes:
- Withdrawn or hiding
- No interest in food or decreased appetite
- Hesitation to climb steps or jump
- Difficulty getting up, walking, or standing
- Changes in defecation or urination habits
- Sensitivity or vocalization to petting or touch
Treatment for Your Cat’s Pain
Your cat’s pain treatment plan that you create with your vet might include:
- Medication – Get your cat back to normal with Solensia. Solensia is a monthly injection administered at your veterinarian’s office to control pain associated with osteoarthritis in your cat. Another safe and effective medication is Gabapentin. This oral medication helps reduce the symptoms of chronic pain or anxiety disorders in cats.
- Physical Therapy, or Laser Therapy – Fortunately, we provide laser therapy services to animals. This therapy type helps increase the quality, speed, and tensile strength of your cat’s tissue repair, resolves inflammation, and relieves pain.
- Environmental Changes – As a pet owner to an arthritic cat, you make their environment more friendly to their aching joints. Make sure your furry friend has simple access to the litter box by avoiding putting it in places that will require jumping. The same goes for food and water. Also, you can provide your kitty with a comfy bed on the floor to lay on, so they don’t have to jump on and off of furniture.
Sometimes, the ideal medicine for cat pain isn’t medicine at all. Depending on your pet’s situation, weight loss reduces stress on the body and minimizes inflammatory hormones caused by fatty tissue. So, take advantage of Animal Pain Awareness Month and contact us at410-343-0200 for a pet wellness care appointment!
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!