How to Tell if Your Pet Is in Pain

Leave a Comment - 38


Holly Jurnovoy

Subject: Pet Pain

Our wheaten Terrier is 16 years old. In the last few months, he is very attached. He has cataracts, is hard of hearing and in kidney failure. He takes pills for the kidney, for allergies, for pain and to keep him from peeing in the house which is doing more often because he takes Prednisone for pain in his back. We carry him down the stairs to go out in the morning, but when we put him down, he trots off like he did when he was a puppy. How do I know when it is time to let him go?

Wendi Coe

Subject: How to know when it's time

This is a very hard subject, but since I've had to go through it so many times, I can honestly say, you will know. We have tried repeatedly to save our animals, but when their bodies are done, they will lay around, stop eating or drinking. Usually be too sick to do anything. And weight loss, my cats lost a lot of weight really fast. My dogs, just couldn't do anything.. My most recent dog was so sick, his whole body swelled, every gland.I don't know how he was even breathing. I knew he was done. Even so, I always run it by the vet before the decision is made.

Diane Zak

Subject: Pet Pain

We recently took our cat, 12 yrs of age, to the vet for what turned out to be an ear infection. Over 500+ dollars later she was sent home on antibiotics and ear meds. At the time of this visit the vet said that the cat had bad teeth and they needed to be cleaned. We want what's best for our cat so we agreed. Another 300+ later she was home and would not move from a tote I placed her pillow in. She was sent home with pain meds but we were reluctant to give it to her. She was still very wobbly from the anesthetic. She laid in there for almost 2 days, with meds and such, used her box and ate well. I've read from this posting that they may become unkempt. She is doing just that. I want to give her pain meds but now it's almost 1 week from her procedure. Should I?? I don't want to mistreat her, but I don't want to give her what she may not need.

Tammie Kirkham

Subject: Senior dog with brain cancer

My dog is 15 and we have been treating with prednisone for a yr. now for rain cancer. Overall her vet checks are good, but when at home she pants quite a bit and seems uncomfortable anywhere other than my son's room. When do we know when to say enough for her? I don't want her to suffer but I also don't want to loose her. She's still so loving and such a wonderful dog. She also becomes very anxious at times and has began chewing on floors and things which she has never done.


Subject: Brain cancer

My sister-in-law had a dog with brain cancer. He, too, chewed on the floor and eventually dug a hole in a wall and a partial one in a door. She lost him when he jumped through a low level window on the second floor of her home.

Lita Newdick

Subject: tooth resorption

I was told by a vet that my cat was suffering from severe tooth resorption and was in pain; that although she was eating well, nonetheless the pain was excruciating. He showed me the signs in her mouth of this disease.
What I don't understand is why it is said that up to 70% of cats suffer from this disease, I have had many many cats and none of them had it and nobody I know with a cat has ever heard of it. Extracting the teeth in question will cost $1200. Before i go ahead with the operation(s) I have decided to get a second veterinarian's opinion.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Tooth Reabsorption-reply

I think that getting a second opinion is a wonderful idea. Do you have a holistically based vet in your area?

I'd like to share a personal "tooth" story with you. I had a sinus infection for 6 months that wouldn't go away, and that antibiotics wouldn't clear up. I had a CTScan and they found I had an infected tooth. My dentist missed it. The ENT told me to have the tooth extracted. I did. 3 months later, no signs of any sinusitis and breathing wonderfully.

Moral of the story. The mouth is a gateway to health and it should never be overlooked. If there are toxins entering the body, it can cause serious damage.

Deanna Wagoner

Subject: Another sign

One other sign that I didn't see mentioned is trembling. One of our dogs started trembling when he sat down. We found out that he had a tumor causing pain.


