How to Tell When Your Dog or Cat is in Pain

What if your dog or cat could tell you if they were in pain? We have the advantage of describing our aches and pains, but our pets don’t have it quite so easy.  We may not be able to ask them, but we can learn what signs to look out for. It’s important to watch for subtle behavior changes. These may include changes in daily habits, activity level, body postures, vocalization, and facial expressions. Noticeable behavior changes may include aggression, self-mutilation, or self-protection. These changes are especially apparent when a normally friendly animal starts showing signs of aggression or vice versa. Some signs of pain are very distinct, for example, if your dog suddenly starts limping or has difficulty getting up from the floor. Keep in mind that cats are especially adept at hiding pain, and the warning signs may mimic other health problems, and vary widely.

 Painful Signs In Dogs

  • Less playful, social, or hiding
  • Reduced daily activity
  • Changes in appetite and drinking
  • Vocalizing
  • Changes in sleeping
  • Guarding or self-protection
  • Trembling, circling, or restless
  • Aggression
  • Resists being held or picked up
  • Scratching, licking, or biting a certain body part
  • Limping or changes in mobility
  • Excessive panting at rest

Painful Signs in Cats

  • Restless
  • Reduced appetite
  • Won’t use the litterbox
  • Vocalizing
  • Reluctance to jump up or down
  • Scratching, licking, or biting a certain body part
  • Increased sleeping
  • Avoiding physical contact or petting
  • Resists being held or picked up
  • Seeks more attention
  • Slows or stops grooming
  • Flattened ears, arched back, or tucked feet and/or abdomen

What Causes Pain?

Our pets can experience pain for a variety of reasons whether it’s acute pain, which happens suddenly due to injury, surgery, or illness. Chronic pain, which is persistent over time, may be due to conditions like arthritis, infections, cancer, nerve disorders, and other diseases. The exact source can be complex, so if you suspect your dog or cat is experiencing pain, the first step is always to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet will examine your pet to help diagnose the cause of it and provide treatment options that best fit your dog or cat’s needs.

Refrain from treating your dog or cat’s pain on your own. Certain types of pain relievers are toxic to animals, especially cats. Also, different types of pain require different types of treatment. Let your veterinarian decide if a pain reliever will manage their symptoms and prescribe the appropriate dosage.

VetRxDirect pharmacy offers a variety of prescription pain relievers for dogs and cats.  We’ve included some of the most popular below. Visit our website for more information.

Onsior for Cats at VetRxDirectOnsior

Onsior (robenacoxib) is the first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) designed to relieve pain and inflammation in cats. This medicine is particularly useful for cats recovering from surgery or soft tissue injury.


Galliprant at VetRxDirect Galliprant

Galliprant is a prescription medication for dogs with osteoarthritis that contains grapripant, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works to target pain and swelling at its source by blocking the receptor, so your dog can keep moving. Learn more on our blog.


Meloxidyl at VetRxDirectMeloxidyl

Meloxidyl (Meloxicam) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces inflammation in the body. Meloxicam is commonly prescribed for dogs with osteoarthritis and those who have undergone surgery.


Meloxidyl: Save on Meloxicam suspensions!

Meloxicam has been widely used over the years to help dogs with arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. Meloxicam is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) which inhibits enzymes that produce inflammation and pain. These enzymes are called COX-1 and COX-2. Meloxicam has been available in generic human tablets and an expensive brand name suspension called Metacam. Now VetRxDirect is carrying a less expensive version of a meloxicam suspension called Meloxidyl.

Meloxidyl is bioequivalent to Metacam Oral NSAID for Dogs

Meloxidyl is now available at VetRxDirect Pet Pharmacy.

Meloxidyl contains 1.5 mg of meloxicam per 1 mL of the suspension. It is more convenient and easy to give your dog than the meloxicam tablets. With the suspension, you can easily place the medication in the pet’s food or directly into their mouth. Meloxidyl will make your dog’s meloxicam suspension much more affordable. If you’d like to save some money on meloxicam, talk to your veterinarian about switching to Meloxidyl suspension.

Product Strengths Available Cost
Meloxicam tablets 7.5 mg and 15 mg VRD Paw Print
Meloxidyl oral suspension 1.5 mg/mL VRD Paw PrintVRD Paw Print
Metacam oral Suspension 0.5 mg/mL and 1.5 mg/mL VRD Paw PrintVRD Paw PrintVRD Paw Print

VRD Paw PrintIndicates relative pricing, with more paw prints showing greater cost of the product.

For more information on meloxicam and other NSAID’s, see our article titled, “Important Information about NSAID’s for Pets.

What are your thoughts on trying less expensive options for your pet’s medications? Has your pet been prescribed meloxicam before? Would you try Meloxidyl? Leave a reply below.