It can be concerning to see your dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Pico Rivera explain how dogs tend to handle this, how they show pain or discomfort, and signs your dog is in pain. 

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Before dogs were domesticated pets, they had to hide their pain as a survival tactic. As a result, it may not always be apparent to owners when their pooch is physically uncomfortable in some way. Not all puppy pain is shown by a limping leg or a whimper!

If you have a good understanding of your dog's temperament and personality, you should be able to notice any signs of pain by keeping an eye our for abnormal behavior. It is important to be able to pick out this behavior so your pooch can receive prompt care.

How Dogs Handle Pain

Dogs tend to hide their pain for as long as possible until symptoms become apparent and their humans take notice. In wild species, being adept at concealing signs of disease, injury and pain can prevent animals from being perceived as weak by predators - and therefore an easy target. 

Any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog should be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as early detection of disease or illness leads to better health outcomes, fewer long-term complications, and less risk during treatment.

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Like people, dogs can suffer from a variety of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental health issues or disorders of the organs.

Tumors and different types of cancer can also lead to pain. Acute pain can be caused by a foreign object getting stuck in its 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 signs you can watch for. Symptoms of your dog being in pain or discomfort may include:

  • 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 once physically active, outgoing, and friendly dog now cowers away from being pet, refuses to play, or loses its appetite, it could be due to pain or discomfort. Behavior changes may suggest pain and should be handled by your veterinarian, who can check your dog and diagnose the underlying health problem or condition. Many dogs grow fatigued more easily because pain, like humans, can exhaust them.

If your dog's pain has recently become a problem or they are in chronic pain, you may notice them sleeping more.

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. 

Do you suspect your dog is experiencing some sort of pain or discomfort? Contact our Pico Rivera veterinarians today to book your pooch a physical examination.