Common signs of a pet in pain include: excessive sleeping (pain avoidance), loss of appetite or nausea, panting, pacing, shivering/trembling, growling, crying/whining, abnormal manner of walking, refusal to walk, run, jump or take the stairs, and sleeping in abnormal positions or places. These signs do not always mean a pet is in pain, but careful assessment should take place if these symptoms are noticed.
Many geriatric pets struggle with anxiety. Most pets at this age are losing, or have lost, their hearing and their sight is often diminished due to cataracts and normal aging changes to the eyes. While this may increase the pet’s anxiety, most seem to adjust well as these changes tend to happen gradually.
Nightlights, gates for protection, sound machines, and warm, soft beds in safe and quiet locations, are all things a family can add to the home to help with anxiety. Sometimes pheromone diffusers and anxiety medications are also used to help these patients.