Keeping check on a dog’s well-being is a dog owner’s top priority. Nobody wants to see their dog in pain. It is important to check for any signs that might indicate that your dog might be in pain. Some dogs are better at hiding pain than others. It can be very difficult to indicate as the signs can vary in different breeds of dogs. All dogs tend to behave differently when in pain. There are some common signs and symptoms that you can look for. The reasons for the pain of your pet can be damage to bones, joints, tissues, digestive problems, or cancer, etc. Some of the obvious signs might include lethargy, irregular sleep patterns, trembling, raised heartbeat, and reduced appetite, etc. One of the best ways of telling that your pet is in pain is by observing their eyes. They might squint, or keep both their eyes closed. Most dogs don’t exhibit any signs so be sure to seek professional help and avoid self-medication as it can be dangerous and injurious for your dog’s health.
The following are a few of the warning signs that might indicate that your dog is in pain and you should keep an eye out for:
1. Reduced appetite
A reduction in appetite might be one of the most obvious symptoms visible in dogs. It shows evidence of discomfort. If the dog turns down their favorite food as well, you should pay a visit to the vet as soon as possible. This can be a warning sign of stomach infection, dental pain, or some other issue.
Often when your dog is in pain, they will go into a protective mode showing behavioral changes. They might exhibit aggression by growling, biting, or snapping, etc. If your dog is friendly otherwise, their aggression is a very obvious sign that they might be in pain. Be sure to keep a safe distance as they can be dangerous and are doing so only for their own protection.
3. Excessive panting
Panting after exercise is quite normal but if your dog is panting excessively such as when they fetch a ball this can be a major sign of stress. Be sure to seek a vet as quickly as possible. This sign is often overlooked as it might seem normal to you. It is a sign of a possible illness.
If your dog doesn’t get excited to come to greet you at the door, seems lethargic, sleeps more often, and exhausted, it is a sign of pain or sadness. Since you know your dog the best, have you been observing any differences in their energy levels? If yes, then it is a possible warning sign that your dog is in great discomfort and you need to get them checked.
5. Excessive licking
Research suggests that when dogs excessively lick themselves they are trying to heal themselves. It can also be one of the signs of arthritis. When dogs are uncomfortable and sore they tend to lick themselves even if their pain is internal. If you observe your dog excessively licking on a certain spot then you should definitely get them checked.
6. Changes in posture
Some dogs tend to lay in a prayer position when they are in pain. Depending on the intensity of their pain, they tend to lay down a lot more. These signs portray their lethargy and low levels of energy. You can also observe their inability to move.
7. Whining and crying
If you observe your dog making crying sounds it is quite obvious that they are in severe pain. Some dogs do not whimper and cry while others do. Some dogs are more vocal than others. Your dog might not show any signs of pain by crying. Your dog is said to become more comfortable around you and they might not whimper around you. Be sure to look for any signs that might show that your dog is in pain.
8. Affection changes to aggression
This is one of the most obvious signs that your dog might be in pain. If your pet has suddenly become quieter, less affectionate, and spends most of the time hiding alone then the chances of sickness are very high. How can you tell? If your dog doesn’t get as excited to see you, the possible reason might be their discomfort. Be sure to seek medical help immediately.
9. Irregular sleeping habits
Pain can make your dog uncomfortable and unable to sleep. If you observe them becoming restless, sleeping in irregular patterns, and are unable to lay down then this can be another alarming sign for your dog’s depression.
These are a few of the symptoms that your pet can feel. Some of these signs are very difficult to observe. Even if any of these signs are not visible, be sure to regularly visit the doctor and get your pet checked. Sometimes, you have to go with your gut feeling, if something feels off and you feel like they aren’t acting like themselves, the quicker you get them checked the better. In case your dog is being difficult in visiting the doctor, you can also ask your vet to visit you at home. In case of any serious illness, and once you have spoken to your doctor you can explore different options for treatment. These options can include surgery, medicines, or massages, etc.
If your dog has been exercising, give them some time to heal. Provide them with more comfort. Avoid self-medicating your dog as it can be seriously injurious to your dog’s health and is not recommended by experts.