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18 signs, a dog is in pain and what to do
Dogs are probably the most resilient creatures on this planet. They try to not be bothered by small cuts or bruises. Since they cannot speak, it is difficult to understand whether your dog is in pain because of an injury or any other underlying cause. In this article I bring you the symptoms and signs of your dog in pain.
I am currently taking care of an Indian pariah dog (named Guy Wigglebutt) who lives in my colony. The first night I found Guy, he was wailing in pain (I am guessing he was in a fight with other dogs). He could barely get up. He would not have lasted beyond a few days if I did not tend to his pain immediately. He had a huge swelling on his right thigh and would cry if he had to move it even an inch. His leg is better now however, he still has a severe limp. I am hoping with regular care and massage with arnica oil, he will be back to his former self soon.
Thus coming back to the topic at hand, what are the signs, a dog is in pain?
- Aggressive or antisocial behavior
- Changes in drinking eating and sleeping habits
- Increase in vocal behavior
- Excessive grooming tendencies
- Altered breathing pattern or heavy panting
- Trembling or shaking
- Difficulty in sitting
- Sudden changes in the posture and movement
- Reluctance to walk on slippery surfaces.
- Reduced mobility
- Placing the body weight on the front legs:
- Seeking or disregarding affection
- More accidents around the house
- Difficulty in resting
- Eye changes
- Tail posture
- Showing selectivity in what or where to jump from or jump to.
- Tries to stand up on the front legs
Why is your dog in pain?
- If there is a sudden injury or illness which results in pain, this pain would be referred to as acute pain.
- However, if your dog is suffering from pain due to a long-term disease like arthritis or tooth problems, this pain would be referred to as chronic pain.
- Bone or joint damage
- Upset stomach
- Back problems
- Urinary tract infection
- Soft tissue injury
- Sprain/strain due to excessive exercise or activity
- Dental issue
How can you help your dog?
- In case the pain is due to sudden injury, it may resolve itself with time. If you observe that your dog is behaving normally the next day then there is nothing to worry about.
- However, if your dog shows symptoms of pain for more than two days, immediately schedule an appointment with your vet.
- Stop engaging your dog in play, or any other kind of physical activity until you can consult your veterinarian. You may need to get some diagnostic tests done like x-rays, blood tests or an ultrasound to get a clear picture of the underlying cause of the pain.
- Make videos of your dog when he or she is showing signs of discomfort or pain. Make sure to note down the timings, what had your dog eaten just before and what was he or she doing when the pain occurred. You can show the videos to your vet for him or her to get a clear picture of what your dog is experiencing.
- Never administer any pain medication or NSAIDs to your dog without your veterinarian’s prescription or consultation.
Common pain treatments
- Laser therapy
- Ice or heat packs
- Supplement or herbal therapy
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Frequently asked questions:
Dogs in pain commonly display signs like:
-Difficulty in getting up
-Difficulty in sitting down
-Refusal to play with toys
-Refusal to play with other dogs
-Over or under sleeping
-Yelping when touched at specific regions
-Favoring specific sides of the body over other
-Refusing to go out or go up and down the stairs
Take him or her to the vet as soon as possible. Once the underlying causes have been identified and treatment started, the pain will reduce.
NO! Never give any painkillers or NSAIDs to your dog unless you have had a consultation with your veterinarian.
Never give your dog any over the counter medication unless you have spoken to your vet.
Yes, this most definitely means he is in pain and a vet consultation is needed.