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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

9 Signs That Your Pet Is In Pain

September 15 2021

Did you know that September is Animal Pain Awareness Month? Our animal friends may be very good at making their points when they want treats, attention, or lap space, but they aren’t quite so clear about letting on when they’re in pain. To complicate matters, many animals will try to mask any indications of illness or injury. It’s important to know what to look for. A veterinarian lists some of the key ones below.


If your furry pal yelps or flinches when touched in a specific spot, it’s probably an indication that it’s time to contact your vet. This is typically a sign of pain.

No/Reduced Interest In Play

Fluffy and Fido are quite playful, which is a big part of why they are such fun pets. If your furry buddy is no longer feeling frisky, and has lost interest in toys, pain could be the issue.


Limping can be one of the more obvious indications of pain, particularly when it’s caused by a visible injury. However, sometimes pets only limp briefly when they first get up. This is something that we often see in animals that are just developing arthritis.

Behavioral Changes

Inexplicable changes in your furry pal’s usual personality can also be signs of pain. If Fluffy is usually a fairly aloof cat, but is suddenly clamoring for attention, she could be hurting. Dogs that go from being friendly and curious to withdrawn and sullen could also be in pain.

Changes In Appetite

Fido and Fluffy are very, very enthusiastic about food. It’s always a red flag when animals don’t feel like eating. If your furry best friend isn’t eating much or at all, reach out to your vet.


All of our furry buddies are unique. However, it’s usually an indication that something is wrong when a pet suddenly starts acting withdrawn, grumpy, and/or anti-social.


Animals that are in pain often continuously lick or nibble at their sore spots. Dogs and cats with arthritis sometimes worry at their legs or paws, or sometimes the base of their tails.

Difficulty Urinating/Defecation

Difficulty urinating is another red flag. This is often a sign of a medical emergency, so contact your vet immediately if you notice this.

Changes in Vocalizations

Pets all have their own unique voices. Some are very talkative, while others rarely speak. If your normally-quiet cat is suddenly yowling, she may be sick. In dogs, whining, whimpering, howling, or growling can often be signs of pain.

If you notice any of these warning signs, contact us, your local animal clinic, immediately! We are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care! 

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