That 'Behavior Issue' May Actually Be a Symptom of Pain

April 12, 2018

Owners oftentimes notice a subtle change in the behavior of their pets that could actually be indicators of pain, explains Amy L. Pike, DVM, DACVB, chief of the Behavior Medicine Division at the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia.

Owners oftentimes notice a subtle change in the behavior of their pets that could actually be indicators of pain, explains Amy L. Pike, DVM, DACVB, chief of the Behavior Medicine Division at the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia.

For example, if the cat's litter box is downstairs, but the cat is now arthritic and doesn’t want to go down the stairs to use it, that may initially present as a behavior concern. Any time a veterinarian is presented with an animal that has experienced a sudden change in behavior, they should first rule out all medical disorders — including pain.