How to Recognize When Your Pet Is in Pain

How to Recognize When Your Pet Is in Pain

Taking care of our pets would be a lot simpler if they could just explain how they feel and tell us what they need. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, most cats and dogs instinctively hide signs of pain and other symptoms of illness that they experience. As a result, pet owners often don’t notice that anything is amiss until their pet has become too ill to continue hiding their symptoms.

8 Signs Your Pet Is in Pain

Since it’s so tough to see a pet’s pain, it’s up to pet owners to be vigilant observers of the behavior of their cats and dogs. Keep a close watch for any changes to their behavior, routine, appetite, energy level, and appearance, as even slight shifts can indicate a problem.

1. Mobility Issues

Musculoskeletal problems like arthritis are some of the most common causes for pets to experience pain. If your pet limps, favors certain limbs, struggles to get up or down, or is reluctant to move around, this is a sign of pain.

2. Appetite Changes

Loss of appetite or weight loss can indicate pain.

3. Vocalization

Unusual vocalization like whimpering, yowling, howling, or growling can indicate pain. This is especially true if your pet always vocalizes while eating, having a bowel movement, or moving around.

4. Sleeping Patterns

If your pet has become excessively tired or conversely seems restless or agitated, this could indicate pain or other health problems.

5. Appearance Changes

An unusual posture or gait could indicate pain.

6. Personality Changes

Unexplained aggression, disinterest in play, or withdrawal from other members of the family indicate illness.

7. Excessive Grooming

Excessively grooming, licking, or biting at a particular area can indicate pain, illness, or anxiety.

8. More Frequent Accidents

A lapse in litter box training or housebreaking can indicate a health problem.

Pain Management for Pets in Woodland Park

If you notice any unusual changes or behaviors in your pet, we strongly encourage you to schedule a veterinary appointment right away. We’ll examine your cat or dog and recommend any diagnostic testing necessary to determine the underlying cause of your pet’s discomfort. Then we’ll work closely with you to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
At Compassion Animal Hospital, we’re committed to helping our patients live long and happy lives. We offer a comprehensive list of services to help our patients find relief from chronic and acute pain. These treatments include pain medications, nutritional supplements, dietary adjustments, lifestyle adjustments, surgery, cold laser therapy, and more.
Dr. Cooper will work with you and your pet to find a pain management plan that works best for you. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Why Does My Dog Scoot?

Dog Scoot

Why Does My Dog Scoot?

You might think it’s funny, cute, or even gross that dogs sometimes scoot their behinds along the carpet or grass. This is called scooting, and it’s a dog’s attempt at getting relief from a more serious health problem.

What Causes Dogs to Scoot Their Bums?

Sometimes, a dog might have an itch, and scooting will resolve it right away. As a result, they stop the behavior. If the scooting continues, however, your dog might be experiencing one of the following health problems.

Irritated or Infected Anal Sac Glands

Anal glands give your dog a unique scent, but they can be problematic to their health and comfort, and scooting might indicate a gland issue. Even though expression of the anal glands was recommended for some time, it can lead to irritation, inflammation, and infection. These glands should only be expressed by a veterinarian when there is a good reason to do so.

Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections in and around a dog’s anus can cause irritation that leads to scooting. These infections can be resolved with antibiotics and/or topical treatments.


Food, flea, and seasonal allergies can cause rashes, itchiness, and skin irritation. Sometimes allergy-related skin problems express around a dog’s hind-quarters.
Dogs To Scoot Their Bums

Fecal Contamination

If a dog has long fur or has had a recent bout of diarrhea, then he’s especially susceptible to bacterial contamination and irritation in the perianal area. Keeping the fur in the area trimmed shorter and washing the area with gentle soap and warm water can resolve the problem.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms also cause irritation that leads to scooting. A veterinarian can sometimes diagnose intestinal parasites just by examining your dog’s behind. Other times, a fecal sample might be necessary. Intestinal parasites can be eliminated with a variety of treatments.

Rectal Prolapse

This condition occurs when a part of a dog’s lower intestine protrudes beyond the anus. This causes significant discomfort but can be fixed with a surgical procedure.
Dog with Scooting Problem

Have a Scooting Problem in Your Household? Schedule a Veterinary Checkup

While a little scooting might not indicate a problem, scooting that doesn’t resolve on its own, persistent licking, or visible signs of irritation are all cause for a veterinary checkup. At Compassion Animal Hospital, our Woodland Park veterinarian will perform an examination of your pet and order any necessary diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s behind-dragging problem. We’ll then recommend the most appropriate treatment to resolve the underlying issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your dog.