Second Chance: When Your Pet Ain’t Doing Right

One of the questions that I get asked the most as a vet is how to tell when a pet is in pain. Our pets are our loved ones that we spend a great deal of time with and yet because they can’t just pipe up and say “hey, that thing that connects my leg to my body hurts!” sometimes their pain is hard to assess.



Sometimes an animal’s pain is evident, they are limping or yelping and there’s no uncertainty about it. But sometimes a pet can be silent and just “off.” The veterinary profession has an abbreviation for it, “ADR” or “ain’t doing right,” adopted from what early ranchers used to describe livestock that they suspected were feeling poorly. But for times when pain is less apparent here are some indicators.

Pay attention:

General Appearance: Often a pet owner can tell just by looking at their animal’s face that something is not right.

Restlessness: An animal that keeps lying down and getting up and can’t get comfortable is often in severe pain. This typically represents an emergency and you should call a vet right away.

Inability to sleep through the night: A pet that gets up once a night to urinate is probably not in pain. A pet who’s up 5 times a night is in some kind of discomfort.

Sudden lack of appetite: Some animals are always picky about food, so if your animal is a finicky feeder, don’t use this indication on its own. But if your animal usually wolfs down his breakfast and dinner and begs for treats all day, pay attention if he suddenly turns his nose up at food.

Sudden aggression: An animal in pain might bite or growl when touched or jostled. If your pet has gone from everyone’s best friend to being a menace to society she may be experiencing pain. Give her the benefit of a doubt and take her in to be evaluated.

If you observe your animal having any of these signs of pain, or if he or she is just ADR it is advisable to take him or her to visit your favorite vet. Pain can often be alleviated easily, and your best friend will be so grateful!

This week’s Second Chance Adoptable Star of the week is Star a 1-2 year young tortoiseshell tabby, or Torbie, who has the natural independence of a feline yet still really likes people – even after feeding time is over. With her yearning for companionship and beauty of the brightest constellation, Star is ready to light up your home and world.



And Austin, not to be outshined, is a lovable, huggable and playful boy of three years young who would love to apply his Cattle Dog nature to wrangling up your heart and making it his. As September 21 marks the International Day of Peace, Austin would like to bring peace to your heart through his good spirits, companionship and utter loyalty.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & friend

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:


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