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Signs of Pain in Dogs: What to Look Out For

No pet owner wants to see their beloved companion hurt or feeling any type of discomfort, but knowing the signs your dog is in pain can help you address the issue quickly. Here, our Rancho Cucamonga vets will discuss how to tell if your dog is in pain and how it may be treated.

How to Know if Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs are really good at hiding when they feel pain. This was helpful for them when they had to survive on their own before they became pets, but it's not good for people who have dogs as pets and want to make sure their dogs are happy and healthy. 

If you know your dog's personality well and pay attention to any unusual behaviors, you may be able to tell if your dog is in pain, even if it's not obvious. If your dog is in pain and you notice the symptoms, it's important to respond quickly and in the right way.

Do dogs really hide their pain?

Dogs often hide their pain until they can no longer keep it a secret. This can happen because in the wild, showing pain can make animals appear vulnerable to predators. So, pet owners need to pay attention to any signs of discomfort in their dogs and take them to a vet if needed. Early treatment can lead to better health outcomes, fewer long-term problems, and less risk during treatment.

What types of pain can a dog experience?

Just like us humans, dogs can have health problems that cause pain. These can range from dental issues to internal medical disorders like heart, immune system, and gastrointestinal problems. Pain can also be caused by tumors or cancer. Sometimes, acute pain can occur from injuries or accidents like a foreign object getting stuck in their paw or a fall. Dogs of any age can get parasites that cause sickness. Older dogs may experience pain from joint or bone issues, diabetes, or other health concerns.

Signs of Pain in Dogs

Lots of people ask us about signs a dog is in pain. There are some obvious and not-so-obvious signs that you can look out for.

Some examples of these signs are: 

  • 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 active and friendly dog is now avoiding petting, is not interested in playing, or has lost its appetite, it could be because they are in pain. Changes in your dog's behavior may indicate pain, and it's important to take them to the veterinarian to be examined and diagnosed. Pain can make dogs tired, just like it does with humans.

If your dog is experiencing chronic pain or has recently started experiencing pain, you may notice them sleeping more. If you see your dog showing signs of pain, contact your vet so they can identify the underlying problem. If your dog has been injured and is bleeding, unconscious, vomiting, or having diarrhea, it is considered a veterinary emergency and needs immediate attention. Our vets in Rancho Cucamonga can diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain.

How will my dog be treated if they are in pain?

If your pet is in pain or has a medical issue, we may suggest different treatments depending on what is causing the problem. This could include giving them medicine for pain, caring for their wounds, trying different types of therapy, or even performing surgery. Our veterinarians are skilled in many types of surgeries, both planned and emergency, like fixing problems with soft tissue, bones, and teeth, or removing things that shouldn't be inside your pet's body.

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.

Is your dog suddenly showing signs of pain or distress? Contact our Rancho Cucamonga vets today to book an appointment if you suspect your dog is in pain.

New Patients Welcome

Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rancho Cucamonga companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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