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8 Signs Your Dog Is In Pain (and What You Can Give Fido to Feel Better!)

Is your dog behaving strangely? If you want to know if your dog is in pain, the signs and symptoms listed below will tell you what to do…
Seeing your dog in pain is terrifying if you’re anything like me…
But don’t be alarmed. Often, the situation is not as bad as we think, and we have a tendency to exaggerate the problem by overreacting.

However, their well-being is dependent on us remaining calm while looking for signs and symptoms of dog pain. Dogs can be stubborn and refuse to show any signs.

It’s not an easy job, but after reading this, you’ll understand how to identify your best friend’s aches and pains before they become medical emergencies.

This article will discuss common signs that your dog is in pain, symptoms that require immediate veterinary attention, and common causes of pain in dogs.

Pain Is An Evolutionary Benefit.

Fido would burn his face if he saw a hot dog sizzling over a campfire without it. His strained muscles would never heal because he would never know when to stop fetching. And he wouldn’t be able to notify you if he needed to see the vet.

Despite their utility, dogs are masters at concealing pain. You can thank evolution for that as well.

In the wild, dogs who showed signs of weakness could be preyed upon by predators or demoted in pack rank. They gradually learned not to express their pain, and today, pet owners all over the world are perplexed by their dog’s strange behavior when they aren’t feeling well. [1]

So, how do you decipher the important messages that your dog is attempting to hide from you?

Learn about these common pain behaviors!

1 Appetite loss

If your pet is turning up his nose at dinner, he’s probably not feeling well. Digestion takes a lot of energy and can easily go wrong. If your dog isn’t feeling well, he may be incapable of digesting food.

2 Grooming Obsession

If your dog has developed a grooming obsession, there is more at stake than a bad hair day! Dogs have an instinct to clean their wounds, even if they are not visible to the naked eye. If your dog keeps licking a certain area of his body, he most likely has an ache there. Because licking his paws relieves stress, you may notice him lavishing attention on his paws when he is anxious.

3 Unusual posture or gait

You’ve probably seen your pet strike some adorablely awkward poses, especially when he or she is napping. However, some postures should cause you concern.

Sitting hunched, sleeping only on his side rather than in a ball, being rigid, fidgety, or adopting the “praying position” (with his front legs on the ground and his bottom stretched up in the air) are all indications that something is wrong.

Similarly, you may notice that your pet is walking in an unusual manner. A limp is a dead giveaway that he has a pain in the leg, but you should also watch out for your pet walking with his pelvis tucked in or walking unbalanced, not in a straight line.

4 Pained sounds

Whimpering, whining, yelping, and groaning will undoubtedly draw your attention. If you can pinpoint the source of the noise, you might be able to pinpoint the source of the pain. If you can’t pinpoint a cause, your pet may be suffering from internal pain.

5 Laziness

Some dogs live for Frisbee and hiking, while others appear to suffer from chronic drowsiness. You understand your dog’s energy level better than anyone else. Take note of any significant changes. They could indicate that your dog is depressed.

6 Antisocial conduct

Many dogs, like people, become antisocial when they are sick. Some dogs begin to avoid cuddling, which means they are less likely to jump up on the couch.

In extreme cases, they may resort to hiding under the couch or bed. Other dogs are aggressive. If you approach them, they may growl or snap. Keep in mind not to take this personally! It is simply another symptom of pain.

7th Panting

Panting is equivalent to sweating in dogs. It’s a good way to cool down after exercise or on a hot day. It can also be an sign of stress. Your dog may be stressed or sick if he pants for no apparent reason.

8 Shaking, trembling, or shivering

There are numerous causes for your dog to shiver, shake, or tremble. Being cold or anxious can cause a case of the shivers.

If your dog isn’t cold and there’s no reason for him to be anxious, he could be shivering in pain.

What Should You Do If You Believe Your Dog Is In Pain?

You’ve noticed that your dog is exhibiting one or more of the symptoms listed above.

What happens next?

You can use a few simple diagnostics to get a better sense of how your pet is feeling:

1 Entice your pet with his favorite toys and treats.

In the best-case scenario, he will be easily distracted from his discomfort. On the other hand, if he refuses, he could be in a lot of pain. [2]

2 Inspect his abdomen

Press gently on your pet’s tummy. Tightness and bloating necessitate an immediate visit to the veterinarian. Palpate your pet’s stomach if it feels soft.

If you notice any lumps or if your pet cries, the problem could be serious. [3]

3 Massage achy muscles

If your dog is licking an unusual part of his body or avoiding putting the weight on one leg, use your fingers to gently massage the muscle.

The injury could be serious if it feels rigid or if your pet cries out. [4]

4 Look him in the eyes

Bloodshot eyes, squinted eyes, and dilated pupils are all signs of a problem. Clear eyes are preferable, especially if your dog is alert and interested in his surroundings. [5]

5 Keep a close eye on him when he goes to the bathroom.

Perform a quick visual analysis of your dog’s urine and feces the next time he goes out. Constipation, diarrhea, and blood in the urine or feces are all red flags.

Remember that dogs are good at hiding their pain, so even if they pass all of these tests, you should have them examined by a vet as soon as possible. If these tests come back negative, a trip to the vet becomes necessary.

