Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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How to Recognize When Your Pet is in Pain

Our pets feel pain just like we do, but they might act slightly different depending on what is going on with them! If you’re wondering about some of the signs of pain in your pet, these are some symptoms you should look out for.

Mobility Issues

When a pet is in pain, be it a dog, cat or even a bunny, they will may have some sort of a mobility issue. These issues include:

  • Limping or skipping around
  • Moving or playing less than usual
  • Lots of sleeping or not wanting to get up and move
  • Hesitance to play, or not wishing to go up or downstairs

Changes in posture – if you see that their rear is closer to the floor, they are holding themselves differently or they have an arched back

Changes In Eating

If your pet has a normal eating habit and then suddenly they seem to be eating less, food keeps dropping out of their mouths, they drool more than usual, etc. these could all be signs of mouth pain. Perhaps they have a laceration in their mouth, tooth decay or even missing or broken teeth – all of these are common, especially in older dogs.

Often when a pet is in pain, like with humans, they won’t want to eat in the same way or at the same frequency that they used to.

Agitation and Restlessness

Like with humans, if a pet is in pain you might see restlessness or agitation in their behavior and attitude. This includes changing positions often, pacing from or laying down and getting up frequently.

Changes In Vocalizations

A lot of the time your pet will tell you if they are in pain. Listen/watch out for:

  • Whimpering
  • Whining
  • Unusual Growling
  • Or even no sounds at all. If you have a pet that is talkative and suddenly he or she stops making any noises, this could also be a sign that they are in pain.

Avoidance Behaviours

Pets will also sometimes hide away or shy away from certain normal activities. For example, if your pet likes to be rubbed under the chin or on their side and suddenly out of the blue he or she doesn’t want to be touched there, or they move their head or body away from your hand, this could be a sign they are in pain.

Take notes on exactly what avoidance behaviours they are showing and make sure you mention it to your vet so they can look in those specific places and look for injuries!

Bathroom Habits

Another way to tell if a pet is in pain is their bathroom habits. For example, if you have a male dog that has always lifted his leg to urinate and suddenly he’s not or he wobbles while doing so, this could be a sign he is in pain.

Also, pay attention to how often they need to go to the bathroom.

Excessive Grooming Habits

Often a pet will lick their paws when they are looking for a way to soothe themselves. But, also pets, especially dogs, have an instinctual habit to clean an area that is wounded or painful by licking it. If you find your pet licking themselves more than usual or in a specific spot take a look (if they let you!) and see if you can see any obvious signs of injury.

No matter what type of behaviours you see your pet’s having, if you have any inkling that they might have an injury or might be in pain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your local vet and have them checked out.

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Last updated: June 26, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective June 5, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

Beginning June 8, we will be resuming our normal business hours:

Monday - Friday: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday: Closed


NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Halifax Veterinary Hospital