Updated by Sheryl on Nov 4, 2021
No one wants their pet canines to suffer from pain. But it's pretty hard to guess if your pet is in pain since it can't express itself by speaking just like you.
In this post, you'll find the signs and causes of your dog's pain and recommended solutions you can help him.
Unlike humans, the way a dog expresses its pain is different. Some exhibit behavioral changes, while others show physical signs of discomfort.
Generally, various subtle signs indicate if your dog has a hidden injury, trauma, or underlying issues. However, these symptoms can vary among dogs depending on age, the severity of the trouble, experience, and environment. Generally speaking, if you notice some following signs, then you should give them a careful check-up.
Dogs in pain may experience changes in their eating, drinking, and sleeping schedules. Loss of appetite is an evident sign that something is wrong with your canine friend. In addition, they may drink more or less water.
Healthy male dogs raise one leg while urinating. But, if it is in pain, it won't raise the leg when peeing. The poop consistency may also change if your dog is stressed due to pain. Some canines suffer constipation since they avoid pooping due to pain.
Abnormal or heavy panting without any rough physical activity is evident that your dog is in pain. Plus, if it takes shallow or faster breathing, it means your dog is in pain while breathing. By the way, panting before and after excretion is normal in dogs.
If your dog is in constant discomfort, moving back and forth, trying to take rest but fails, it can also be a symptom of pain. They may like to sleep more since moving around can be difficult for them.
If your pet is less active than usual, reluctant to get up or lie down, jump or use the stairs, it shows that it might be in pain. Plus, limping and stiffness may be the signs of arthritis, injury, muscle sprain, inflammation, and sore paws. In short, if you notice any changes in your dog's mobility, it may be an indication of pain.
The affection-seeking behavior of different dogs differs when they are in pain. For example, some canines suddenly become clingier and want to be petted. Contrarily, others avoid petting, prefer to stay alone, and do not like being touched. They may even bite if you try to touch the spot of pain.
Some dogs have more tolerance for pain. They can experience discomfort silently. At the same time, others are more sensitive and exhibit increased vocalization. They make sounds like excessive yelping, growling, howling, whimpering, or whining when you touch them.
Typically, dogs lick themselves for grooming. In addition, they lick their open wounds to keep them clean. But, if they excessively lick a specific body part, it means they are hurting. They lick to soothe themselves. For example, an increased licking of legs can be a sign of internal pain or injury.
An injured or wounded animal develops aggressive behavior since they are weak and vulnerable to predators' attacks. It is a natural self-defense instinct that they have evolved from their ancestors. Therefore, your dog can be more agitated or aggressive if it is suffering from pain.
You might misinterpret your trembling or shaking dog for feeling cold or fear. Since your furry friend may experience trembling and shaking if it is in pain. These abnormal body movements such as muscle tremors can sometimes indicate serious issues like pancreatitis, poisoning, and kidney stone.
If your dog is suffering from eye pain, it will have smaller pupils and an increased redness, discharge and, squinting. Besides, dilated pupils may also be a sign of discomfort in other body parts.
To check whether your dog is in pain or not, look at its tail and head position. Normally, canines have an active tail. Oppositely, a hanging or tucked tail can be a symptom of the dog in pain. Similarly, if your furry friend is standing with an arched back, it is a sign of back pain or spinal injury.
If your dog has pain, you can provide it relief in various ways. Follow these tips to help your dog relieve from distress:
Sometimes your dog experiences chronic pain due to ongoing illnesses such as arthritis or dental pain. On the other hand, acute pain appears suddenly due to an injury or acute disease.
Here are some of the possible causes of pain in dogs.
Though these causes are not limited to this list, your main aim should be to diagnose and solve the reason behind your dog's discomfort. Consult your vet for the detailed reasons as soon as possible.