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Signs of Pain in Dogs

Signs of Pain in Dogs

Pain management is a high priority for veterinarians caring for their canine patients. Your veterinarian can diagnose the cause of your dog’s pain and help treat it.

The signs of pain may not be obvious. Many dogs hide signs of pain when interacting with people. Watch for changes in your dog's activity level and behavior as these are the best indicators that she or he may be experiencing pain.

Consult your veterinarian if your dog is not acting normally or if he is showing any of these signs of pain:

  • Lameness or abnormal gait
  • Reluctance to move or navigate stairs
  • Difficulty jumping, lying down or getting up
  • Decreased appetite
  • Changes in feeding behavior
  • Excessive drooling
  • Decreased interest in toys or play
  • Mood or temperament changes
  • Worried facial expression
  • Squinting or closed eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Abnormal sleeping habits
  • Abnormal reaction to petting or brushing
  • Licking a specific body region
  • Straining to urinate or defecate
  • Biting or aggressive behavior
  • Unusual whimpering, growling or groaning
  • Any evidence of injury

How Veterinarians Alleviate Pain in Dogs

  • Treat the illness or injury that is causing pain
  • Prescribe appropriate pain medications
  • Recommend weight management and/or a special diet
  • Suggest changes for the home environment
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy