Your pet’s health and well-being, are our top priority.

150 Pine Creek Dr. Gap, PA, 17527


Mon to Thurs: 8:30am – 7pm
Fri: 8:30am – 5pm
Sat: 8:30am – 12pm


When Your Pet Is In Pain

Sep 13, 2022Pet Health

September is the month dedicated to Animal Pain Awareness. Animals feel pain just like we do but can’t always tell us when they hurt. So, it is up to pet parents to observe when their pet is in pain and get them to a veterinarian so we can assess them and find out what is wrong. That’s why animal pain awareness is so important. We want to educate every pet parent on recognizing the signs of pain in their pet and how they can help them.

How Do You Know When Your Pet is in Pain?

Even though our pets can’t talk, there are signs you can look for that indicate your pet is experiencing some distress. Here are some common signs of a pet in pain:

  • Decrease or loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Being off by themselves — not joining the family

  • Aggression

  • Lameness (limping)

  • Crying or whining

  • Excessive licking or scratching

Then there are more specific signs of pain depending on the type of animal. For example,


  • Tight or twitching muscles

  • Shaking or trembling

  • Arched back

  • Holding their head below their shoulders

  • Panting


  • Hiding

  • Vocalization, e.g., frequent unpleasant or urgent sounding meowing, groaning, hissing, growling.

  • Grooming less or increased grooming but to a particular area (potentially leading to bald patches and sore skin).

  • Panting is not usual for a cat. If your cat is panting, it can indicate extreme fear, pain, or difficulty breathing.

  • Displaying aggression when you touch them in some regions of their body.

Pain Management

Once we have assessed your pet and found the root cause of their problem, we begin treatment. Part of the treatment includes managing their pain. Of course, our pets are part of the family, so no one wants to see them suffer.

Pain Medication

When necessary, we administer pain medication for the pet to heal from whatever it is experiencing. A pet recovering from illness, injury, or surgery needs to be kept calm and comfortable so its body can heal quickly.

Laser Therapy

Laser treatment can be used with or in place of medication to manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing. It helps tissue repair by causing the following:

  • Endorphin release

  • Increases blood flow to bring in oxygen and cells involved in the healing process

  • Muscle relaxation

  • Decreased inflammation

  • Faster healing and repair

The main clinical benefits of laser use in pets include decreased inflammation, decreased pain, and improved wound healing.

We do not need to sedate or restrain your pet for laser therapy, and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting to pets. Each treatment lasts around 1-4 minutes, but the length and frequency of treatments vary with your pet’s condition.

Adequan Injections

Adequan belongs to a class of drugs called Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs (DMOAD). It is the only FDA-approved product of its kind and has been clinically shown to help treat arthritis while simultaneously relieving joint pain.

Adequan is a prescription medication that can only be dispensed and administered by a licensed veterinarian because veterinarians must administer the drug by injection. When injected directly into a dog’s muscle, it inhibits harmful enzymes that break down cartilage in your dog’s joints.

Adequan helps relieve the pain of arthritis by soothing and lubricating the inflamed joint and stimulating joint cartilage repair. You can read more about adequan injections at: www.adequancanine.com.

Other Therapies to Manage Pain

We may recommend acupuncture or chiropractic treatments for your pet and are happy to refer you to veterinarians in the area who provide these services.


No one wants to see their furry loved ones suffer. We will do everything we can to help them and show you what you can do to make your pet comfortable when they are sick, injured, or recovering from surgery. If you observe any of the above symptoms, please contact us and schedule an appointment so we can assess the problem and get your pet on the road to feeling better!


Dr. Ashley Tuma

Pine Creek Animal Hospital