Determining signs of pain and illness in pets can be difficult. Most dogs are willing to please and will ignore or hide their symptoms and simply suffer in silence. This is why it’s important for pet owners to notice these subtle clues of pain. With the help of a professional veterinarian, the pet owner and vet can work together to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Vocal Symptoms in Dogs
Although dogs cannot speak and tell their owner where they are hurt, they may tell you in other ways. Once a dog hits a certain pain threshold, they may begin to howl, moan, whimper, yelp, or groan. If any of these vocalizes are unprovoked, the dog may be trying to tell you that he is ill or injured.
Certain behavioral signs can indicate your dog is in pain. This may include smelling, looking, biting or licking the infected area, refusing to play, walk or participate in activities that he or she previously liked, or changes in toiletry habits. You may see your dog is over or under sleeping, and may refuse to leave their bedding or be picked up.
Posture & Body Signals
If you think your dog may be injured, ill, or in pain, take a look at their body signals and posture. A dog that is lying on its side could be a sign that he is in pain. A dog that is hunched over could indicate there is an abdominal problem. Excessive panting or glazed eyes could also be a sign of pain.
Note Behavioral Changes
If your dog is no longer doing activities that he once was in the previous week or month, this could indicate he is in pain. The dog may begin to lack in grooming habits which could result in a dull, unruly coat. A dull coat usually means that fatty acids are absent from the dog’s diet and he or she may be in pain.
Signs of Pain in Dogs
Be aware that all dogs are different and some breeds, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Husky, have a higher threshold of pain than other breeds. Subtle clues that your dog may be in pain are important indicators that a vet check is needed. If you think that your dog is experiencing pain or illness of any kind, make an appointment to see your veterinarian.