Animals, just like people, experience pain following an injury, surgery or medical issues. Unlike people, animals cannot tell you what hurts but they may show you in their behaviour. So how can you tell…….
- Reluctance to move – Cats who are slower, withdrawn or are more reluctant to move around than normal may be in pain.
- Hunched or stiff – Some cats in pain sit hunched up with their back arched, or they may lie down in an abnormally stiff posture.
- Off their food – Turning their nose up at food, when their appetite is normally good, can be a sign of a cat being in discomfort.
- Not themselves – If your normally friendly and easygoing cat becomes tetchy, tries to claw or bite or simply doesn’t like being handled, this could be a sign of pain. Likewise if they become more withdrawn and don’t want to interact with you as usual this can be another sign of pain or discomfort.
(remember, if your cat has had a general anaesthetic, they may have some after-effects, such as unsteadiness and drowsiness. These normally wear off within 24 hours. if they do not, consult your vet for advice)
Things you can do to comfort your cat:
- Rest and recovery – After surgery or a painful traumatic event, you cat is best kept inside initially to keep them warm and quiet. Ensure that their bedding is comfy and you should make sure you provide a litter tray for those necessities of life.
- Careful feeding – Unless otherwise instructed, you can offer your cat a light meal with plenty of fresh water.
- Keep food and water within reach – Put food and water somewhere within easy reach, so your cat doesn’t have to travel too far or jump up to get what they need.
- Gentle stroking or grooming – If your cat is in the mood for contact, they may find it soothing if you gently stroke or groom them to help them stay calm and reassured. Always avoid any affected areas that may be sore or painful.
- Don’t forget – remember your cat may take a little time to get back to their usual self.
- Does your dog seem to be depressed or not him or herself?
Unwilling to play?, Spending more time in bed?, Preferring to be alone?, Anxious or clingy?
- Is your dog more aggresive than usual?
Growling or snarling when approached?, Growling or snarling when stroked?
- Have you noticed a change in your dog’s appetite?
Reluctant to eat?, Leaving food?
- Is your dog reluctant to move around?
Difficulty in getting out of bed?, Moving in an odd way?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, and the problem does not seem to be getting better, then you should consult your vet.
Things you can do to help your dog recover in comfort:
- Rest and recovery – Your dog might appreciate recovering in a warm, quiet place.
- Feeding – unless your vet has advised otherwise, give your dog light meals. Make sure your dog has a plentiful supply of fresh water at all times.
- Exercise – Your vet will advise what exercise is appropriate for your dog depending on their level of pain, this could range from toilet walks on a lead in the garden to restricted exercise.
- Wound and bandage care – Wounds and bandages should be kept clean and dry. You should try to stop your dog from worrying at wounds and bandages and your vet can supply you with a special collar to help prevent this.
BE DOG SMART!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beware of disturbing dogs that are eating or sleeping
Even if for fun, don’t ever tease a dog please
Don’t approach a dog with no owner around
Only stroke a dog when the owner says ‘yes, you can’
Get the dog to sniff your hand first, then stroke gently
Strange dog approaching? stand still, look away, cross your arms
Move calmly and quietly around any dog
All that hugging and kissing – you might like it, dogs don’t
Remember all dogs have teeth
Treat dogs with respect and they will respect you!
BE SAFE AROUND DOGS, BE DOG SMART!!!!!