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12 Warning Signs Your Dog is in Pain and How to Help
When your dog is hurting, he might show it in subtle ways that may be easy to miss. Not all dog pain manifests as obvious limping or whining, but can also be seen in changes in behavior and mobility issues.
As an owner, it’s important to be able to tell if your dog is hurting and take them to the vet as soon as possible if there’s any possibility that they’re experiencing pain. Here are the signs that indicate that your dog may be in pain and how you can treat them so they stop hurting.
Before we dive into the specifics, you know your dog best. Just ask a simple question - is my dog acting out of character? Maybe it’s being more vocal than usual, whimpering or crying out when touched. Your dog may even become more aggressive trying to snap or bite you.
Let’s walk through the three major areas to note possible signs of pain in your dogs: physical, behavioral, and mobility.
- Become more lethargic
- Changes in eating and/or drinking
- Hunched over posture
- Panting and/or whining
- Shaking or trembling
- Changes in appetite / reluctance to eat
- Avoiding or retracting from physical touch
- Avoiding eye contact
- Aggression / Growling
- Reluctance or inability to lie down
- Reluctance or inability to use stairs
Pain in dogs can be difficult to detect because they will often try to hide it. However, there are some tell-tale signs that your dog may be experiencing pain.
There are many potential causes of pain in dogs, from injuries to arthritis. If you're concerned that your dog is in pain, talk to your veterinarian about the best way to help.
How to Help Your Dog
Anyone who has ever had to watch their furry best friend suffer knows how heart-wrenching it can be. But even though you may feel powerless at that moment, there are plenty of things you can do to help your dog cope with pain and start to feel better.
Here are three ways to help your dog once you’ve identified one or more pain symptoms.
Schedule a vet appointment: Your vet will help you assess if the pain is acute or chronic and best ways to manage the pain.
Keep calm and relax: Now is the time to get some extra cuddle time with your dog while you wait on the official vet appointment. Because you do not yet know the extent of an injury, it’s important not to physically push your dog.
Advocate for your dog: Even if an appointment is scheduled with your vet, keep an eye out for severe signs of injury or distress such as yelping or sudden physical changes. This may mean a needed trip to your local emergency vet clinic for a full assessment.
Pain Management Options for Dogs
Work with your veterinarian or holistic veterinarian to understand what types of treatments may be best for your dog. Depending on their pain levels and severity, you may be able to do some of these treatments at home.
Here are the most common ways to treat pain in dogs from least to most invasive:
- Hot/Cold Ice Packs
- Massages - with vet supervision
- Herbal Remedies (turmeric, ginger, fish oil, etc.)
- Supplements (CBD oil, mobility chews like Ketona Mobility Chews)
- Medications (NSAIDs, Tramadol, etc.) - with vet supervision
- Laser therapy
- Physical Rehabilitation
- Stem Cell Therapy
Pain in dogs can be treated naturally and conventionally with a variety of remedies. Since every dog is different, and every dog has different needs, what works for one dog might not work for yours. Before giving your dog any pain medication or supplements, speak and work with your veterinarian.
You will be able to avoid any potential side effects or interactions and, most importantly, keep your dog safe.
Because at the end of day, as loving pet parents, we want our dogs to live as much of a pain-free life as possible!