Recently I had a upper respiratory illness that had me down for 3 weeks. I finally went to a doctor who was a little concerned that I may have had influenza. It turned out that it was just a really bad virus. I normally don’t get sick like this, so, I was a little perturbed at the length of time it lasted. Afterall, I had things to do!
During this illness, I decided my next blog would be about what animals know and talk about when they don’t feel well. I have talked to several animals with serious and not-so-serious medical problems. It’s always interesting to hear them describe what’s happening to them. They think about things much differently than we do.
Animals describe illnesses in terms of how their bodies feel different to them. They can’t say they have “pain in my spine” or “I feel like throwing up”. What they can and do say is: “I don’t want to eat my food, it tastes funny”, “I hurt all over”, “my paws itch…I have nice paws…I don’t like it when they itch”….to name a few. Lots of times, animals will give me a picture of where it hurts and/or let me feel it. I’ve even done “scans” of animal bodies to see what may be going on with them. It doesn’t always work, but I find it a useful tool to use when an animal can’t tell me what’s wrong.
Not all animals will talk about their aches and pains…sometimes they are very stoic about pain and don’t want to talk about it. Sometimes symptoms are hard for them to describe, so, the illness may come out in another form; ie. peeing outside the litter box, ignoring food, growling, sleeping a lot, irritability, etc. I try to figure out what may be going on with them, but I’m not always successful…like I said, animals think about pain and illness in a whole different way than we do. It’s not always a straightforward process.
I hope your animals are all healthy and happy….blessing to you and all of your wonderful furry friends.