Subject: These are good signs but one

These are good signs but one should also "trust your gut" when it comes to a pet that you have. I have a cat that go sick and took to the vet. I had been to this vet before but they were not the normal vet we would take our pets to. He would not listen to what I had to say about the cat's behavior and insisted that she just had asthma. He did prescribe medicine for her sickness "just in case." I went home and gave my cat the sickness medicine and not the asthma medicine. She is now a healthy and happy 15yr old cat with no asthma.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Second opinion reply

This sounds like a vet you don't want to return to. While we all seek help when we go to the vet, sometimes, without extensive testing, they can't pinpoint the issues. I believe that many vets are afraid to ask for a full blood work-up, x rays, etc because of the cost. Many times clients say they can't afford it. Vet care is expensive. But if you compare it to your health, if a Dr. always prescribed antibiotics for an issue, many times it wouldn't be diagnosed; pets are no different.

kim fogel

Subject: Pain

We had a dog that I noticed started coming up the stairs more slowly, and looked at me like i was crazy for expecting it. He was middle aged, and I thought maybe getting some arthritis. Pretty soon he wasn't jumping up to the love seat which was where he slept. This was all over some time, so I really didn't think much of it, but I should have. It wasn't until he started vomiting that I realized something else was wrong. On a Thursday, I was told he had a splenic tumor, on Sunday it was clear we needed to put him down, he started urinating pure blood, and could not get up the steps, my son had to carry him. He was unable to breathe properly and although never made a peep, was in obvious pain. The moral of the story here is that even though a pet is aging, don't assume that it is normal , always check with the vet when there are any changes in the activity or usual behavior.

marylin diaz

Subject: dog

My dogs are most of the time is sleeping they wont get out of there bed till i dont get up they excited when i get home and from work and then they get calm and theyvgo laid down right back again is that something bad


Subject: Signs of Pain Not Mentioned

Our 13 year old Wheaten Terrier exhibits two additional signs of pain, which the vet pointed out to us:
1. she follows me everywhere with her head nearly attached to my calf
2. OCD type drinking from her water bowl
I now know to give her a once-over when I can't get her to dis-engage


Subject: Unusual pet vocalizations could be a sign they're in pain

Some years ago I heard a loud, distressing feline yowl that seemed to be coming from outside my apartment. The two or three times it happened I would go to my front door or window and look for the poor cat making all the noise. It wasn't until it happened with my own ailing cat in the same room that I realized it was coming from him -- the sound was so different from his usual repetoire of meows, and he hadn't acted distressed before or after, that I didn't catch on until I witnessed it. It was a lesson in just how well animals can hide the pain they're in, and helped me make the decision to have him put down humanely at home sooner rather than later. Now that I again have senior pets, I am more alert to watching and listening for signals that they might need an immediate check up at the vet.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Nancy, I am so happy you learned how to watch and listen for the signs of distress, and thanks for writing your comments on the article and sharing your experience. Lori


Subject: pet pain

We have 3 dogs 2 are rescue, and a young Yorkie. Our two youngest dogs kept going to our oldest dog's mouth continuously. We noticed this and took our older dog to the vet. The vet found an infected tooth and promptly removed it. Multiple dogs in the family May show concentration on a particular body part of a dog with pain. We discussed this with our vet and he said Oh yes dogs notice other dogs pain and often go to that spot.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Dennis first off, thank you for rescuing and not buying a dog. Another blog could be 10 reasons why one should adopt..but another day! The mouth is truly the gateway to health, yet so few pet parents realize this. I am happy the tooth was extracted and please thank your buddy system to make note of that and have it looked at. Dogs are amazing, aren't they? Lori

Ellen Sullivan

Subject: Change in behavior

Thanks for this article. Recently, my dog started to show slight changes in behavior. She wasn't eating as much as she normally does. Also, every once in a while, she would let out a yelp. I tried to find the source of the pain but every where I touched her she was fine. When she started spending a lot of time alone instead of with me, that's when I took her to the vet. It turned out she had a bad tooth that needed to be extracted. She's fine now.

Ellen Sullivan

Subject: Change in behavior

Thanks for this article. Recently, my dog started to show slight changes in behavior. She wasn't eating as much as she normally does. Also, every once in a while, she would let out a yelp. I tried to find the source of the pain but every where I touched her she was fine. When she started spending a lot of time alone instead of with me, that's when I took her to the vet. It turned out she had a bad tooth that needed to be extracted. She's fine now.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Hello. Do you see the underlying comments health. I say the mouth is the gateway to a pets health. Pets should have a dental exam annually and as the years go on, cleanings as often as annually. Sure, we hate to put our loved ones under anesthesia but it if saves their life, and relieves them of pain, I'm all for it. Costly, yes. But your best friend is priceless.

