Knowing if Your Dog is Injured
Since us humans have the ability to speak, it is pretty easy for us to express to our friends and family when something is hurting us or we’re in pain. Some of us probably complain too much! On the other hand, it can be hard for us to read our dog’s emotions and what they’re feeling. Since they, you know- can’t exactly talk, we don’t always know if they’re in pain or just being weird! Unless your dog is doing something obvious like limping or throwing up, we can’t always pinpoint what’s causing their discomfort. Here are some signs and symptoms that indicate your dog may be experiencing some sort of pain.
If your dog is being more vocal than normal, they may be in some sort of pain. If you notice them whining, whimpering, yelping, growling, snarling, or howling at times they normally don’t, you may want to bring them into the vet to get checked out. Often dogs use vocalizing as a way to express their pain, which can be hard to catch if they’re not also doing something physical, like limping.
Licking in One Place
Has your dog been licking their paw or any specific area constantly? This may be your dog trying to sooth their wound! If they have some sort of cut, it is more obvious that your dog would be licking to clean. But dogs also do this with internal pain or bruising as well. If you see your dog doing a lot of licking in one specific spot, head to the vet to see what may be happening in that area. If you do see that it’s a cut, you can try to fix it up yourself.
Change in Habits
Another aspect to look out for is any major changes in their sleeping, eating, and drinking habits. If you notice your dog being very lethargic and sleeping more than usual, they may be trying to rest since they’re in pain. Relating to sleep, they could be laying in strange positions when they sleep because they are in some kind of pain. They may also be eating less and have a loss of appetite- this happens to us when we’re sick, too. Be aware if you normally have a super active, hungry pup that is now sleepy and not eating.
When a dog is in pain, everything such as simply walking around the house may be challenging. This can cause your dog to pant when they aren’t exercising or having shallow/faster breaths. This can also indicate the pain has to do with their lungs or some other internal issue.
Depending on what your dog’s personality is, when they’re in pain they may either want more or less attention from you. Your dog may be constantly near you, trying to always have your full attention and love. They want to be comforted. Other dogs may hide from you and stay away. If you’re dog normally can’t get enough of you, but is now hiding, there may some pain.
Just as we may get aggressive with someone who tries to touch us in an area we have hurt, dogs can do the same. Dogs go into protection mode when they are in pain, normally because they’re afraid you’ll make it worse or that you’ll hurt them. If your dog is normally cool and calm, but is now snapping or growling at you, they could be in some sort of pain. On the other hand, if your dog is particularly aggressive on a normal day, they may act the opposite.
Hopefully now you’ll be able to better identify your dog’s issues and quickly take care of them. They’ll be back to their regular, happy selves soon!