Our pets are very good at hiding pain.  It is not unusual for an owner to not even realize that their pet may be in pain.  Because many of the species we see as patients are prey species (meaning they will be hunted and eaten by other animals if left in the wild) they have become adept at hiding illness, disease, and pain.  Remember, animals are motivated to survive.  It is a very basic instinct.   If they show weakness, it may mean they are the first to be targeted as prey.  As you watch your pet, keep these things in mind...

1 - Pets rarely cry out or whine from pain

2 - They will still chase squirrels, rabbits, play with toys and house or cage mates; but may be sore later

3 -  They will still eat (even with extreme mouth pain)

4 - Pain is often confused with aging or "slowing down" when it is actually associated with arthritis or oral pain.

5 - Every pet has a different pain threshold; in other words, some pets tolerate a lot of pain with no obvious signs while others tolerate less.

6 - Different pets respond differently to different treatments and medications

Dr. Altena is a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and keeps current on the many ways we can treat and control pain; whether acute pain or chronic pain.  You can see more information on this group at http://www.ivapm.org/ 

The team at Companions Animal Hospital is committed to making sure your pet is comfortable whether they are healthy and here for boarding, undergoing a surgery, recovering from illness or suffering from the chronic pain of arthritis or dental disease.  Always feel free to let us know if you think your pet is in pain so that we can find a solution together.  No pet deserves to hurt.  Set up an appointment today (320-252-6700) to discuss the options that are available including therapy laser, massage, medications, and supplements.

 Animal Friends