Jessica Forman

Subject: pet pain

If you have a second pet, the barking may come from that one, rather than the one in pain. When out 14-year-old labradoodle had an early morning stroke, our 1-year-old labradoodle barked non-stop until I got out of the shower. So if you have two, watch both for behavior clues.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Dogs, as pack animals, are amazing creatures, especially if you have the same breed. As the mother of three rescued standard poodles, mine give me cues all the time if something is wrong, OR if one never leaves the others side. They are best friends and in turn, they are truly our best friends. Excellent catch!


Subject: sick cat

I often hear from people that day their car is urinating outside the litter box. If the box is clean this can be a sign of a serious bladder or kidney infection and needs to be treated by a vet immediately. Cats are very fastidious and do not go outside the box "on purpose". I noticed this in my female kitty and it went on for months. I finally took her in and they surgically had to remove 5 bladder stones.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Hi Lisa, a cat urinating outside of the box is a clear giveaway that something is wrong-either physical, mental or emotional.
When my clients ask me about this problem, I urge them to see the advice of their veterinarian to rule out stones, cancer, diabetes (a more and more common ailment due to POOR DIETS, or a UTI. Then, I ask them if there is a change in the home-a family member leaving, coming or stress in the household. Its uncanny the signs and clues they give us if we would only watch them more closely. Good for you that you followed your gut and sought professional help. A dear friend of mine didn't follow my advice and waited six months, only to find advanced stage cancer for her baby.

Glenna Wheatley

Subject: Pets

Thanks for this informative article. My 12 year old dachshund mix has recently started limping every now and then, but particularly after exercising. We've been "treating" it with aspirin, but now I think I'll take him in to make sure it's just his age.

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Your pets limping

Hello Glenna, I think the best thing to do is to determine with your vet if its a sprain or a tear. Better to be safe than sorry. However, if your pup is limping, was he sleeping on it? May be a part of the aging process, unfortunately. Best of luck and keep in touch...

Marisa santiago

Subject: Pets on pain

I have 2 dogs over 10 years old and have noticed their behavior changing. Although their vet visits state they are ok...I can see some of the changes you mentioned. Thank u thank u thank u for helping me to monitor their physical and behavioral changes so that I may keep them as comfortable as possible!!!!

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Oh sad is that to hear. I am sure you are still in mourning over your baby. Its the hardest thing to get over. Blessings to you and hopefully you'll adopt a new friend, soon!

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Your pets in pain

You are most welcome. I have had wonderful luck with two holistic products that can act like a prescription without the side effects. Most likely, your vet will have never heard of them unless they are holistically based, but I used to give my 15 year old lab something called SOD and Bosweillia. The other thing I give my 9 year old standard poodle is Cetyl M. I've given samples to many of my clients we pet sit and dog walk for, and they have raved about it. You can find both online. Best of luck!


Subject: Other potential indicator

I noticed that my cat's voice (meow) started sounding different at one point. I thought it was just because she was getting older (16 years) but it may have been an indicator of serious health problems. She died of liver cancer a few months later.

Mary G

Subject: Pet Pain

When my dogs are in pain, they pant excessively. It's odd behavior bc they aren't hot or exhausted.

Trembling is also common.

Dana Murphy-Love

Subject: Other signs

I would add one more sign as this has happened now with two of my dogs. They try to get your attention in ways they don't normally. For instance, one of my dogs jumped up on the bed when they normally wouldn't just to get petted. The other, recently, came over and would sit on my feet and wanted me to pet her head, when actually I think she was trying to get me to notice that she had a swelling under her throat which turned out to be a cancerous tumor. I didn't normally pet her under her chin so I never noticed the swelling until it was way too late...

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas

Subject: Pet Pain

Oh Dana, this is heartbreaking to hear. Its a good idea to do a body check at least once per week to see if there are any new lumps, bumps or pain spots. They love the "rubdown" and you get to monitor things such as fatty tumors (which are generally benign but still have them checked!) for growth. I am so sorry to hear this. I know losing your best friend is the hardest thing in the world. Another tip is if you feel heat in a spot....a clear indicator of distress.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.