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Animal Pain Awareness Month

Animal Pain Awareness Month
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The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) has proclaimed September as Animal Pain Awareness Month.

Animals suffer from pain just like people do.

There are many different types of pain, e.g. surgical pain, arthritis and cancer-related pain. 

Acute pain is generally obvious, but chronic pain can be subtle, and harder to recognise.

None of us likes to think that our pet may be in pain, so here are some of the signs to look out for:


Common Signs of Pain in Dogs

  • Decreased social interaction
  • Anxious expression
  • Submissive behaviour
  • Refusal to move
  • Whimpering
  • Howling
  • Growling
  • Guarding behaviour
  • Aggression, biting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Self-mutilation (chewing)
  • Changes in posture


Common Signs of Pain in Cats

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Quiet, loss of curiosity
  • Changes in urinary or defaecation habits
  • Hiding
  • Hissing or spitting
  • Lack of agility and jumping
  • Excessive licking or over-grooming
  • Stiff posture or gait
  • Guarding behaviour
  • Reduced grooming, matted fur
  • Tail flicking
  • Weight loss


Common Signs of Pain in Rabbits

  • Reduced activity
  • Lethargy and apathy
  • Eating and drinking less
  • Smaller (or no) faecal pellets
  • Reduced grooming, dirty or matted coat
  • Strange posture
  • Hiding away
  • Aggression
  • Loss of interest in the environment, isolated from other rabbit(s)
  • Teeth grinding
  • Vocalising
  • Change in facial expression


There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals, including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage. Pennard Vets can offer all of these treatment modalities.

If you have any concerns about whether your pet may be in pain, please do not hesitate to contact your local branch.