No one wants to see their dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Concord vets explain how dogs tend to handle pain, how they show pain or discomfort, and how to know when your dog is suffering and might require urgent care.
Signs Your Dog is in Pain
Dogs can be exceptional at hiding symptoms of pain. With a good understanding of what is normal for your dog's temperament and personality look for deviations. By keeping an eye out for abnormal behaviors that can point to pain or 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 and easy prey by predators.
It's important that any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog be addressed and treated by a veterinarian. 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 variety of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain. Issues that dogs face can range from dental health issues or internal conditions from heart-related and immune system disorders to gastrointestinal issues. 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, an 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.
Signs a Dog is in Pain
Many dog owners want to know if their dog is in pain. 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
- Reluctance to climb stairs or jump
- Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise
Changes in behavior can indicate that your dog is suffering and should be tended to by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health issue or condition. If your previously physically active, outgoing and friendly dog doesn't want to play, avoids human contact, or loses their appetite, they are probably suffering some type of pain or discomfort. Since pain can exhaust dogs just as it does humans, many dogs become tired more easily. Your dog may be sleeping more if their pain has become a problem recently 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. .
How Pain in Dogs is Treated
Your vet may recommend treatment options such as pain medication, wound care, various therapies or surgery depending on the cause of your pet's pain.
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.