Signs and Symptoms of Pain

Every animal is unique, and this list must be used in the context of what is normal for your pet. Evidence of one or more symptoms does not necessarily mean your pet is in severe pain.  Lack of any of these symptoms does not mean your pet has no pain. Please remember that suffering can take many forms. Humans, for instance, report that difficulty breathing, is the highest form of suffering even though it is not painful. Some of the signs and symptoms of overt pain will be familiar to you, others not so much.  Please feel free to give us a call if you have concerns or questions. We are here to help. 

  1. Howling/moaning/whimpering
  2. Panting
  3. Pacing
  4. Squinting
  5. Trembling/shivering
  6. Hunched spine
  7. Jumping away from "invisible something"
  8. Almond shaped eyes (facial tension)
  9. Erect whiskers (facial tension)
  10. Whiskers flattened against face 
  11. Ears pulled back
  12. Lips pulled back
  13. Ears flattened against head
  14. Head pressing 
  15. Doesn't want to be touched
  16. Guards (won't allow touch) abdomen or other body part
  17. Holds foot up
  18. Slow to stand up or lay down
  19. Restless at night; can't sleep
  20. Decreased or no appetite
  21. Withdrawn OR follows family member around
  22. Clinched teeth
  23. Hiding
  24. Staring absently
 
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