Puppy Pains: Do Puppies Experience Growing Pains?

Yes, Here’s What to Watch for!

Panosteitis, or puppy growing pains, can occur during a growth spurt in your little fur ball. [6]

Growing pains are a medical mystery because no one knows what causes these severe flare-ups.

They are most likely to affect large breeds, particularly German shepherds and Great Danes, and they usually run their course between the ages of five and twelve months.

If your puppy exhibits the following symptoms, he may be experiencing growing pains:

  • Lameness that occurs suddenly, usually in only one leg
  • varying lameness (a new leg becomes sore after the first has recovered)
  • appetite loss
  • aversion to playing and exercising
  • Whimpering in response to rising, moving, or being touched

The good news is that growing pains are temporary and do not cause permanent harm. Nonetheless, your veterinarian can assist you in finding a way to alleviate the pains until your puppy has outgrown them.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has a Toothache?

You may have concluded that Fido’s teeth are unbreakable after he chewed up your favorite hiking boots. Not so!

The startling reality is that 80 percent of dogs have periodontal disease, which causes painful irritation in and around the teeth. [7]

Dogs are excellent at masking toothaches, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should see a doggy dentist:

  • Your dog’s chew toy has blood on it.
  • eating while yelping or whimpering
  • foul odor
  • only chewing on one side of mouth
  • handling food with caution
  • teeth that are discolored, loose, cracked, or missing

Preventing dental problems in dogs is the best solution. Daily teeth brushing, high-quality dog food, and annual oral exams can keep your pet from suffering from a painful condition.

What About Ear Pain?

Dogs use their flexible ears to communicate their emotions, but what happens when the ear itself is in pain?

Ear infections, which are usually caused by bacteria, yeast, or mites, are common in dogs, so keep an eye out for the following signs that your dog has an ear infection:

  • rubbing the ears
  • shaking one’s head
  • drooping one ear
  • odour or discharge from the ears
  • inner ear redness or swelling
  • difficulties with balance or aversion to walking
  • when the ear is touched, yelp

Once you’ve identified the issue, your veterinarian can identify the microorganism that has colonized your dog’s ear and prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. [8]

If your four-legged friend enjoys swimming or has allergies, he may be prone to recurring ear infections. You can help your dog avoid these infections by regularly washing his ears with a gentle cleaning solution.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is In Pain Due to Arthritis?

So far, we’ve discussed pains that your dog can quickly recover from. Unfortunately, arthritis does not fit into that category. It is the most common cause of chronic pain in man’s best friend. [9]

These arthritis symptoms in dogs can alert you if your dog is in pain. [10]

  • When the joints are touched, they become painful.
  • visible joint swelling or deformity
  • unwilling to play and exercise
  • unwilling to get on the bed or couch
  • unwilling to go up or down stairs
  • walking difficulties on slick surfaces
  • gaining weight
  • depression
  • housekeeping mishaps
  • when rising, yelping or whimpering
  • walking in an unusual manner

Arthritis usually worsens as time passes. However, there are some things you can do to help your dog cope:

  • dietary supplements recommended by your veterinarian
  • Rugs can be used to make comfortable walkways around the house.
  • Place the dog stairs near the couch and bed.
  • massage your dog’s muscles on a regular basis
  • Encourage your dog to get as much exercise as possible.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Cancer Pain?

A lump on your dog may send you into a tailspin, but it is not a cancer diagnosis. In fact, your dog might not even notice the lump!

In addition to checking for lumps and bumps, keep an eye out for the following canine cancer warning signs:

  • strange odors
  • weight gain or weight loss
  • open wounds
  • gums that are pale
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • coughing or breathing difficulties
  • laziness or antisocial behavior

If your dog has already been diagnosed with cancer, you’re probably wondering how you can help your best friend through his illness. [11]

First and foremost, ensure that you are well informed. You should consult a veterinary oncologist or an alternative healthcare specialist in addition to your regular veterinarian. Inquire about:

  • the treatment alternatives
  • Changes in diet and lifestyle that may benefit your pet
  • how the specific type of cancer typically progresses

If the cancer is widespread, your veterinarian may advise you to undergo chemotherapy. The good news is that dogs tolerate chemotherapy much better than humans, so you won’t have to worry about your dog going bald.

In fact, the vast majority of dogs have no adverse effects at all.

However, you should keep a close eye on your four-legged friend for a few days following each chemo treatment. Loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea are possible side effects, and if these symptoms do not resolve within two days, you may need to take your dog to the vet for IV fluids. [12]

So, what did you discover about dogs and pain?

Your dog isn’t going to complain if he’s in pain.

More often than not, he will try to conceal his emotions!But now that you’ve read this article, you’re probably seeing through his tough exterior.

Remember to keep an eye out for:

  • alterations in appetite, energy, or mood
  • grooming obsession
  • pained sounds
  • unusual postures or gaits
  • shivering or panting

In addition to those early warning signs, you should take your dog to the vet right away if…

  • cannot be diverted from the agony
  • has a bloated stomach or yelps when his abdomen is pressed
  • possesses blood in his urine or feces
  • is suffering from diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting

Do you have any questions about dog pain that this article did not address?

Do you have any symptoms that we didn’t cover?

If you leave a comment below, we’ll look into it.

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