Dogs are experts in masking pain. Their adrenaline pumps much stronger pain killers into their system than than we do. So, it is often quite difficult to tell if your pooch is in pain. Do watch out for these tell tail signs in case you doubt something is wrong with your pooch.
Limping might be a symptom of arthritis for older dogs. But then again, it can also happen because of a sore paw. If you notice any limping, examine their feet for any soreness. Make sure to consult a vet if you cannot detect the reason for their limping.
Dogs groom themselves quite often. So, how can you tell if they are grooming because they are in pain? When dogs have an external wound, their grooming tends to be more localised than general. If you notice them licking one particular area instead of the rest of their body, it may be because they are in pain.
Loss of Interest in Recreation
When in pain, even the most agile dogs will show disinterest in toys, walks and even treats. Pain might be the cause for this sudden lethargy. They might, at most, go down only to relieve themselves and want to come home right away. If this behaviour persists, make sure to show your vet.
Change in Sleeping Patterns
As with humans, a painful dog also has troubles sleeping. It may twitch and turn many times to find a comfortable spot. Also because of the lack of sleep, they may be groggy and irritable throughout the day.
Change in Behavior
A dog in pain is one irritable dog! Some might become attention seekers and whine to tell you they are facing discomfort but most hide it because it is in their natural instincts. In the wild, they would never expose their discomfort as it may make them appear weak in front of its pack and also to a dangerous encounter. Dogs can also hide physical pain from their human because they fear you may unintentionally touch them on their sore spot and further injure them!
A docile dog might suddenly growl when you try to touch them where it hurts. An agile dog, on the other hand, will become completely lethargic. You will also notice a change in their eating patterns. Sometimes, an upset stomach causes them a lot of pain. They may loose their interest in food. In this case, do keep an eye on their bowel movements and make sure your dog doesn’t get hold of certain food items that they are not allowed to eat.
Now that you know your pooch is in pain, what should you do to make them feel better? We suggest to do a full body examination to know where it hurts. If the pain is internal, or if the external wound is too deep, take your dog to the vet as soon as you can!