Ask any dog owner how they will know if their dog is in pain and they will likely say that they will wimper and cry.
However, many dogs won’t vocalize their pain, and if they do, its likely the pain is pretty bad.
So what else would tell you if your dog is in pain? It can be subtle, but if you are paying attention you will see it.
- Change in attitude – a dog who has suddenly become more aggressive or withdrawn; they might be more or less affectionate
- Change in normal behaviour – such as no longer greeting you at the door, no longer jumping up on the couch/bed, avoid normal activities like going for walks or play, avoiding stairs
- Change in appetite – a dog in pain will often eat less
- Shallow, more rapid breathing or panting when not active
- Licking at the same spot frequently
It is important to recognize these signs and seek help. You should check in with your veterinarian to try to find out what’s going on. They can help with medication. Canine rehab should be considered as well to help decrease pain in other ways, get your dog moving well again and back to their previous activities!
Pain that is ignored can become cyclical…it goes away but then comes back again, and on and on, except the periods without pain get shorter, the pain increases and things can become chronic.