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Signs of Pain & Discomfort in Dogs

Signs of Pain & Discomfort in Dogs

No pet parent wants to see their beloved companion in any type of pain. But if this does happen it can help to understand the signs and possible causes of this pain. Here, our Nashua vets at Animal Medical Center of New England talk about pain and discomfort in dogs, the signs they may show and what can be done to help manage their condition.

Discomfort & Pain in Dogs

You will need to keep a close eye on your pet for any signs of pain as they will do everything they can to mask it. Early detection is key with most concerns so the earlier you spot the signs, the better.

With a good understanding of your dog's temperament and personality and by keeping an eye out for abnormal behaviors that can point to pain or discomfort, you'll be prepared to notice subtle signs of pain in your dog. You'll then need to bring them to see our veterinary specialists in Nashua for diagnosis and treatment at our animal specialty hospital.

Ways That Dogs Express Pain

Dogs have evolved to hide any signs of pain in order to best protect themselves. In wild species, being adept at concealing signs of disease, injury and pain can prevent animals from being perceived as weak by predators - and therefore an easy target. 

It's important that any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog be addressed and treated by a veterinarian if necessary, as early detection of disease or illness is key to better outcomes for your dog's health, fewer long-term complications and less risk during treatment. 

The Different Types of Pain in Dogs

Just like humans, our dogs can suffer from a variety of health conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as dental health issues or internal conditions from heart-related and immune system disorders to gastrointestinal issues. Tumors and different types of cancer can also lead to pain. Acute pain can be caused by a foreign object getting stuck in their paw, an injury while exercising, a fall, an accident or other mishaps. 

Parasites are a common issue that can affect animals of any age or breed and cause a great deal of harm if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Senior dogs may experience pain from joint or bone disorders. diabetes or other health issues. 

Signs of Pain or Discomfort in Dogs

You may be wondering how you will be able to tell if your dog is in pain. There are a few subtle and clear symptoms you can watch for. Some of the common signs of pain in dogs include:

  • Significant decrease in appetite 
  • Tail tucked in or lowered
  • Spending more time sleeping
  • Yelping or whining 
  • Irritability 
  • Limping 
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump 
  • Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise 

If you have noticed a shift in your dog's behavior and level of activity then pain could be a likely cause. Changes in behavior can indicate suffering and should be tended to by your veterinarian, who can examine your dog and diagnose the underlying health issue or condition. Since pain can exhaust dogs just as it does humans, many pooches become tired more easily. You may notice your dog sleeping more if their pain has become a problem recently or they are experiencing chronic pain. 

As soon as you think something may be off you should reach out to your vet. If your pup has been injured and the pain is accompanied by bleeding, loss of consciousness, vomiting or diarrhea, this is considered a veterinary emergency that should be treated right away. Our vet specialists in Nashua can also detect, diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain. 

Treatment Options For Pain in Dogs

Depending on the cause of your pet's pain and their diagnosis, we may recommend treatment options such as pain medication, wound care, various therapies or surgery. Our veterinarians perform a wide variety of elective and non-elective surgical procedures, including soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, foreign body or mass removal and more. 

With non-invasive cold laser therapy, we can treat painful inflammatory conditions, injuries and illnesses in dogs and cats. This type of therapy can be an effective alternative to treatments such as conventional medications or other options.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Is your dog in need of diagnostic services or surgery for the source of their pain? Contact our Nashua vets to ask about a referral to our veterinary specialty hospital.

Welcoming Referrals and Emergency Walk-Ins

Animal Medical Center of New England welcomes emergency walk-ins and appointments when your pet needs us most. Our team of specialists is also accepting referrals from primary care veterinarians - fill out a referral form to get started.


Contact (603) 821-7222