How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain and How to Deal With It

Your dog is never only a pet, they are your best friend and a part of your family. Usually, when your dog is in pain, they most probably will not show significant signs and you might not notice that they are hurt in any way. In this article, you can find a few signs that your dog is in pain and how you can deal with it if you think that they are.

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Even if it is hard to spot signs of pain in your dog, there are a few signs that might mean that your dog is in pain and should get checked. Here are a few of these signs:

Aggressive Behavior

If your dog normally runs up to greet you when you get home or gets excited to go out for walks and you start to notice that he doesn’t do any of that anymore, this could be a sign that something is wrong. If your dog normally would prefer to hang out around people and play around, but now seems to want to hide away and stay alone, this could be an indication that something is wrong. Any change in behavior could mean that your dog needs to get checked out.

Change in Eating and Sleeping Patterns

Changes in the pattern of a dog’s routine may be a sign that they are not okay. If your dog lacks appetite and seems to refuse food at all, eats smaller portions or eats much less during the day, it could be a sign. If they seem to sleep all day long or lack sleep, this could also be alerting. If you notice any changes in their eating habits or sleeping patterns, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Heavy Panting and Excessive Grooming

It is normal for your dog to be panting when exercising or when they are scared/nervous. However, if they seem to be panting heavily without any reason, this might mean they are in pain. Shallow breathing could mean that it hurts to breathe or that it is hard to catch their breath. Whenever your dog is hurt, they tend to lick their wounds to soothe their pain, so if you notice them grooming themselves more than usual, they could be trying to soothe their pain. Wounds are more obvious but they could be suffering from internal pain.

Shaking and Being Extra Vocal

You might assume that when your dog is shaking or trembling it is because they are feeling cold, however, this is not always the case. Food poisoning, pancreatitis and kidney disease all share shaking and/or trembling like one of their symptoms. Also, if your dog is being extra vocal and is howling, yelping, and growling more than usual, they might be trying to tell you that something is wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take action.

How to Deal With It

You should be alarmed if you think something is wrong with your dog, but not too alarmed. There are a few steps that you should follow so that you can make sure your dog is safe. Here’s what you should do:

Make an Appointment at the Veterinarian Immediately

The first thing that you must do is to pick up the phone and call your veterinarian immediately after you notice any signs/symptoms. Neglecting an issue even if it is for just a week or so could have a huge impact on your dog’s health. If you don’t already know a good veterinarian, ask a friend who has a dog, or go to your nearest animal hospital.

Avoid Activities That Increase Their Pain

Your dog can show symptoms of pain during a certain activity only, or increased symptoms which means that this specific activity increases their pain. Make sure to limit or eliminate this activity until you get to take them to the vet. Modifying these activities can be in the form of going for shorter walks or changing the dog’s food or water plate to a higher position so that they don’t have to kneel down so low.

Make Notes of the Symptoms

It is highly recommended that you write all your dog’s symptoms down. Taking notes of what has been going down with your pet and recording how long this symptom has occurred is important as it is very essential to accurately mention this information to your veterinarian. If your dog has been throwing up or producing any unusual fluids, it is very important to make a note of that and to mention it to your veterinarian.

Explore Treatment Options

There are many treatment routes that you can decide to go through with your pet and it is mostly dependent on their case. In very severe cases, their vet may decide to go for surgery but it shouldn’t be a dangerous procedure because of modern medicine. However, if your dog is a little bit on the older side you may want to avoid them getting sedated because it can be a little risky. Medications are a very popular option and they now come in the form of treats. If your dog suffers from aches and pains, then there are dog treats for joint pain which makes it much easier to give them their painkillers/medicine. Other options include massages, herbal therapy and laser therapy.

Get a Second Opinion

If you’re not sure about what the veterinarian told you, whether it is something positive or negative, it is absolutely more recommended to get a second opinion. Sometimes doctors misread symptoms or might go through a medical procedure that is not very suitable for your dog, in these cases a second opinion is indeed needed. It is totally okay to get a second opinion even if you trust the first vet to get reassured about what is happening or not happening for your pet.

You don’t have to wait for your dog to show signs of anything to take them to the vet, make sure to book routine vet visits for your dog to always make sure they are okay. You might want to ignore whatever signs your dog is showing to pretend that they are okay, but ignoring that your dog is in pain will only worsen the situation. Getting checked late would cause much more harm than good, so always remember that getting your furry best friend checked and finding out that they are absolutely fine is better than ignoring the situation and losing them or watch them suffer from worse pain.