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Signs of Pain and Discomfort in Dogs

It can be concerning to witness your dog experiencing pain or discomfort. In this post, our Woburn vets will discuss how dogs typically manage such situations, how they manifest signs of pain or discomfort, and how to recognize when your dog is suffering and may need urgent care.

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs excel at concealing pain symptoms, a trait that proved beneficial for survival in their pre-domestication days. However, this characteristic poses a challenge for owners of domesticated dogs striving to ensure optimal quality of life and well-being for their furry companions. What signs indicate a dog is in pain? How can you determine if a dog is experiencing discomfort?

To effectively identify subtle pain signals in your dog, a solid grasp of their temperament and personality is crucial, coupled with a vigilant observation of any unusual behaviors that may signal pain or discomfort. Responding appropriately and promptly is imperative in such situations.

How Dogs Handle Pain

Dogs will conceal their pain until symptoms appear and their humans notice. Wild species skillfully hide signs of disease, injury, and pain to avoid being perceived as weak by predators, making them an easy target.

It's crucial to promptly address and treat any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog. Consulting a veterinarian is necessary, as early detection of disease or illness is crucial for better outcomes in your dog's health, reducing long-term complications, and minimizing risks during treatment.

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Just like humans, dogs can experience a range of health conditions that induce acute or chronic pain, including dental issues or internal problems such as heart-related and immune system disorders, as well as gastrointestinal issues.

Pain can also result from tumors and various types of cancer. Foreign objects lodged in the paw, injuries during exercise, falls, accidents, or other mishaps can cause acute pain.

Additionally, dogs of any age can contract parasites, leading to subsequent diseases or infections. Senior dogs may endure pain from joint or bone disorders.

Signs Your Dog is in Pain

Many dog parents come to us wondering how to know if their dog is in pain. There are a few subtle and clear symptoms you can watch for. Dog pain symptoms include:

  • Significant decrease in appetite 
  • Tail tucked in or lowered
  • Spending more time sleeping
  • Yelping or whining 
  • Irritability 
  • Limping 
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump 
  • Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise 

If your once physically active, outgoing, and friendly pup is now avoiding interaction and play or has lost its appetite, there may be an underlying cause of pain or discomfort. Behavior changes could indicate suffering, requiring attention from your veterinarian. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog and diagnose and test any potential health issues or conditions.

Pain can have a similar impact on dogs as it does on humans, causing fatigue and making them more prone to exhaustion. If your dog is experiencing recent or chronic pain, you might observe an increase in their sleep patterns.

Should you observe signs of pain and discomfort in your dog, it's crucial to reach out to your vet for a proper diagnosis. In cases of injury accompanied by bleeding, loss of consciousness, vomiting, or diarrhea, consider it a veterinary emergency that requires immediate attention. Our veterinary team in Woburn is equipped to detect, diagnose, and treat health conditions contributing to chronic pain in your furry companion.

How Pain in Dogs is Treated

At Woburn Animal Hospital, we provide cold laser therapy as one of our services. With non-invasive cold laser therapy, utilizing a low-intensity laser of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), we can alleviate pain, stimulate and enhance cell function, and improve healing.

Damaged cells respond with a physiological reaction that promotes cell regeneration.

Laser therapy has shown improvement in various conditions, including muscle spasms, muscle and joint pain, and arthritis.

If you suspect your dog is in pain and want to learn more about cold laser therapy for your canine companion, contact our Woburn vets today to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Woburn Animal Hospital is welcoming new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of your pet. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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