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Signs of Pain or Discomfort in Dogs

Seeing your dog in pain or discomfort can be distressing. In this article, our Goleta will discuss how dogs typically handle pain or discomfort, the signs that indicate your dog is suffering, and how to determine when your dog requires immediate medical attention.

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs excel in concealing pain, a trait that helped them survive in the wild before domestication. However, this natural instinct presents a challenge for pet owners who prioritize their dogs' well-being.

Understanding your dog's personality and remaining vigilant for any deviations in behavior is essential for discerning signs of discomfort or pain, even subtle ones. Taking swift and appropriate action is crucial if you notice anything indicating your dog is in pain or distress.

How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs often hide their pain until it reaches an unbearable level. This behavior arises from their instinct to avoid appearing vulnerable to predators in the wild. As a result, pet owners should carefully watch for any signs of discomfort in their dogs and promptly seek veterinary care when needed. Taking action early can enhance health outcomes, decrease long-term problems, and lower treatment risks.

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Just like humans, dogs can experience health problems that induce pain. These issues encompass dental problems, as well as internal disorders such as heart conditions, immune system complications, and gastrointestinal issues. Pain can also stem from tumors or cancer.

Occasionally, acute pain arises from injuries or accidents, such as a foreign object becoming lodged in their paw or a fall. Dogs of any age can contract parasites that lead to illness. Additionally, older dogs may endure pain from joint or bone ailments, diabetes, or other health issues.

Signs & Symptoms of Pain in Dogs

Lots of people ask us how to tell if their dog is in pain. There are some obvious and not-so-obvious signs that you can look out for.

Some examples of these signs are: 

  • 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 active and friendly dog is avoiding petting, showing disinterest in playing, or has lost its appetite, it may be experiencing pain. Changes in your dog's behavior could indicate discomfort, warranting a visit to the veterinarian for examination and diagnosis. Pain can cause fatigue in dogs, similar to humans.

You may notice increased sleeping patterns if your dog is enduring chronic pain or has recently started displaying signs of discomfort. If you observe any signs of pain in your dog, promptly contact your vet so they can pinpoint the underlying issue.

In cases of injury where your dog is bleeding, unconscious, vomiting, or experiencing diarrhea, it constitutes a veterinary emergency and requires immediate attention. Our veterinary professionals at Goleta are equipped to diagnose and address health conditions causing chronic pain.

How Pain in Dogs is Treated

If your pet is in pain or has a medical issue, we may suggest different treatments depending on what is causing the problem. This could include giving them medicine for pain, caring for their wounds, trying different types of therapy, or even performing surgery.

Our veterinarians are skilled in many types of surgeries, both planned and emergency, like fixing problems with soft tissue, bones, and teeth or removing things that shouldn't be inside your pet's body.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you suspect your dog is in pain, contact our Goleta vets today to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

At Goleta Airport Pet Hospital, we are always accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health and well-being of all Goleta pet companions. Contact us to book your pet's first appointment today!

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(805) 968-4300