No one likes to see their pet sick or in pain. However, it is still important for all dog owners to know the common signs of pain in dogs. This is because accidents can happen, and injuries in dogs are not uncommon. In addition, many different medical conditions can cause pain in dogs. Now, you may be wondering: what are the signs of pain in dogs and how can we help them?
In addition to the physical signs of pain such as limping and whining, dogs usually experience behavioral changes when they are in pain. Many dogs will become anxious when they are not feeling well, and some may even develop aggressive behaviors because of being in pain as well.
In this article we will be describing the common signs of pain in dogs. We will also be explaining what you should do as a dog owner if you suspect that your dog is in pain as well. Let’s jump right into it!
1. Increased Anxiety
Many dogs experience anxiety because of being in pain. As you can imagine, feeling chronic pain can be a scary and stressful experience for dogs. As a result, they may start exhibiting symptoms of severe anxiety such as excessive panting and drooling. In addition, your dog may start hiding and avoiding people.
2. An Increase in Vocalizations
Dogs that are in pain may yelp, whine, and whimper more. In addition, dogs may also bark and howl excessively to try and alert their owners that something is wrong. This is a completely natural response to being in pain for dogs.
3. Trembling or Shaking
Many dogs may also tremble or shake because of being in pain. This is another one of these signs that is also a symptom of fear and anxiety in dogs.
Although you may expect a dog that is in pain to not want to get up and move around, some dogs become restless when they are in this condition. A restless dog may start to do obsessive compulsive behaviors such as pacing and obsessive grooming of an injured area.
5. Increased Breathing and Heart Rates
Increased breathing and heart rates are some physical symptoms of pain in dogs. Although it can be difficult for dog owners to detect a fast heart rate in their dogs, noticing an increased breathing rate is easy for most people. Although panting does not count when you are trying to calculate a dog’s breathing rate, excessive panting can also be a sign that a dog is in pain.
Lethargy and being reluctant to get up are also signs that a dog is in pain, especially if the pain is coming from a dog’s limbs, paws, or back. If your dog is suddenly acting very lazy when they are usually energetic then this could be a sign that something may be wrong with your pet.
7. Reduced Appetite
Dogs that are sick or in pain often have a reduced appetite where they may not eat anything for an extended amount of time. This is easy for pet owners to identify, especially for dogs who normally get excited to eat their dinner.
8. Hiding and Avoiding Being Touched
A dog that is in pain also tends to hide and avoid being touched. This is especially common for pets that have an injury or have an increase in pain when they are pet, picked up, or handled by people.
Dogs exhibiting this kind of behavior and experiencing this kind of pain are also likely to flinch or shrink away from you when you try to touch them. They may yelp whenever you touch them as well.
9. Changes in Walking and Posture
It is very common for dogs to have changes in their walking and posture because of a painful injury or medical condition. Things like limping, sitting in a strange way, holding their head in a strange position, and other abnormalities are red flags that something is wrong with your dog. In addition, your dog can be very reluctant to move around, and they may seem to be moving as little as possible when they are in pain.
10. Changes in Sleep
Changes in sleep is another common sign that a dog is experiencing pain. These sleep changes could either be an increase in sleep because of being lethargic or a decrease in sleep in the form of insomnia. Although these two things are opposite of one another, either one of these symptoms are often a sign of a medical issue in dogs.
11. A Sudden Onset of Aggressive Behavior
Experiencing chronic pain can make anyone cranky, and this is for humans and animals alike. However, dogs do not have the ability to rationalize and manage their emotions in times of stress like people can. This can lead to a sudden onset of aggressive behavior in dogs that are in pain, even if they have never acted aggressively before.
This is especially common if the dog experiences pain when they are handled by people. This is because they often learn that aggressive behaviors keep people and the pain that they unknowingly cause away from them. As a result, you should always take your dog to the veterinarian if he is exhibiting aggressive behaviors even if they are showing no other signs of pain.
What You Can do to Help When Your Dog is in Pain
The best thing that you can do for your dog when he is in pain is take them to the veterinarian as soon as you can. This is because we cannot always see the cause of a dog’s pain, and we are not always there to witness when a dog gets an injury.
If you do notice an injury in your dog, then it is recommended that you call your vet before you take them for their emergency visit. You may need to handle them in a specific way or give some first aid before you make the trip, and the vet will be able to give you this much needed advice over the phone. If your dog is in pain call your Gray Animal Hospital veterinarian at (224) 304-0668 today!