Sep 13 2018

Animal Pain Awareness Month

image for Animal Pain Awareness Month

You stub your toe, bang your elbow, or lift a heavy box the wrong way. You know you’re hurt – and others do too as you cry out in pain! But what about your furry friends? With sudden or acute pain, your pet may cry out, but what if he doesn’t, or what if he’s suffering from chronic pain, as is common with arthritis and dental disease? How do you know he’s in pain?

Pets feel pain the same way we do, but they can’t tell us about it in the same way. If they can’t tell us with words, is there any way to know if Fido or Kitty is in pain? The short answer is yes! The long answer is that there are many signs that may indicate that your pet is uncomfortable.

Signs of acute pain may be more obvious – pets may try to bite you or scratch you if you go near or touch the area that’s painful. Signs of chronic pain may be less obvious.

Take your pet to the veterinarian if you notice any of the following changes in your pet:

  • Decreased appetite or thirst
  • Decreased activity or reluctance to play
  • Reluctance to go for walks
  • Refusal to go up or down stairs
  • Reluctance to jump up on surfaces like beds, couches, or chairs
  • Reluctance to lie down and/or difficulty rising
  • Lameness or holding a paw in the air when sitting
  • Difficulty finding a comfortable position, restlessness
  • Difficulty using the litter box or lapses in housetraining
  • Unusual body posture
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Hiding
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Squinting, blinking, or rubbing of the eyes
  • Licking (or over-grooming) a particular area, like a paw or the hind end
  • Fast and shallow breathing or panting for no apparent reason
  • Unusual vocalizing (including whining, howling, yelping, groaning, growling, and whimpering in dogs; and purring, hissing, meowing, and growling in cats)
  • Purring – purring can be related to pain!

Don’t try to treat your pet’s pain on your own. Your pet may be experiencing what is called “referred pain” (pain felt in a part of the body other than its actual source). Your veterinarian will need to determine where the pain is originating from and treat it accordingly. Treatment may need to address more than just pain relief. For example, if your pet has a scratch on his cornea, this is what needs to be treated – pain medication will not correct the problem! Lastly, many pain relievers that are safe for us to use are toxic and even fatal to dogs and cats.

Untreated pain is not something that any pet should experience. By paying attention to your pet’s behavior, you will be the first to notice the changes that may indicate that your pet is in pain. Know the signs, pay attention, and call your vet if you notice any changes. Your pet will thank you for it.

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.

We won!!

That makes 12 years in a row you've voted us "Best of Suffolk/Franklin/Isle of Wight"! Thank you for all your votes - we appreciate every single one of them. We will work hard to earn your vote again next year

Companion Therapy Laser

Harbour Veterinary Office is very concerned about pain management in pets. Because of this concern we have added the latest technology for the treatment of joint and soft tissue pain, the Companion Therapy Laser. This Laser introduces heat and light to the deepest tissues, which then reduces pain and swelling. This encourages the animal's own healing processes. The Laser is used routinely following every surgery, as well as for countless other applications. Virtually any painful condition can be made less painful with this therapy. Treatments last only minutes per site and require no anesthesia. Your pet will be very comfortable as this laser produces only slight warmth in the inflamed tissue. Laser Therapy for chronic conditions -ie.. arthritis - usually require 6 treatments to get your pet to a much more tolerable state. Booster treatments are then required every 4 to 12 weeks to maintain the reduced pain. If your pet is currently on a medication to reduce swelling and/or pain, this treatment may reduce or eliminate the need for oral medications. Please ask for more information from anyone on our staff, or go to the The Companion Therapy Laser website, in the Links section of our website.

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm
SundayClosed

Emergency Process
For after-hours emergency information, please call 935-9111 this is the number for the emergency clinic in Northern Suffolk called The Cove. Or please call 366 - 9000. This is the number for the emergency clinic located adjacent to Greenbrier Mall.