10 Signs Your Dog is in Pain and How to Help Them
It is pretty alarming to discover that your pet seems to be in pain. Even though some signs of pain in dogs may seem obvious, others are very subtle. For example, things like limping, consistent whining, and having difficulty with walking are very clear signs of pain in dogs. However, there are also signs like a reduced appetite, subtle changes in behavior, and even lethargy can sometimes be difficult for dog owners to spot.
There are many different causes of pain in dogs. A wide variety of medical conditions and injuries can leave our pets experiencing pain. Unfortunately, not all causes of pain in dogs are visible without an X Ray or MRI. As a result, you should always take your pet to the vet if you suspect that they are in pain, even if you do not know the cause.
In this article we will be giving you the ten most common signs of pain in dogs and explaining what they look like. In addition to this, we are also going to explain what you should do if you suspect that your dog is in pain. Let’s get right into it.
10 Signs That Your Dog Is In Pain
There are ten common signs of pain in dogs, and these include both physical symptoms and behavioral changes. As we have mentioned previously, some of these signs of pain may seem obvious, while others may not be as noticeable. Here are ten of the most common signs that a dog is in pain.
Your Dog Isn’t As Energetic As They Usually Are
Lethargy is an extremely common sign of pain in dogs. After all, when you do not feel good, you don’t necessarily want to run around. This is especially common for dogs that are experiencing pain when they walk or move around. However, your dog does not necessarily need to be limping to experience lethargy as a result of being in pain.
If your dog is suddenly not as active as they usually are, then this is a sign that you need to make them a vet appointment. This is especially true if this behavioral change seems out of the blue and if it is paired with other symptoms.
Your Dog Isn’t Eating
A reduced appetite is another common sign of pain in dogs. This is especially true for dogs that are experiencing pain in their mouth or around their face. However, pain in other areas can also cause a dog to stop eating. You should always seek veterinary attention if your dog suddenly stops eating.
Your Dog Seems Depressed
Sometimes people confuse signs of pain like lethargy and a reduced appetite for being depressed. In addition to this, sometimes pain can also cause signs that align with symptoms of depression such as sleeping more often than usual and changes in sleeping cycles.
If your pet seems down and is experiencing symptoms like these then it is a good idea to take them to the vet. Although pain may or may not be the cause of these symptoms, these signs are usually an indicator that something is not right with your pet.
An increased breathing rate and excessive panting are also very common signs of pain in dogs. When this occurs a dog will usually take short, shallow breaths that are abnormal to their usual breathing. When it comes to excessive panting, it is usually continuous and occurs even without heat or exercise.
Yelping Or Whining
Yelping and whining are some of the more obvious signs of pain in dogs. This is especially true when a dog yelps or whines in response to being touched or moving. Still, it is important to pay attention to this sign of pain in dogs.
Hiding And Avoiding Being Touched
Some dogs may hide in strange places when they are in pain. This includes behind and under furniture and in areas where people and other animals do not frequent. In addition to this, a dog that is in pain may also avoid being touched, pet, or groomed.
Your Dog Seems Anxious
Pain can cause a dog to become anxious. This is especially true for dogs that have experienced anxiety in the past and dogs that have chronic pain. Many of the signs of pain in dogs like hiding and fast breathing can also be misinterpreted as symptoms of anxiety.
Having A Hard Time Walking And Moving Around
In some cases pain in dogs can lead to some difficulties with walking and other types of movement such as jumping and even laying down. If your dog seems to hesitate to move or seems to jump and make other movements in a strange way then pain may very well be the cause of this strange behavior.
Limping Or Walking With A Strange Gait
Unfortunately, when a dog is limping or shifting their weight abnormally then it is usually caused by pain in their leg, hip, or paw. Pain is also usually the cause of dogs walking, standing, and/or sitting with a strange gait. If you notice this in your dog then it is a good idea to take them to the vet to diagnose and treat the cause.
Your Dog Has A Sudden Onset Of Aggressive Behavior
Sometimes fear and anxiety can set in if a dog is in pain. This usually occurs when they believe that you, another person, or an animal is going to cause them pain by touching them. As a result, a sudden onset of aggressive behavior can be one of the most severe and misunderstood signs of pain in dogs.
What To Do If You Think Your Dog Is In Pain
It is always a good idea to take your dog to the vet if you believe that they are in pain, sick, or suffering from a medical condition. However, a dog that is injured or in a lot of pain may be difficult to move. As a result, it is recommended that you call your vet before moving your pet to get advice on how to move them safely.
At VHA, we’re committed to keeping your pets healthy and happy. Our state-of-the-art facility is able to provide an extensive amount of veterinary services from general medicine to specialty and emergency care. If you have any questions about your pet’s health, give us a call!
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About Veterinary Healthcare Associates
Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL, was established over 30 years ago as Maxwell Animal Clinic by Dr. John Maxwell. Maxwell Animal Clinic was a one-doctor general practice offering preventive care, dentistry, and standard surgical services to the community. As the years passed, Maxwell Animal Clinic evolved into a thriving 10-doctor general, specialty referral, and emergency veterinary practice.