10 signs of pain in dogs

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The face is the mirror of the soul, and if we look at our furry friend with a sad expression or that denotes discomfort, without a doubt this is the first sign of pain in dogs that we must identify. While dogs do not have the ability to speak, they have many other ways of expressing their pain and asking us for help, such as actions and behaviors. In this sense, it is our duty to learn to identify these signs in order to act properly and find the reason for the discomfort felt by the animal..

¿Do you have a dog and want to take care of it in the best possible way? At AnimalWised we invite you to read this article about the Most common signs and symptoms of pain in dogs.

You may also be interested in: 15 signs of pain in rabbits Index
  1. Exaggerated panting
  2. Accelerated breathing
  3. Isolation and aggressiveness
  4. Excessive licking
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Crying, whining, or groaning
  7. Reaction to touch
  8. Tremors or seizures
  9. Sleep disturbance
  10. General changes in your behavior

1. Exaggerated panting

Panting is a totally normal behavior for dogs, especially on very hot days or when the walk has been very active. Panting is a natural way for dogs to cool their bodies and lower their body temperature..

The problem happens when this excessive panting comes out of nowhere. If you see that your dog is panting more than normal, it may be a sign that indicates that he is not feeling quite well, that he is going through an episode of stress or fear due to some pain. You could be suffering from heat stroke, poisoning, or have a breathing problem.

2. Accelerated breathing

In relation to excessive panting, rapid breathing is another sign of pain in dogs, since the discomfort they feel produces a feeling of lack of control over their body, prevents them from continuing with their usual routine and generates anxiety, stress and nerves. In the same way that we humans also see our breathing accelerated when the pain we feel is very intense, precisely because we do not notice an improvement or not bear it, animals experience these same sensations.

On the other hand, rapid breathing can be an indicator of a problem related to the airways, so we will have to pay attention to whether it is due to difficulty breathing or for the above reasons to bring as much information as possible to the vet.

3. Isolation and aggressiveness

Dogs are much more like human beings than we think. Some people, when they do not feel well, prefer to isolate themselves or tend to express their pain through aggressiveness. The same thing happens to dogs and, therefore, it is normal that one who feels pain prefers to stay alone or adopt an aggressive attitude.

If you notice that your dog begins to adopt an antisocial dynamic, stop greeting you when you get home, avoid any kind of physical contact or become aggressive when you try to get closer, probably these are symptoms of pain that your dog is showing you and you should not ignore. In this way, instead of reacting with reprimands or overwhelming the animal trying to catch it, try to observe all its behavior to find other signs and go to the vet as soon as possible.

4. Excessive licking

As with other daily routines, it is common for dogs to feel the need to groom themselves. In fact, they really like to lick and groom themselves. What is not normal is that they are doing it all day, even becoming an obsessive disorder. When a dog a certain area is licked In a compulsive way, this can only indicate that you feel pain in that specific part or that it is a stereotype developed by stress, anxiety or boredom. In the article on "Obsessive compulsive disorder in dogs " all the related information is detailed.

Focusing on excessive licking as a sign of pain in dogs, they usually do it for the purpose of soothe the pain, cleanse and heal the wound, which can be external or internal. Therefore, if we observe this behavior we must go to a specialist to carry out the relevant tests, since if we do not act in time the dog could develop acral dermatitis due to licking.

5. Loss of appetite

¿Who wants to eat when sick? This is one of the body's primary reactions when it is experiencing pain or illness. Likewise, this is a clear sign of pain in dogs that can not only manifest the presence of any pathology in whose symptoms is the loss of appetite, but it is also possible that the animal is hungry but the act of walking and moving is extremely painful. To check, bring the bowl of food to his snout and watch his reaction. If after the experiment the animal still does not eat, it is probably a condition or pathology that only the veterinarian can detect through tests. This problem does not necessarily have to be serious, but it is necessary to request a blood test and evaluate the results.

Some of the serious diseases that are detected through lack of appetite are: canine anorexia, kidney or liver problems, systematic infections, dental diseases and even cancer.

6. Crying, whining or groaning

Another sign of pain in dogs is the crying or whining, What can be constant or intermittent depending on the ailment and cause of it. Thus, it is possible that we observe the restless animal, moaning or emitting small cries while it moves or, on the contrary, it is still. It is also likely that these cries increase, exaggerate or increase in volume when we approach to check what is happening or touch the animal. If any of these situations happens, we can say that we are facing clear symptoms of pain in dogs that must be treated immediately by a veterinarian to find the cause. In general, these signs are usually accompanied by others, such as those already mentioned.

7. Reaction to touch

If touching the dog reacts with a barking, screaming, crying, grunting, or biting, most likely it is because that area hurts. To check this, it is necessary to feel other parts of your body and observe your reaction. Likewise, if, for example, the animal reacts to touching one of its legs, we can try to make it walk to check if it supports it normally or, otherwise, it limps. In this sense, lameness is another sign of pain in dogs that is much more evident than others..

Faced with a reaction like this, we will check if there is any external wound or foreign body that may be causing the discomfort. If we do not find any of this, the problem is internal and we will have to visit the specialist to carry out imaging tests.

8. Tremors or seizures

The sharp pain in dogs it usually manifests itself in the form of tremors or seizures, so if we observe these symptoms we must think that our furry companion is suffering from some health problem and we have to find the cause to treat it. Furthermore, both involuntary reactions of the body are emitted, too, as symptom of certain diseases which may be accompanied by malaise and other signs. The most common pathologies are canine distemper, arthritis, epilepsy, brain tumors, hypoglycemia or possible poisoning.

For more information, see our article on "Seizures in Dogs " and "¿Why do dogs tremble?".

9. Sleep disturbance

When a dog is in pain, it is normal for him to have difficulty sleeping precisely due to discomfort. Especially when the pain is very intense, we can notice the nervous, restless animal that cries, barks or tries to get our attention. Thus, if our dog had never before shown alterations in his sleep hours or acted in this way, without a doubt we should be alarmed and try to find the origin of the pain. If there is an injury, we can apply a series of first aid measures, since emergency vets are not available everywhere. For this, we recommend consulting the article on "First aid for dogs ".

Observe that the dog sleeps too much, much more than normal, it is also a sign of pain in dogs that can be more or less severe.

If we have a 24-hour emergency vet, we will go for an evaluation of the animal's condition. If we do not find any, we can use natural painkillers such as valerian at night and visit the specialist in the morning.

10. General changes in your behavior

It's very important meet our dog, your dynamics, personality, what you like and what you don't. In this way we can detect pain signals in dogs in time and act quickly.

We can observe the animal limping, listless, unwilling to play or move, quieter than usual or, on the contrary, much more barking, tense or apparently calm. On the other hand, a body sign of pain is showing an arched torso or adopting strange postures. Often, dogs that feel bad lie on their side with their legs stretched out, for example, and this may or may not seem normal to us, depending on the position that our furry is used to adopting when sleeping..

There are thousands of behaviors that could be signs of pain in dogs and each one of them is a warning and an alert for the tutors.

This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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