CatCuddles Supports Animal Pain Awareness Month
September 2021 is Animal Pain Awareness Month—a month dedicated to educating and informing pet owners about their pet’s health and well-being in relation to pain management. Animal Pain Awareness Month was started in 2015 by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM)—an organization that advocates for best practices in the treatment of animals in pain. Animal Pain Awareness Month is supported by Zoetis Petcare.
Just like humans, animals experience pain in many different forms. Some pain may have an obvious source—such as surgical pain or pain caused by a broken bone. These types of pain are called acute pain, which means the pain is sharp, caused by something specific, and goes away once the underlying cause is fixed.
However, animals may also suffer from chronic pain, which is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. Some examples of chronic pain may be the pain caused by arthritis or cancer. This type of pain is often mistaken for aging.
“Veterinarians have many options for treating animal pain,” said Steve Miller, owner of CatCuddles. “Pain management options include pain medications, rehabilitation, laser therapy, therapeutic massage, and acupuncture.”
The IVAPM has prepared a variety of educational tools to help cat owners identify whether their feline friends are in pain. One of the most common signs of pain is if cats decrease their activity level, such as not playing as much. Another common sign is a refusal to use the stairs, which could be an early indicator of osteoarthritis.
“A sure sign of pain in cats, in particular, is being reluctant to jump up onto a surface,” says Miller. “If a cat suddenly stops jumping, it may be time to see the vet to find out the cause.” Cats also indicate pain by hiding, sitting still while hunched up, and losing interest in people, other pets, or favorite activities.
For cats, going to the bathroom outside the litterbox could be an indicator of pain (such as a urinary tract infection or bladder stones), but it could also be an indicator of a serious disease, such as diabetes.
A decreased appetite could be a sign of mouth pain, while difficulty standing up after lying down could be another indicator of osteoarthritis. Finally, overgrooming or licking a specific spot could indicate referred pain, which happens when pain is felt in one part of the body but is actually caused by pain or injury in another part of the body.
If a pet owner thinks that their pet might be in pain, an appointment with a veterinarian should be scheduled. The vet can assess the medical reasons for the pain and determine the appropriate treatment.
The best protection against diseases or chronic pain is keeping a pet healthy. “Cat owners can help ensure their beloved felines are healthy by giving them high-quality cat food and ensuring they receive plenty of low-impact physical exercise every day,” said Miller.
CatCuddles is an educational website that provides articles on cat breeds and feline health issues, such as kidney disease. The site also invites cat owners to submit photos of their feline companions and sponsors a charitable giveaway that allows the winner to give $1,000 to the cat rescue or animal shelter of their choosing.
For more information about CatCuddles, contact the company here:
4400 N Scottsdale Rd. Suite 9-285
Scottsdale, AZ 85251