This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
How To Know If Your


Dog Is In Pain. The Telltale Signs. –by Elizabeth Baird, D.V.M.


DETECTING PAIN IN PETS CAN BE QUITE CHALLENGING. Dogs feel pain for many of the same reasons that people do: muscle or tendon strains, ligament sprains, infections, gastroin- testinal cramps, arthritis, cancer and bone and dental disease are the most common causes. Part of our job as caretakers is learn- ing how to read the sub- tle signs of pain so we can get them the help they need to enjoy a good quality of life. Dogs are masters at


hiding their pain, proba- bly as a hangover from their origin as pack ani- mals. In some packs, the weakest animal will be cut from the group, which typically means certain death in the wild. The other remarkable point about pain is that chronic pain is very dif- ferent from acute pain that arrives with a sud- den onset. Animals, and people, are far more like- ly to reveal that they are suffering from an acute and painful injury, but we humans typically don’t complain so much about chronic pain, we just live with it. Animals behave in much the same way, usu- ally with less self-pity. Acute pain is far more likely to be


Behaviors that may indicate your dog is in pain: ~ Vocalizing (more common in acute pain states). ~ Changes in Daily Habits. ~ Changes in Activity Level. ~ Atypical Facial Expressions. ~ Limping or Guarding a Body Part or Stiff Gait. ~ Changes in Behavior (increased aggression or simply less social).


their dog has pain. Dogs typically will reveal their pain unintentionally


Watch for subtle signs of discomfort. Groaning or being a little grumpy upon waking may indicate pain.


through their behavior, so it is imperative to be a keen observer of your pet. One sign is the dog protecting a body part by limp- ing, putting less weight on a limb or both hind legs, objecting to being picked up or avoiding people altogether. Their activity level may be affected and you may notice a reluctance to move, difficulty rising from a sitting or lying position or repetitively getting up and down or pacing rest- lessly. Those last few behaviors mean that your pet just can’t get comfort- able in any position and the restless behavior is often accompanied by excessive panting. You may even notice trembling of one of more legs or whole body trembling (more common in smaller dogs). Other signs of


Does the dog act overly concerned


with being approached? This behavior may indicate the dog is vigilantly hiding injury.


Watch for blinking. Dogs will blink at the second they feel pain.


Follow your dog’s eyes. Looking away may indicate pain.


pain include a decrease in appetite, changes in sleep- ing or drinking patterns, lapses in house training or the dog hiding. Many


expressed with vocalizations such as whin- ing, crying, yelping or groaning - the degree of dramatic behavior will differ between breeds. Stoic breeds such as Rotties, Dobermans, Labs and some Terriers may not cry out even with a broken leg. In those breeds, you may have to look for the more subtle signs such as those typically seen with chronic pain. Given the difficulty of recognizing the


Watch your dog’s response to being


touched. Dogs who suddenly don’t enjoy being touched or handled may be in pain.


spectrum of pain and discomfort a dog may exhibit, it can be challenging for the pet owner to recognize that


70 THE NEW BARKER


painful animals will sleep more if they can manage to get comfortable enough to do so. Some dogs may bite or lick at a specific spot if the pain is localized to one area. Changes in posture are a common sign of back or abdominal pain – such as standing arched or hunched up in the middle of the back or bowing down with the rump in the air and the front end on the ground (like a play bow, but when obviously not wanting to play). The dog’s facial expression may also change when they experience pain; a glazed or vacant stare, enlarged pupils, flattened ears or a grimace may be noted. Chronically painful dogs may stop grooming themselves or may


even get cranky and behave out of their normal character. www.TheNewBarker.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104