Physical pain and its prevention
September: Animal Pain Awareness Month
Just like humans, all animals experience pain, however they have a different way of expressing it. Their survival instinct makes them hide it, making them suffer in silence.
Pain in our pets is defined as any damage that is done either physically or emotionally, or that which can be caused by trauma, such as a traffic accident, physical aggression or pathological pain due to some degree of illness or condition.
Various factors may be related to pain in animals, some may be related to bone or joint chronic diseases. They also experience pain from surgeries, blows, fractures, cancer, among others. It can be complicated because pain can easily be hidden or confused with old age, and it’s not always related to this factor.
According to Dr. Leonardo Solórzano of Innovavet Veterinary Clinic, there are two types of physical pain: chronic pain, which occurs over time and can last from days to months; and acute pain, which occurs at the present time due to internal or external causes, such as a blow or pancreatitis. However, it’s easier for humans to identify acute pain, since the signs of chronic pain in animals are less obvious, making them more difficult to detect.
“It takes longer for humans to identify chronic pain in animals, because it develops slowly until it reaches the point where the patient can no longer stand it, and then shows obvious signs of suffering. That’s why it’s so important that we keep in mind that the pain threshold in animals is higher than in humans”, he says.
Although animals are not able to tell us exactly what or where it hurts, there are some signs that let us know when our pet is experiencing pain.
Signs of physical pain:
In addition, it’s important to understand that in many cases, physical pain can lead to emotional pain in an animal, since suffering affects their behavior and mood.
Some recommendations to prevent pain or manage it properly are:
In conclusion, it’s necessary for humans to be responsible for our pets. It’s of utmost importance to pay attention to any pain signals and go immediately to a veterinarian you trust, to perform the relevant assessment and provide your pet with the necessary treatment so that they can have a happy life.