How To Know If Your Dog Is In Pain

It can be worrying to see your dog in pain or discomfort. Today, our White House explain how dogs show pain or discomfort, how to know when your dog is suffering and when they might require urgent care.

How To Know If Your Dog Is In Pain

Dogs are exceptional at hiding symptoms of pain. While this served them well as a survival tactic before they were domesticated as pets, it's not great for owners of domesticated dogs who want to make sure their pup's quality of life and well-being is the best it can be.

With a good understanding of your dog's temperament and personality and by keeping an eye out for abnormal behaviors that can point to pain for discomfort, you'll be prepared to notice subtle signs of pain in your dog. You'll then need to act on them appropriately and in a timely fashion.

How Dogs Handle Pain

Dogs tend to hide their pain for as long as possible until symptoms become apparent and their humans take notice. In wild species, being adept at concealing signs of disease, injury and pain can prevent animals from being perceived as weak by predators - and therefore an easy target.

It's important that any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as early detection of disease or illness is key to better outcomes for your dog's health, fewer long-term complications and less risk during treatment.

Types Of Pain A Dog Can Experience

Just like humans, our dogs can suffer from a wide number of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental health issues or internal conditions related to the heart, immune system, gastrointestinal issues, and others. Tumors and different types of cancer can also lead to pain. Acute pain can be caused by a foreign object getting stuck in their paw, an injury while exercising, a fall, accident or other mishaps.

A dog of any age may contract parasites and suffer subsequent disease or infection. Senior dogs may experience pain from joint or bone disorders. diabetes or other health issues.

Symptoms Of Pain In Dogs

Many dog owners are concerned with how to know if their dog is in pain. There are a few subtle and clear symptoms you can watch for. Signs your dog is in pain or discomfort may include:

  • Significant decrease in appetite
  • Tail tucked in or lowered
  • Spending more time sleeping
  • Yelping or whining
  • Irritability
  • Limping
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump
  • Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise

If your previously physically active, outgoing and friendly pup now cowers away from being pet, doesn't want to play, or loses their appetite, some type of pain or discomfort may be the culprit. Changes in behavior can indicate suffering and should be tended to by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health issue or condition. Since pain can be as exhausting to dogs as it is for humans, your pet might become tired more easily. You may notice your dog sleeping more if their pain is recent or they are experiencing chronic pain.

If you notice your dog suffering from pain and showing symptoms, contact your vet so the underlying issue can be diagnosed. If your pup has been injured and the pain is accompanied by bleeding, loss of consciousness, vomiting or diarrhea, this is considered a veterinary emergency that requires immediate attention. Our vets in White House can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain.

Treating Pain In Dogs

Depending on the reason for your pet's pain and the diagnosis they receive, your vet could recommend treatment options like pain medication, wound care, various therapies, or surgery. Our veterinarians perform a wide variety of surgical procedures, including soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, foreign body or mass removal and more.

With non-invasive cold laser therapy, we can treat painful inflammatory conditions, injuries and illnesses in dogs and cats. This type of therapy can be an effective alternative to treatments including conventional medications or other options.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing signs of pain, contact our White House vets today to book an appointment.