I Think My Dog is in Pain, What Can I Do?
Do you know how to tell if your dog is in pain? Is there anything you can do to help? How hard is it to tell the difference between pain and other problems in dogs?
As a dog owner, you probably already know how important it is to stay on top of your pet’s health and wellness. However, when it comes to pain, it can be difficult to really tell if your dog is dealing with a problem or not. By following the guide below, you can learn how to recognize pain in your dog and what to do about it.
If you think your dog may be in pain, watch them carefully to see if they show any signs. Some dogs are very good at hiding their pain and don’t want to make their owners worry, so it can be tricky to figure out when your dog is hurting.
Your dog may show signs such as lethargy, unwillingness to eat, or difficulty getting up out of bed. All of these signs can let you know they are dealing with pain and need help to resolve the problem.
Consider Recent Activities
Think about your dog’s recent activities. Some of these activities may be likely to lead to pain. For example, if your dog has recently been swimming or hiking, it is possible that they have a pulled muscle causing pain. On the other hand, if your dog has recently been injured in some way, this could be the culprit instead.
If you think you know what’s causing your dog’s pain or feel like you’ve narrowed down the possibilities, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about this information. Your vet can use your dog’s activities to diagnose the pain as well.
Gently check your dog’s range of motion and movement to see if they are in pain. You can do this by very carefully moving their joints around. Do not overdo this step, and do not continue if your dog shows any sign of aggression or defensiveness when you try to touch them.
If your dog reacts violently or whines in response to you moving their joints around, this may mean they are in pain. You will need to take your dog to the vet to find out for sure, but pain when moving is a good indicator of an overall pain problem.
Keep a Journal
If your dog’s pain seems to come and go, or if you feel like it is a chronic problem that is worsening over time, it may be a good idea to keep up with a journal of their symptoms. This way, you can look back over the journal and check for patterns or triggers that may contribute to the pain.
Your vet may also want to look through the journal of your dog’s pain and symptoms, too. The vet can use this information to figure out the right diagnosis and treatment for your pet.
Call the Vet
A dog who has sudden, serious pain needs to be seen by a vet right away. However, if your dog’s pain seems to come and go, or if it appears chronic, you may want to call your vet first. The vet may give you some advice to try at home first.
Go to the Vet
Finally, if your dog’s pain is serious, if it occurs along with other troubling symptoms, or if you just can’t get it under control yourself at home, you should take your dog to the vet. Additionally, if your dog’s pain is caused by a severe injury, such as being hit by a vehicle, go to the emergency vet rather than waiting for your regular vet to be available.
Your vet will examine your dog and gather information from you about what might have caused the pain to start. From there, the vet will work with you to choose the right treatment or management solution and help your pet get back to normal soon.
Heart + Paw Can Help Relieve Your Dog’s Pain
With the help of this information, you can determine the best course of action when you think your dog is in pain. If you’re unsure but suspect your dog could be hurting, it’s a good idea to go to the vet to have them checked out.
With the help of your trusted and qualified vet, you can get to the bottom of your dog’s pain and determine the best treatment or management for the problem as well. The sooner you have your dog checked by a vet, the easier it will be to deal with their pain.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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