It can be concerning to see your dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Fairfield, NJ vets explain how dogs tend to handle this, how they show pain or discomfort, and how to know when your dog is suffering and when they might require urgent care.
How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain
Dogs are exceptional at hiding symptoms of pain. While this served them well as a survival tactic before they were domesticated as pets, it's not great for owners of domesticated dogs who want to make sure their pup's quality of life and well-being is the best it can be.
If you are familiar with your dog's temperament and personality and you watch for any abnormal behaviors that may indicate pain or discomfort, you should be able to recognize the subtle signs of pain in your dog. After that, you have to react suitably and promptly.
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.
If your dog exhibits any signs of pain or discomfort, take him to the vet for treatment. This is because early detection of illness or disease results in better long-term outcomes, fewer long-term complications, and lower risk during treatment.
Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience
Similar to people, dogs can experience acute or chronic pain from a range of medical conditions, including dental problems, internal conditions ranging from immune system disorders to heart problems, and gastrointestinal problems. Pain can also result from cancers of various kinds and tumors. Stubborn foreign objects in the paw, injuries sustained during exercise, falls, accidents, and other mishaps can all result in acute pain.
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:
- Significant decrease in appetite
- Tail tucked in or lowered
- Spending more time sleeping
- Yelping or whining
- Reluctance to climb stairs or jump
- Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise
Pain or discomfort may be the cause if your once-active, gregarious, and friendly dog cowers away from being petted, won't play, or loses its appetite. Your dog's veterinarian can examine your dog and determine the underlying health issue or condition, and changes in behavior may be a sign of pain that needs to be addressed. Because pain can exhaust dogs just as it does humans, many dogs experience fatigue more quickly. Your dog may sleep more if their pain has recently become an issue or if they have 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 Fairfield, NJ can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain.
How Pain in Dogs is Treated
Our recommendations for treatment may include pain management, wound care, different therapies, or surgery, depending on the diagnosis and underlying cause of your pet's discomfort. Soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, removal of foreign bodies or masses, and other surgical procedures are among the many elective and non-elective surgical procedures that our veterinarians perform.