It can be concerning to see your dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Pflugerville 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
Before dogs were domesticated pets, they had to hide their pain as a survival tactic. As a result, it may not always be apparent to owners when their pooch is physically uncomfortable in some way. Not all puppy pain is shown by a limping leg or a whimper!
If you have a good understanding of your dog's temperament and personality, you should be able to notice any signs of pain by keeping an eye our for abnormal behavior. It is important to be able to pick out this behavior so your pooch can receive prompt care.
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
Like people, dogs can suffer from a variety of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental health issues or disorders of the organs.
Tumors and different types of cancer can also lead to pain. Acute pain can be caused by a foreign object getting stuck in its 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 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
- 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.
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.