How will I know if my cat is in pain?
Take the Feline Osteoarthritis Quiz!
Many cats suffer with feline osteoarthritis. It can be tough to tell whether your cat has symptoms because cats are both prey and predator in the wild. Their instincts will tell them to hide their pain at all costs in order to have the best chance of survival. This is especially true in households that have more than one animal. If you think your cat may be suffering with feline osteoarthritis, take this quiz now! If you find that your feline friend has hidden symptoms - Give us a call today and set up an appointment to discuss with your veterinarian.
What are some signs and symptoms of pain in your pet?
Some signs that your cat may be in pain include hiding, increased aggression, changes in grooming habits, unusual vocalizations, and a reduction in normal activity. Unfortunately for us, our pets don't talk to us in plain English to tell us what is going on. Your veterinarian is relying on you to know your pet's normal behavior and be able to observe changes as they come. Cats are particularly good at hiding their pain responses from us until something more serious is going on.
Why is it important to avoid self-diagnosing pain in your cat?
Try not to just assume your cat is in pain if they are acting unusual. Cats can change behavior for a variety of reasons. It is important to seek advice from your veterinarian in order to figure out the true reason for their change in behavior. It could be due to an underlying medical condition unrelated to pain. You don't want a more serious health issue to go untreated.
How will a veterinarian know if your cat is in pain?
An appointment with your veterinarian will help pinpoint if your cat is in pain. Your veterinarian is trained to look for even the most subtle signs that your cat may be uncomfortable, even if they try to hide it. Sometimes your vet will ask you questions to help narrow down what is going on. He/She will ask you questions like: Does your cat greet you less often at the door? Does your cat have any changes in eating habit? Does your cat suddenly like a lower place in the house to sleep when they usually like to be up high on a cat tower? Does your cat vocalize more than usual? Does your cats coat look more 'lack luster' than usual? Have your seen your cat play with a toy recently? These are all questions that could point to a painful diagnosis. In some cases, your veterinarian may check an x-ray to see if there are signs of arthritis or other issues going on.
What are some possible conditions that can cause cat pain?
Many conditions can cause a cat discomfort. Feline Osteoarthritis is not the sole cause of potential pain by any means. Inflammation, acute injuries, gastrointestinal issues, cancer, and other diseases are all potential reasons for your pet's pain. It is your veterinarian's job to find the cause and therefore treat appropriately.
What types of pain medications might a veterinarian prescribe for my cat?
Unfortunately, there are not a ton of medications for cats on the market to specifically target pain. The ones we do have are considered very carefully by your veterinarian in terms of safety in your pet. Most of the time when a cat is deemed a candidate for chronic pain medication, a full bloodwork panel will be run to determine if medication is safe to prescribe.
What is the most important consideration when it comes to cat pain management?
The most important thing to consider is quality of life. This includes both the patient and the owner. Is the animal in a position where pain management is the best course of action? Are the owners able to give and afford an ongoing the medication discussed by your veterinarian? All of these things should be discussed openly with your veterinarian at the time of diagnosis. We are here to help any way we can and offer advice on next steps in any case.