If only our pets could speak to us.

It’s something we all wish could happen for so many reasons, right?

It would be especially handy if something was wrong… like our pet was in pain.

Too often their pain signs are subtle, and they are able to mask them really well.

Maybe someday our furry friends will be able to come to us and say, “HEY, hooman! My leg hurts! Call the vet!”

In the meantime, we have some signs that may indicate that your pet is experiencing pain. Be on the lookout for these so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible:

This is about as close to talking to us as it gets! If your pet suddenly becomes MORE vocal, there might be an underlying reason. This includes yelping, barking, meowing, howling, whining, growling… any vocalization that seems out of the ordinary could be a sign that your pet is in pain and they are trying their best to tell you.

Behavioral Changes
Just like people, pets may feel grumpier when in pain. If your pet is not acting like herself, take note! Do they normally greet you at the door? Do they always paw at the cabinets around dinnertime? Do they usually sit right on your lap once your butt hits the couch? Have all of these behaviors suddenly stopped? Time to consider why.

Decreased Appetite
If a pet who is normally ravenous for breakfast and dinner starts nudging it around with their nose seeming uninterested, pain could be the culprit. If this behavior lasts more than a day or two, you should check in with your veterinarian and see if you can locate the problem.

You know the feeling… All you want to do is lie down and rest, but your back/hip/neck/insert-another-body-part-here is bothering you and you cannot settle! The same thing can happen to our pets. If your pet becomes restless and cannot find a comfortable position, pay attention! This sign may present as endless pacing too, so if your pet is tip-tapping all over the house with no end in sight, it may be because they’re painful.

Pain is tricky to recognize. Every pet will express pain differently, which keeps us on our toes. Having this knowledge in your back pocket makes it easier to know when to give your veterinarian a call for a checkup. If you have further questions about recognizing pain in your pet, or you are in Southern California and feel your pet needs to be checked, you can contact Temple Heights Animal Hospital here.