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Symptoms of Pain or Discomfort in Dogs

It can be concerning to see your dog suffering from pain or discomfort. In this post, our Ocala vets explain how dogs tend to handle this, how they show pain or discomfort, how to know when your dog is suffering and when they might require urgent care. 

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs are exceptional at hiding symptoms of pain. While this served them well as a survival tactic before they were domesticated as pets, it's not great for owners of domesticated dogs who want to make sure their pup's quality of life and well-being is the best it can be.

You'll be better prepared to detect subtle signs of pain in your dog if you have a good understanding of his temperament and personality, as well as a keen eye for abnormal behaviors that may indicate pain or discomfort. You must then respond appropriately and in a timely manner.

How Dogs Handle Pain

Dogs tend to hide their pain for as long as possible until symptoms appear and their humans notice.In wild species, being skilled at concealing signs of disease, injury, and pain can keep animals from being perceived as weak by predators - and thus an easy target.

It's important that any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as early detection of disease or illness is key to better outcomes for your dog's health, fewer long-term complications and less risk during treatment. 

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Just like humans, our dogs can suffer from a variety of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental health issues or internal conditions from heart-related and immune system disorders to gastrointestinal issues. Tumors and different types of cancer can also lead to pain. Acute pain can be caused by a foreign object getting stuck in their paw, an injury while exercising, a fall, accident or other mishaps. 

A dog of any age may contract parasites and suffer subsequent disease or infection. Senior dogs may experience pain from joint or bone disorders. diabetes or other health issues. 

Signs a Dog is in Pain

Many dog parents come to us wondering how to know if a dog is in pain. There are a few subtle and clear symptoms you can watch for. Signs your dog is in pain or discomfort may 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 previously physically active, outgoing, and friendly dog now cowers away from being pet, refuses to play, or loses appetite, pain or discomfort may be the cause. Changes in behavior can be an indication of pain and should be addressed by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health issue or condition. Because pain can exhaust dogs in the same way that it does humans, many pooches tire more easily. If your dog's pain has recently become a problem or if they are suffering from chronic pain, you may notice them sleeping more.

If you notice your dog suffering from pain and showing symptoms, contact your vet so the underlying issue can be diagnosed. If your pup has been injured and the pain is accompanied by bleeding, loss of consciousness, vomiting or diarrhea, this is considered a veterinary emergency that should be treated right away. Our vets in Ocala can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain. 

How Pain in Dogs is Treated

Depending on the diagnosis and the underlying cause of your pet's pain, we might suggest different therapies, painkillers, wound care, or surgery. A wide range of elective and non-elective surgical procedures are carried out by our veterinarians, including soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, removal of foreign bodies or masses, and more.

With non-invasive cold laser therapy, we can treat painful inflammatory conditions, injuries and illnesses in dogs and cats. This type of therapy can be an effective alternative to treatments such as conventional medications or other options.

Contact our Ocala vets today to request an appointment if you suspect your dog is in pain.

Dog Wellnes Exams at Paddock Park Animal Care Center

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Paddock Park Animal Care Center always accepts new patients! Our team of experienced vets are passionate about pet health in Ocala and beyond. We welcome you and your beloved pet to our veterinary family.

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