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We understand that it can be difficult knowing whether your dog is in pain or discomfort. Your dog isn’t able to tell you what they are feeling or how they have come to be in pain, unlike humans, who can communicate verbally and explain the situation.

There can be many reasons why your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort; they may have injured themselves while out on a walk; be recovering from recent surgery, or they may have an underlining condition which is prompting the discomfort. Some dogs may also show signs of a more physical injury, which can include an open wound, which will be more obvious to see.

Signs your Dog is in Pain

When you are familiar with your dog’s normal behaviour it can be easier to recognise when they are behaving different to their usual selves. To help you to identify whether your dog is in pain, follow our advice on how to recognise the signs and symptoms.

  • Dog has become more vocal.

If you notice your dog has become more vocal than usual, it can be a signal from them telling you they are suffering.

  • Your dog howls, whimpers or yelps.

When a dog is in severe pain or discomfort, they may try to attract your attention with one of these behaviours.

  • Your dog is acting out of character.

For a dog that is usually happy and friendly, noticing them becoming more irritable than normal can be a common sign that they are in pain.

  • You dog has become less active.

Most dogs will often enjoy lots of walking and playing. If in pain or discomfort, your pet may seem less interested in these activities and become restless.

  • Your dog has a decreased appetite.

If your dog is no longer interested in their mealtimes or they are eating fewer treats, this can be a sign they are not feeling themselves and are in discomfort – which can also lead to weight loss.

  • The dog is in pain from an injury.

This can either be a visible wound or pain beneath the skin. You may find your dog sits and protects or licks the area and will not allow you to get too close to it.

  • Your dog’s movement has changed.

If you notice your dog is limping or sitting differently, it can be an indication of joint, bone or muscle pain.

 

Any of these signs can indicate why your dog might be in pain. If you begin to notice one of the signs, even if it’s a subtle change, it is worth booking an appointment with a vet to have your dog assessed.

How can I manage my dog’s pain?

If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms discussed, it can be daunting and upsetting for you as a pet owner. Whether you are concerned about your dog’s severe discomfort requiring emergency treatment, or you have noticed a series of changes over a period of time, please contact your local Animal Trust surgery.

One of our friendly and experienced vets will happily examine them. Our consultations are always free, requiring you to pay for only the medication or treatment your pet needs. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it will help ensure your dog will live a full and pain-free life.

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