It is important to be aware of your dog's well-being and to recognize signs of pain or discomfort. In this article, our Carrollton vets give you general guidance on how dogs typically handle pain and discomfort and what signs to look out for.
How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain
Dogs possess remarkable ability to conceal signs of pain, a trait that aided their survival in the wild but can pose challenges for pet owners striving to ensure their furry companions' optimal well-being and quality of life.
By developing a keen understanding of your dog's temperament and personality, and by remaining vigilant for atypical behaviors that may indicate pain or discomfort, you can equip yourself to discern subtle indications of distress in your canine companion. Prompt recognition of these signs will enable you to respond appropriately and promptly to address their needs.
How Dogs Handle Pain
Dogs have a natural tendency to conceal their pain until it becomes too apparent to ignore, a behavior inherited from their wild counterparts. In the wild, hiding signs of disease, injury, and pain helps prevent them from appearing vulnerable to predators, reducing the risk of becoming an easy target.
However, it is crucial to address any indication of pain or discomfort in your dog and seek veterinary attention if needed. Early detection of diseases or illnesses plays a vital role in improving your dog's overall health, minimizing long-term complications, and reducing risks associated with treatment. By being proactive in recognizing and addressing your dog's pain, you can ensure their well-being and enhance their quality of life.
Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience
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 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, an 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 a Dog is in Pain
Many dog parents come to us wondering how to know if their dog is in pain. There are a few subtle and clear symptoms you can watch for. Signs your dog is in pain or discomfort may include:
- Reluctance to climb stairs or jump
- Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise
- Significant decrease in appetite
- Tail tucked in or lowered
- Spending more time sleeping
- Yelping or whining
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 Carrollton can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain.
How Pain in Dogs is 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.
With non-invasive cold laser therapy, we can treat painful inflammatory conditions, injuries and illnesses in dogs and cats. This type of therapy can be an effective alternative to treatments such as conventional medications or other options.