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Signs of Pain & Discomfort in Dogs

It can be a worrying situation if you notice your dog in pain or discomfort. In this article, our team in Denver will explain how dogs typically cope with pain or discomfort, how they display symptoms of pain, and how you can recognize when your dog is suffering and requires immediate medical attention.

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs used to hide their pain as a survival tactic before they became domesticated pets. As a result, it's not always easy for owners to identify when their furry friend is physically uncomfortable. Not all signs of puppy pain are obvious, such as limping or whimpering.

If you understand your dog's temperament and personality well, you should be able to pick up on any unusual behavior that could indicate pain. It's important to be able to do this so that your dog can receive the necessary care as soon as possible.

How Dogs Handle Pain

Dogs are known to hide their pain for a long time until the symptoms become apparent and their owners become aware of it. In the wild, animals tend to conceal any signs of sickness, injury, or pain to avoid being perceived as vulnerable by predators.

Therefore, it is crucial to take note of any signs of discomfort or pain in your dog and seek veterinary attention, if necessary. Early detection of diseases or illnesses can lead to better health outcomes, fewer long-term complications, and reduced risks during treatment.

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Dogs can experience various health issues that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental problems or organ disorders. Painful conditions like tumors and cancer can also affect them.

Acute pain can be caused by incidents such as getting a foreign object stuck in their paw or injuring themselves while exercising. Dogs can also contract parasites at any age, leading to disease or infection.

Senior dogs may experience pain due to joint or bone disorders, diabetes, or other health problems.

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 
  • Irritability 
  • Limping 
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump 
  • Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise 

If your previously active, outgoing, and friendly dog is now avoiding physical contact, refusing to play, or has lost its appetite, it could be because of pain or discomfort.

Changes in behavior can indicate pain, and it is essential to have your dog examined by a veterinarian who can diagnose the underlying health problem or condition.

Pain can exhaust dogs just like it does humans, resulting in tiredness and lethargy. If your dog is experiencing pain, you may notice them sleeping more, particularly if the pain is chronic.

How Pain in Dogs is Treated

If your pet is in pain and has been diagnosed with a condition, we can recommend various treatment options, such as pain relief medication, wound management, different therapies, or surgery, depending on the cause of their discomfort.

Our veterinarians specialize in both elective and non-elective surgical procedures, including soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, mass removal, foreign body removal, and more.

Do you suspect your dog is experiencing some pain or discomfort? Contact our Denver veterinarians today to book your dog a physical examination.

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