Dog limping

How To Tell If Your Dog Is In Pain

Posted by Nikki Wardle on September 19, 2023 at 9:30 AM
Nikki Wardle
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Pain is an interesting subject when talking about pets, particularly canines. First, we have the obstacle of pets not being able to tell us exactly what is hurting, followed by the other issue that canines are experts at hiding pain.

First, why do dogs hide their pain?

To answer that question, we must go back thousands of years when wild dogs were in packs. If a dog were to show signs of weakness, such as limping or whining, it could endanger the whole pack because that weak dog could be vulnerable to predators. Therefore, dogs have evolved to hide pain to protect themselves.

Next, our cuddly canines are eager to please us. If a dog shows signs of pain, their owner may worry about them and take them to the vet. This could mean being separated from their owner, which most dogs want to avoid.

How To Tell if Your Dog Is in Pain

Below are some of the most common signs of pain in dogs:

  • Changes in behavior: Your pup may become more lethargic, less active, or withdrawn. They may also be less playful or interested in eating.
  • Changes in vocalization: Your dog may whine, cry, or bark more than usual. They may also growl or snap at you when you touch them.
  • Changes in sleeping habits: Your dog may sleep more than usual or have trouble sleeping.
  • Changes in body language: Your dog may hold their head down, tuck their tail between their legs, or have a hunched back.
  • Physical signs: You may notice swelling, redness, or heat in a specific area of your dog's body. You may also see cuts, scrapes, or bruises. Your dog may limp, walk stiffly, or be reluctant to walk at all.

If you're concerned that your dog may be in pain, don't hesitate to take them to the veterinarian. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve your dog's quality of life and prevent further complications.

Here are some things you can do to help your dog feel better if they are in pain:

  • Provide a comfortable place for them to rest.
  • Offer them soft bedding or a heating pad.
  • Give them pain medication as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid letting them jump or climb stairs.
  • Be patient and understanding.

With your and your veterinarian's help, your dog can get through their pain and feel better soon.

Topics: Pet Care, Animal Hospital Near Me