September is proclaimed to be Animal Pain Awareness Month. This whole-month-long holiday is sponsored by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). Their intentions are to educate and inform all pet owners about their pet’s health and pain management, and with all that maintaining the well-being of that pet.
This awareness month was inspired by the sole purpose of making animals feel more comfortable when they hurt when they are sick or injured. Animals, unlike people, can’t tell if or where it hurts. Acute pain is more recognizable because it manifests with a sudden change of behavior or clear signs of pain. But chronic pain, on the other hand, can be subtler and we might not be even aware that our beloved furry family member is hurting.
The theme for this year’s Animal Pain Awareness Month is “Pets Feel Pain Too”. This theme was chosen to more vividly illustrate the similarities between human and animal pain, and that if something is painful for us, most definitely is painful for our pets.
Old age, arthritis, cancer, old wounds or fractures that did not heal properly can be the cause for chronic pain in pets. And pets are able to hide this chronic pain very well and suffer quietly. This month aims to educate pet owners to recognize the subtle signs and to take their pet for regular veterinary check-up and pain evaluation visits. When the pain is localized, there are many ways to minimize it or even neutralize it. Some of the pain management options are pain medications, acupuncture, physical therapy, laser therapy and various kinds of therapeutic massages.
If you are part of the veterinary profession, take this month to educate every pet owner that walks into your clinic about the benefits of recognizing physical pain in their pets and pain management.
If you are a pet owner, take this time to learn more about your pet, what might cause pain and how to manage it. Talk to your veterinarian and be the best pet owner you can be.
If you want to learn more about Animal Pain Awareness Month, visit the official website of The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.
If you want to learn more about one of the causes for pain in pets, read about “Osteosarcoma in dogs and cats“.