No one should want to see their dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Capitola explain how dogs deal with pain, how they show pain or discomfort, 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 are exceptional at hiding symptoms of pain. This is a survival tactic from before they were domesticated as pets, it is now inconvenient for owners of domesticated dogs who want to make sure their dog's quality of life is the best it can be.
With a good understanding of your dog's temperament and personality and by keeping an eye out for abnormal behaviors that can point to pain for discomfort. 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 by predators.
It's important that any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as 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, such as 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, accident or other mishaps.
Signs a 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
If your previously physically active, outgoing and friendly dog now shies away from being pet, doesn't want to play or loses their appetite, some type of pain or discomfort may be the culprit. Changes in behavior can indicate suffering and should be tended to by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health issue or condition.
Since pain can exhaust dogs just as it does humans, many dogs become tired more easily. You may notice your dog 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. If your dog 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.
How Pain in Dogs is Treated
Depending on the cause of your dog'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, dental surgery, foreign body or mass removal and more.
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.