Dogs Show Their Pain in a Variety of Ways
Wild and domestic animals show pain in a variety of ways. Their inability to communicate does not in any way diminish their potential to experience hurtful and unpleasant stimuli.
Pain in dogs can be caused by a variety of conditions including, injury, trauma, or an underlying issue, like canine arthritis.
Be watchful for subtle queues that your dog is feeling pain. The most obvious signs of pain in dogs include:
- Increased breathing rate.
More subtle signs include:
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced appetite
- Reluctance to move
Signs of pain and distress can vary tremendously among individual dogs, depending on their experience, age, and environment. Some dogs have an amazing pain threshold; others are much more sensitive. But make no mistake: Dogs both experience pain and show the signs of pain.
Sadly, veterinary patients are unable to directly convey their feelings of pain. Therefore, identifying pain in canine patients is an important and sometimes difficult diagnosis. Treatment and therapy must aim to relieve the pain or at least make it tolerable.
If you think your dog is in pain, you should consult your veterinarian. In an emergency, follow these steps for first-aid care.
For more information on reading and understanding your dog’s body language, check out our tips here.
And to learn more about keeping your dog in the best health, watch the video below.
The original version of this article was published in AKC Family Dog.