Signs of Pain & Discomfort in Dogs

It can be concerning to see your dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Union City explain how dogs tend to handle this, how they show pain or discomfort, and how to know when your dog is suffering and when they might require urgent care. 

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs have a remarkable ability to conceal pain, which was advantageous for their survival in the wild but poses challenges for pet owners who want to ensure their furry friends' happiness and health.

By having a good grasp of your dog's temperament and personality, you can spot subtle indications of pain. Paying attention to unusual behaviors can also provide clues of potential discomfort. It is essential to respond promptly and appropriately to address any pain or discomfort your dog may be experiencing.

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. 

Any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog should be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as early detection of disease or illness leads to better health outcomes, fewer long-term complications, and less risk during treatment.

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Similar to humans, dogs can experience a range of health conditions that result in acute or chronic pain. These conditions can include dental problems, internal disorders like heart or immune system issues, and gastrointestinal complications.

Additionally, tumors and various forms of cancer can contribute to pain. Acute pain in dogs may arise from incidents such as getting a foreign object stuck in their paw, sustaining an injury during exercise, experiencing a fall, or being involved in an accident.

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 parents come to us wondering 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, refuses to play, or loses its appetite, it could be due to pain or discomfort. Changes in behavior may indicate pain and should be addressed by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health problem or condition. Many dogs become tired more easily because pain can exhaust them just like it does humans. If your dog's pain has recently become a problem or they are in chronic pain, you may notice them sleeping more.

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 should be treated right away. Our vets in Union City can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain. 

How Pain in Dogs is Treated

Depending on the cause of your pet's pain and their diagnosis, we may recommend treatment options such as pain medication, wound care, various therapies, or surgery. Our veterinarians perform a wide variety of elective and non-elective surgical procedures, including soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, foreign body or mass removal, and more. 

Is your pup showing signs of discomfort or pain? Don't hesitate to contact Reelfoot Animal Hospital today.