Severe pain in pets
- Reassure your pet with a soothing voice.
- Even the friendliest pet can scratch or bite if they are in pain.
- If necessary, use a muzzle or towel to protect yourself but never use a muzzle if your pet is struggling to breathe or have an injury on their face.
Move your pet to a safe space
- Make sure both you and your pet are safe, and if necessary, gently move them.
- If necessary, use a blanket, board or towel to help move them.
Call your vet
- Call your vet for advice.
If your pet has a life-threatening problem
Severe pain is usually obvious, but some pets try to hide it as much as they can. Some of the common symptoms of being in pain include:
- Rapid breathing
- Lying very still/being rigid
- Protecting an area of their body
- Growling or hissing, especially when touched
- Tooth grinding (especially rabbits)
- Wide pupils
Published: May 2020
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only. Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst.