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Is My Dog in Pain?

Dogs can show pain in very subtle ways through their actions and behaviours. They can often exhibit pain in varying ways too so any behaviour that is abnormal for your dog should be investigated further.

Here are 10 signs you should look out for

  1. Excessive panting. Dogs can pant from stress and any prolonged heavy panting that hasn't resulted from exercise should be investigated. 
  2. Refusing food. A sick or in pain dog just may not feel like eating.
  3. Sudden aggression or antisocial behaviour. If your dog suddenly starts growling at people and other dogs he may be warning not to come any closer because he's hurting. Also if your dog becomes withdrawn and doesn't want any social interaction it could be for the same reason. 
  4. A drop in performance if you partake in a sport with your dog.  They might not be feeling on form and be struggling to meet previous standards. 
  5. Behavioural changes. You might notice your dog doesn't want to chase his ball anymore, run up and down stairs, jump in and out of the car, or any other slight changes which are out of character. He may also be sleeping more than usual. 
  6. Excessive grooming. Dogs will frequently groom the area which is painful, even if there is no wound and the pain in internal. You should carefully and gently inspect the area and take appropriate action. 
  7. Postural changes. You may notice your dog is arching his back, curving to one side and struggling to hold himself up. 
  8. Barking and whining. Dog in pain are usually much more vocal, howling, whining, yelping and trying to tell you they are not ok.
  9. Incontinence. Wetting their bed and not making outside to the toilet are common pain responses. They also may be reluctant to squat to toilet like usual. 
  10. And finally, limping. If your dog shows any lameness this is due to pain and stiffness. 

The best outcome for illnesses and problems happens when it is dealt with as quickly as possible. If you notice any of the above signs please call either myself or your vet as quickly as possible. Recognising when your dog is uncomfortable and taking the appropriate action will result in the best possible outcome for your dog and help give them a long and happy pain free life with you.