Signs of Pain & Discomfort in Dogs

If your dog is suddenly showing signs of pain it can be very concerning and you'll want to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible. In this post, our San Angelo vets share some of the signs of pain and discomfort in dogs, the different types of pain and how to treat your pup.

Ways That You Can Tell Your Dog is in Pain

Prior to becoming domesticated, dogs had to do anything they could to survive. This means that our pet dogs are now very good at hiding any signs or symptoms associated with pain from us. This can make it difficult to know when there is something wrong with them.

With a good understanding of your dog's temperament and personality and by keeping an eye out for abnormal behaviors that can point to pain or discomfort, you'll be prepared to notice subtle signs of pain in your dog. Once you recognize any signs of pain you can reach out to your vet to have your pup examined, diagnosed and treated.

Why Dogs Hide Their Pain

In order to protect themselves your dog will do everything they can to hide illness and injury. This helps to keep them safe from predators but can make it difficult for pet parents trying to care for their pups.

It's important that any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as early detection of disease or illness is key to better outcomes for your dog's health, fewer long-term complications and less risk during treatment. 

The Different Types of Pain Affecting Dogs

Just like humans, our dogs can suffer from a variety of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental health issues or pet's internal conditions from heart-related and immune system disorders to gastrointestinal issues. Tumors and different types of cancer can also lead to pain. Acute pain can be caused by a foreign object getting stuck in their paw, an injury while exercising, a fall, accident or other mishaps. 

A dog of any age may contract parasites and suffer subsequent disease or infection. Senior dogs may experience pain from joint or bone disorders. diabetes or other health issues. 

Signs of Pain in Dogs

If you have a dog then you may be wondering how to tell if your dog is feeling any pain or discomfort. There are a few common signs a dog is in pain including:

  • Significant decrease in appetite 
  • Tail tucked in or lowered
  • Spending more time sleeping
  • Yelping or whining 
  • Irritability 
  • Limping 
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump 
  • Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise 

If your previously physically active, outgoing and friendly pup now cowers away from being pet, doesn't want to play or loses their appetite, some type of pain or discomfort may be the culprit. Changes in behavior can indicate suffering and should be tended to by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health issue or condition. Since pain can exhaust dogs just as it does humans, many pooches become tired more easily. You may notice your dog sleeping more if their pain has become a problem recently or they are experiencing chronic pain. 

If you notice your dog suffering from pain and showing symptoms, contact your vet so the underlying issue can be diagnosed. If your pup has been injured and the pain is accompanied by bleeding, loss of consciousness, vomiting or diarrhea, this is considered a veterinary emergency that should be treated right away. Our vets in San Angelo can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain. 

How Pain and Discomfort in Dogs Can Be Treated

Depending on the cause of your pet's pain and their diagnosis, we may recommend treatment options such as pain medication, wound care, various therapies or surgery. Our veterinarians perform a wide variety of elective and non-elective surgical procedures, including soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, foreign body or mass removal and more. 

Your vet may also recommend various types of rehabilitative therapies to help manage your dog's pain and treat their conditions. Speak with your vet to learn more.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you worried that your dog may be in pain? Contact our San Angelo veterinarians today to schedule an examination.