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Signs of Pain & Discomfort in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from pain or discomfort you can feel helpless if you don't know what to do. In this post, our Fort Worth vets explain dog pain symptoms, 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.

Understand your dog's personality and watch for unusual behaviors that might indicate pain or discomfort. If you notice signs of pain, act promptly and appropriately.

How Dogs Handle Pain

Dogs often hide their pain until it's obvious, making it hard for owners to notice. In the wild, animals hide pain to avoid seeming weak to predators.

If your dog shows signs of pain or discomfort, consult a vet promptly. Early detection of illness leads to better health outcomes, fewer complications, and lower treatment risks for your dog.

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:

    • 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 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 an injury that is followed by bleeding, loss of consciousness, vomiting, or diarrhea, this is considered a veterinary emergency that should be treated right away. Our vets in Fort Worth 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. 

    Vets can treat painful inflammatory conditions, injuries, and illnesses in dogs and cats with cold-laser therapy. This type of therapy can be an effective alternative to treatments such as conventional medications or other options.

    Contact our Fort Worth vets today to request an appointment if you suspect your dog is in pain.

    New Patients Welcome

    We're accepting new patients at A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals in Fort Worth. Get in touch today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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